Subjectivity is always embodied subjectivity, which emerges as a versatile product of biographical experiences, overdetermined by historical and geopolitical power structures. Social norms and common sense, habitual practices of daily life and sophisticated disciplining shape embodiments and define which bodies count as healthy and highly productive, as male or as female, as disciplinable or as resistant. Yet, it is also the other way round: binary gender difference, health, or whiteness operate as normative ideals that gain power through being embodied and performed.

Nevertheless, embodied subjectivity is also a potential source and site of resistance. It might evolve from discrepancies between expectation and experience, or from failures of complying with aesthetic or ableist ideals. It is exactly because body norms – to be healthy, to be beautiful, to be disciplined, to be gendered – are so varied and numerous, that they intermingle and interfere and possibly contradict each other. In how far do such interferences or contradictions open up space for bodily resistance? What would it mean to say that a body develops a creative stubbornness, or inhabits a subversive counter-world?

The challenge consists in taking embodiment as a starting point for analysing heteronormative, racist, classist, anti-Semitic, and disabling power dynamics. Which alternative modes of embodiment develop from queer crip theory or the mutual exchange between critical disability and queer studies? Or from strategies of decolonizing racialized embodied subjectivities?


Rearranging Space through GESTURE

Gestures move faster than speech. And the signals of human body presence dominate and determine space. Come explore the unspoken codes and wordless translations of human interaction at the Saal Lun* with the Secret/Common/Mean Languages team.

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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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Secret Languages – Common/Mean Languages

Secret Languages – Common/Mean Languages is a workshop series which explores the multiple (and often silenced/hidden) experiences and strategies young people use for dealing with the language of authority and power asymmetries. Focusing on the creative uses of everyday languages among youth in crafting alliances across differences and disagreements, the project will address the potentials of conflict in mobilizing […]

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Embracing the Ridiculous

the Institute for Queer Theory celebrates its 10th anniversary!

June 24, 2016 at the Ballhaus Berlin

art auction and contributions by Nana Adusei-Poku, Anna Daučíková, Naomi Rincón Gallardo, Giegold & Weiß, Judith Jack Halberstam, Werner Hirsch, Renate Lorenz, Mindj Panther, Nic Kay, Redecker-Sissies, TAKA TAKA from the House of Hopelezz, concert and reunion of Rhythm King and her Friends. And DJ*s shushu, SchwarzRund, Kan Chi

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lil BLK

Nic Kay
performance and talk. Sat 24 Oct, 2015, Berlin-Kreuzberg

lil BLK is an experimental solo performance. Influenced by New York City gay/queer ballroom culture, live punk shows, butoh, and praise dance. lil BLK is a story about a fairy boi, child of god, little black girl, performer, and activist. Through the exploration of theatrical form, Nic Kay plays through a series of biographical moments that wrestle with the desires and the traps of being a black performer searching for freedom on the stage and in a beat.

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The Sexual and the Queerness of the Drive

Teresa de Lauretis
lecture, Institute for Cultural Inquiry (ICI), Berlin, 2. July 2015
desire’s multiplicity and serendipity 8

Laplanche proposes that the sexual drive is not innate or endogenous but is constituted as an effect of seduction, repression, and translation. In the context of Laplanche’s theory of the sexual, the lecture examines the difference between drive and desire, the function of the concepts of castration and the Oedipus complex, the relations of sexuality and gender, and the nature of sublimation.

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Sex. Just say no

Leo Bersani
lecture, Institute for Cultural Inquiry (ICI), Berlin, 18. June 2015
desire’s multiplicity and serendipity 7

Foucault’s problematizing of the nature and even the existence of sexuality and sex is itself problematic. It should perhaps be seen as an important if somewhat late moment in the modern project of re-defining , or at the very least rearranging the terms of human intimacies.

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