Caili Forrest

Current Fellows: Women’s and Gender Studies Department, PhD

I am curious and enthusiastic young South African who loves people and ideas. This led me to where I am today – studying my PhD in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of the Western Cape. I have worked in academia, local government and the civil society sector on a range of research challenges including socioeconomic development, organisational development, and governance. From a scholarly perspective, my background is in human geography and my research interests have been focused on power, identity and performance. My Honours study at the University of KwaZulu-Natal explored discourse, performance and deliberation within environmental decision-making particularily around water in Durban.My Masters research conducted at the University of Cambridge in 2010 focused on these dynamics within the 2007/08 street name changes in Durban.

My PhD is also based in Durban but the entry point is the lives of queer people living and working in the city. By exploring the experiences and perceptions of spaces and places within queer people’s everyday lives in the city of Durban, I will go beyond the more fixed ideas of ‘queer space’ and instead unpack how Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) people negotiate a variety of spaces and places throughout the city. Using a feminist qualitative methodology, this will be a highly participatory process with participants. In particular, I aim to investigate, together with participants, the dynamics of identity, power and belonging that emerge from our perspectives and experiences of Durban.