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Accepted Paper:

In a permanent "transition"? Identity politics and strategies of non-heteronormative citizens of Wroclaw (PL)  
Monika Baer (University of Wrocław)

Paper short abstract:

Drawing on fieldwork research conducted in Wroclaw (PL), in the proposed paper I analyze how conceptual divisions between North and South or West and East have historically shaped spatiotemporal aspects of identity politics and strategies of non-heteronormative citizens of a "postsocialist" city.

Paper long abstract:

Inspired by analytical perspectives grasping the world as spatially and socially interconnected (although marked by political and economic topography of power), my contribution to the roundtable is thought of as an intervention aimed at destabilizing the major conceptual axes that shaped globally-oriented narratives on non-heteronormative subjects: the divisions between North/South and West/East. To this end, I analyze how historical developments in mainstream LGBT movements in Poland (rooted in Northern/Western-modelled identity politics and strategies based on civil rights paradigm of a (neo)liberal type) have been both adapted and problematized by contemporary activist and non-activist discursive practices of non-heteronormative citizens of Wroclaw (PL). On the one hand, in the specific context of "postsocialist" city (and country), "liberal LGBT rights" still keep their emancipatory potential. On the other one, they become tools of symbolic violence when used to mark certain groups as "backward," "premodern," or simply "passive." In both cases, however, all actants seem to be stuck "in transition", albeit at its different spatiotemporal stages. Keeping that in mind, I would opt for theoretical and methodological approaches moving beyond dichotomous thinking and toward an analysis of historical and current processes of diverse scales, which produce differentiated non-heteronormative experiences and subjectivities. The discussed fieldwork material has been gathered in the course of an action-research project "Divercity: Preventing and combating homo- and transphobia in small and medium cities across Europe" (EU Rights, Equality and Citizenship Program).

Panel P035
Cruising the frontiers of time and space: towards an anthropology of queer crossings [ENQA Roundtable]
  Session 1 Thursday 16 August, 2018, -