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

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Butler Trouble: Queerness and Violence

Terrell Carver suggests in his talk that there is not very much queering in Butler’s political work on violence, whereas a queered view of that work – offered here – could take Freud and Nietzsche where Donald Trump fears to tread.

Continue reading

Epistemic Violence

What it is, how it functions, and why we should know about it.
Claudia Brunner and Thomas Mickan are inviting for a discussion on queer, feminist, antimilitaristic politics with focus on epistemic violence and its postcolonial condition.

Continue reading

When does it become violence?

Countering day-to-day violence through queer cultures of conflict

a series of events starting in November 2017 at aquarium (Südblock), Berlin-Kreuzberg

Is it possible to counter day-to-day violence through queer cultures of conflict? This series of events looks at the multiple shapes that violence takes and calls for a queer answer of how to affectively and effectively counter widespread normative, symbolic and epistemic violence.

Continue reading

Caring for Conflict

is asking for creative practices in dealing with conflicts. Conflict zones, belligerence, the joy of irritation, quarreling techniques, utopias of disagreement: How to live conflicts? What can we learn from each other to respond in conflicts with more than silence or aggression? How do different experiences connect to new forms of quarrel?

Continue reading

un_learning violence

Un_learning Violence is the name of a reading and research group interested in the psycho-social effects of political violence. We assume that in order to overcome violence, one has to understand how its histories and enabling conditions constitute subjectivities and embodiments. What does it mean to un_learn violence?

Continue reading