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Queering Paradigms VIII

Queer-Feminist Solidarity and the East/West Divide


Edited By Katharina Wiedlack, Saltanat Shoshanova and Masha Godovannaya

Queering Paradigms VIII brings together critical discourses on queer-feminist solidarity between Western, post-Soviet and post-socialist contexts. It highlights transnational solidarity efforts against homophobia, transphobia and misogyny. It engages grass-roots activists and community organizers in a conversation with scholars, and shows that the lines between these categories are blurry and that queer theorists and analysts are to be found in all spheres of queer-feminist culture. It highlights that queer paradigms and theories are born in street protests, in community spaces, in private spheres, through art and culture as well as in academia, and that the different contexts speak to each other.

This anthology presents some of the radical approaches that emerge at the intersection of activism, community organizing, art and academia, through transnational exchange, migration and collaborations. It is a celebration of alliances and solidarities between activism, community building, art, culture and academic knowledge production. Yet, the collected work also brings forward the necessary critique of Western hegemonies involved in contemporary queer-feminist solidarity activism and theory between the ‘East’ and ‘West.’ It is an important thinking about, thinking through and thinking in solidarity and the East/West divide, setting new impulses to fight oppression in all its forms.

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5 New Lovers…? As Patriots and Citizens: Thinking beyond Homonationalism and Promises of Freedom (the Ukrainian case) (Lesia Pagulich)


Lesia Pagulich

5 New Lovers…? As Patriots and Citizens: Thinking beyond Homonationalism and Promises of Freedom (the Ukrainian case)

[F]or those of us […] on the margins, operating through multiple identities and thus not fully […] recognized through traditional single-identity-based politics, theoretical conceptualizations of queerness hold great political promise. [T]he label ‘queer’ symbolizes an acknowledgment that through our existence and everyday survival we embody sustained and multi-sited resistance to systems. (Cohen 2005: 24)


Every now and then, debates occur around LGBTIQ+ activism and nationalist-oriented politics in Ukraine (Маєрчик 2015; Пагуліч 2016; Погрібна 2015; Von Klein 2017). Such debates are important for the analysis of the effects of such politics on subjects who are excluded from nation-building, and furthermore, they question nationalism that positions non-normative subjects in a hierarchical relation to the national ideal (Korek 2007; Law & Zakharov 2018; Starr 2010; Zakharov, Law, & Lastouski 2017). In this chapter, I analyze the art exhibition ‘Patriots, Citizens, Lovers…’ (2015) to explore circuits and dynamics that attempt to normalize LGBTIQ+ subjects through discourses of the ‘patriot’ and the ‘good citizen.’ I ask what subjects are produced as legible within the art exhibition’s conceptual framework, visuals, and narratives. Respectively, I examine what subjects are racialized and left out of ‘the picture’ and remain homogenized in ways that allow for the emergence of individual liberal subjects.←125 | 126→

In 2015, the Pinchuk Art Center (Kyiv), a prestigious art gallery in Ukraine, hosted the art exhibition...

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