tribute to jose esteban munoz (via Dennis Cooper’s blog)
In this video, former Yarl’s Wood detainee Aderonke Apata discusses the traumas of the British Immigration system. Aderonke is a Nigerian LGBT activist seeking refugee status in the UK. Please sign Aderonke’s petition here: https://www.causes.com/asylum-for-aderonke
you are standing, then sitting, then standing again and but for the line where the door meets the wall, all of you is bodied-damp; and your breathing is dense and it pulls and it pulls because when you went to leave the toilet, when you went to leave the public toilet in the car-park just outside of the town centre, when you went to leave the public toilet on the ground floor of the car park just off the A329, when you went to leave the public toilet that you had been trying to leave for two hours, when you went to leave the public toilet that you had been sure was empty, that you had been sure that no one was waiting in, that you had been sure no one was waiting in because you yourself had been waiting longer than any reasonable time for somebody to wait for someone- even if not somebody but anybody; because when you went to leave the public toilet set back from the town centre road where you had been waiting, not being sure if you want someone to see you and should wait somewhere else or if the last thing you want is for someone to see you so should wait somewhere else; because when you went to leave the public toilet you saw, coming towards the toilet from the road away from town, someone- not just anyone; and you are sixteen, and the place where you find yourself most often is the public toilet, in the public toilet on the ground floor of the multi-storey just outside of town; and now there is someone and not just the damp and the flush but your breath; and this is the last someone that you wanted to see- even if you knew all the time that you waited that there would come some someone that you didn’t want to see; but someone is here now, and the way the steps sound in the echo and the way you watch the shadow move across the floor of the public toilet just behind the roundabout off the A329; and its possible that you want them when all this time this was the last person you thought you would want- but then what did you want when the place that you find yourself most often is the public toilet on the road away from town; and what if you want them and so what if you want them and you stand and you sit and you wait because you don’t know you might want them.
Travis Mathews’s In Their Room series
photo via jwilliamjames (twitter) — "we will give you a £50 reward if your evidence leads to us making an arrest." — gays, you must police each other for the good of the “community” (gay businesses are not your friends).
QUEER CITY VHS: PROGRAMME
QUEER CITY VHS: Lo-Res clips from vibrant queer life in NY, Manchester and Berlin, 1984-1994
The idea of homonationalism, coined by Jasbir Puar, has gained much ground recently with queer activist and academics. Homonationalism “refers to an understanding and enactment of homosexual acts, identities, and relationships that incorporates them as not only compatible with but even exemplary of neoliberal democratic ethics and citizenships.”* These film clips come from a time when these were still contested identities. From a time of transition from Fordism to neoliberalism. From Reagan’s refusal to say the word AIDS and Margaret Thatcher’s mine closures, to the end of actually existing socialism in Europe.
Rather than a nostalgic look at a golden era of activism and gay culture, a nostalgia that obscures the material conditions that these films were made in, we’ve chosen these clips to challenge and complicate easy understandings of radical political action and to highlight the ways that earlier communities documented their struggles, defiance, and celebration. In the face of rapid gentrification — not only of the cities we live in, but of the cultural and political imagination — we offer a glimpse at the ways other queers have organized against, been complicit with, and defied the devastating social and economic policies of governments and institutions that wanted us dead.
*Don Kulick, “Can There Be an Anthropology of Homophobia?”, in Homophobias: Lust and Loathing Across Time and Space (ed. David A. B. Murray), Duke University Press (2009)
(We’ve put this online for those who couldn’t make it)
short VHS film of a gig in support of the miner’s strike in the 80s. (via Queer City VHS)