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Queering Paradigms IV

South-North Dialogues on Queer Epistemologies, Embodiments and Activisms


Edited By Elizabeth Sara Lewis, Rodrigo Borba, Branca Falabella Fabrício and Diana de Souza Pinto

South-North Dialogues on Queer Epistemologies, Embodiments and Activisms is composed of research presented at the fourth international Queering Paradigms Conference (QP4), held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In line with the QP project ethos of bringing together diverse epistemological and geographical allegiances, this volume intends to contribute to building a queer postcolonial critique of the current politics of queer activism and of queer knowledge production and circulation. However, rather than perpetuating the North-South dichotomy, the papers gathered here are an effort to establish global dialogues that crisscross those axes, as well as attempts at queering epistemologies, socio-political bonds, and bodies, embodiments and identities. They endeavour to trouble unequal geographies of knowledge – namely the North as an exporter of theories and the South as their importer; the North as a producer of knowledge and the South as its object of study – hosting enormous potential for reinvention.

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Multiple Identity and the Performance of Community: The Intersections of Ethnicity and Sexuality within the Queer Community


← 254 | 255 → ELENA KIESLING

“Without community, there is no liberation” (Lorde 2007: 112)

The words of Audre Lorde still resonate deeply with social movements all over the world. Yet, in today’s neoliberal political climate, they are rendered mute. Community, and social solidarities in general, have become a threat to neoliberalism and have been replaced with individualized acts of consumerism. On a political level, it has become increasingly difficult for non-industrial organizations to truly engage in community work without either falling prey to mainstream political strategies or relying too strongly on short-term goals due to lack of funding for long-term visions.

But the idea of solidarity is still alive in most social movements. For minorities in particular, an underlying structure of support in the form of community is often taken for granted. However, the construction of community should never be treated as simply probable (Rapport and Amit 2002: 25), especially due to the emergence of multiple identities. The creation of community on the basis of a shared fixed identity seems impossible, as the negotiation of multiple community belongings further complicates its construction.

One such area of negotiation is the so-called queer community. It is neither founded on any biological genealogy, nor easily based on a fixed, single identity. Ideally, queerness does not have a gender; includes multiple sexualities, bodily practices, desires and intimacies outside those which are ← 255 | 256 → heteronormative; crosses classes; and certainly does not have a specific racial and ethnic background....

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