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.

FORMER EVENTS

Queer Modes of Endurance

Thu 04 July, 2019, 7pm talk and discussion Ferdiansyah Thajib: Queer Modes of Endurance Queer bodies and subjectivities are enduring hegemonic normative structures that are tenaciously in place. They (have to) stay with, withstand, live through and suffer impossible conditions.
In this talk, I wish to engage with the political potentials of endurance through the lens of my ethnographic study with Muslim queer communities in Indonesia, in which the question of “When does it become violence” is then transposed into an inquiry of what happens when violence endures?

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Solidarity in Conflicts

What does solidarity mean in the face of conflicting interests? How can we bring our different communities together in solidarity? What does it mean not to think of solidarity strategically but on the basis of our – power-permeated – relationships? Can conflict become an important aspect of our coexistence? These questions will be discussed by Urmila Goel, Najwa Ouguerram, and Sabine Mohamed.

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Statement for Gender Studies

Experimenting, collective thinking, artistic practices as means of developing queer cultures of conflict? Caring for conflict starts from the thesis that concepts of feminist care work and queer sociality – attentive of complex, intersectional relations of power – inspire new forms of dealing with conflicts.

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