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Queering Paradigms VIII

Queer-Feminist Solidarity and the East/West Divide

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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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7 Prides in Estonia: Struggling in the Centrifugal Pulls of Nationalism and Transnational Leveraged Pedagogy (Raili Uibo)

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Raili Uibo

7 Prides in Estonia: Struggling in the Centrifugal Pulls of Nationalism and Transnational Leveraged Pedagogy

Introduction

This chapter1 explores how the two simultaneous Prides that emerged in Estonia in 2017 – Baltic Pride and Tallinn Pride – negotiated the sometimes oppositional but sometimes overlapping pulls of transnational and nationalistic forces. I will do this by examining the following sequence of questions that constitute the structure of this chapter: Which different cultural and political meanings does Pride evoke among the different actors, considering that it has been perceived as an ‘import’ from both the East and the West, depending on the respective political agenda of the actors? How do the Estonian LGBTIQ+ movements consolidate themselves despite their different understandings of Pride? How do the organizers of different Prides negotiate the solidarity and leveraged pedagogy that occurs through the engagement of transnational actors, especially in the highly nationalist context of Estonia? In the final section of the chapter, I will analyze some examples of how LGBTIQ+ activists in Estonia straddle the line between appropriating and re-signifying nationalist culture in the context of Tallinn Pride 2017.

Using Pride as a prime example of political mobilization is certainly problematic due to several reasons. It is often seen as a marker of democratic achievement and European integration, as pointed out by the social←175 | 176→ scientist Bojan Bilić (2016) and others. Hegemonic geotemporal imaginaries about the difference between the East and the West delegate the entire Central...

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