desiring politics

Let’s assume that every desire holds political dimensions and every form of politics is desirous. But what do we actually mean by desire? In what way is desire entangled in power structures? To what extent is it defined by heteronormativity and other normative, oppressive, or exploitative regimes? Under which conditions does desire turn out to be a transgressive force that exceeds the limits of (hetero-)normative sociality and hence unsettles allegedly stable sexual identities?

Are there queer forms of desire that undermine appropriation, inequality, and violence? Do we have to overcome the subject/object logic, which subordinates the object of desire in order to grant agency to the desiring subject? Would we first need to desire another desire, before desire may inspire queer politics? Which are the politics we desire? Is queer a movement searching for utopias, creating utopias, and experimenting with them? Or does queer sign into a nihilistic-deconstructive mode and declares punk-like: No Future?

Alternatively, why not refer to the feminist credo that the private is political? This hints at the fact that we are affectively bound to power dynamics, we support them and push them even further. Political rule or governance may very well depend on this binding force. Power permeates modes and practices of desire. Hence, from a micropolitical perspective, the question arises, how and in which settings desire gets regulated, while it simultaneously takes on normalizing functions.

Yet, sexuality and desire are not to be reduced to subjectivity and intimacy. When trying to think and live beyond the existing economies of desire, this may imply reflecting how political and socio-economic transformations are impacted. From a macropolitical perspective one may ask how formations of desire and sexuality operate on the level of state politics and economy. Which are the contexts where desire functions as a socially stabilizing force? How and where does it develop politically mobilizing or transformative effects? Thus, how one may actually value sexuality is a highly contested field of socio-political negotiations.

for a full list of events, please scan the chronological archive

Queering Audibility

11 April, 2024, 8 pm, Lettrétage, Berlin-Mitte (DE / EN / DGS / with sign language interpretation). Hearing and Deaf performance art exploring their encounter A a collaboration develops between deaf performance artist Eyk Kauly and the hearing sound artists HYENAZ (Kate Fischer and Adrienne Teicher). Together they explore through sound, signs, and performance how conditions of audibility can be challenged.

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Planetary Pluralism

Presentation and discussion by and with Antke A. Engel
Wed August 23, 2023, 4-6pm CET, online
Planetary pluralism is a form of pluralism that supports cohabitation of all non/human and more-than-human beings, while following a denormalizing, yet egalitarian perspective of trans*versal justice.

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Poetic Transitions

Workshop 4 of the series Queere Multilingualities and Embodied Speech, June 29, 2023, 5-8 pm, Vienna. With Chaka Collective (Claudia Frikh-Khar, Nina Höchtl, Verena Melgarejo Weinandt), performance artist Pêdra Costa and author and scholar Daniela Rodríguez.

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The membra(I)ne as a Translation Device

workshop during the conference membra(I)nes, Burg Giebichenstein Kunsthochschule Halle & Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig, June 15-17, 2023
The artist Ančan Daučíková will be present with their video Talking to You, 2021. With reference to this as well as two other, text-based materials we will explore in the workshop how the figure of the membrane contributes to understanding translation processes. What does this mean for the concrete challenges of translating queer_ness, or for handling norms? Is it of interest that membra(I)nes refer simultaneously to g´human and machinic translation as well as a cyborgian version of both?

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Conference, June 15-17, 2023 Can the concept of the membrane therefore help us overcome anthropocentric thinking? And if so, how does it allow to address hierarchies and power imbalances among humans? Can it mobilize decolonial critiques of a posthumanist discourse as a model to thinking in gender studies and feminist science and technology studies? Will a queer understanding of desire or a Black feminist understanding of eroticism help us to draw new, unexpected connections between these relationships and environments?

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Multilingually queer

Workshop Monday May 8, 2023, 1-3 pm (CET), part of the series queere multilingualität and embodied speech with Mariana Aboim, Rubia Salgado as well as Martin*a Vahamäe-Zierold and Maria Kopf. Hybrid event in DGS (German Sign language), English, German, and Portugues.

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