m1 (turm4)
Monday, 17. October 2011

Borderlands – a theory workshop-seminar on border crossing

Border is a multiple category referring to many different conceptualizations. It can be viewed as a sight of economical management (global commerce) or biopoliticial management (border controls, migration etc), a sight of regulation and control. In such context, it is argued that border is today less and less geographical linear demarcation and rather multiple entities that can be inner, outer, externalized and that can take the form of zones, regions, border lands (Étienne Balibar, Ugo Vlaisavljević). Also border is an ideological category, a site of protection of the conditions of reproduction of class, gender, “race” and other power relations producing divides. Finally, border is an unstable, contingent space of tension where the ordering field and its mechanisms are brought into question, opposed and where they can be bypassed and endangered by border-crossers and border dwellers in the spaces of the geo-political borders, in sights of struggles for knowledge and sights of political action (universities, books, lectures, exhibitions, no-border camps, protests, border-fuckers cabarets etc.)
Gloria Anzaldúa, queer theorist and writer defined border and borderlands in following way: Borders are set up to define the places that are safe and unsafe, to distinguish us from them. A border is a dividing line, a narrow strip along a steep edge. A borderland is a vague and undetermined place created by the emotional residue of an unnatural boundary. It is a constant state of transition. The prohibited and forbidden are its inhabitants. Los atravesados live here: the squint-eyed, the perverse, the queer, the troublesome, the mongrel, the mulato, the half-breed, the half-dead; in short, those who cross over, pass over, or go through the confines of the “normal.” (Anzaldúa, 2007 [1987]: 25).

In the Borderlands
you are the battleground
where enemies are kin to each other;
you are at home, a stranger,
the border disputes have been settled
the volley of shots have shattered the truce
you are wounded, lost in action
dead, fighting back;

To survive the Borderlands
you must live sin fronteras*
be a crossroads.

*sin fronteras – without borders
(Anzaldúa 2007 [1987]: 216-217)

The workshop will be structured around reading of sections from the book “Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza” by Gloria Anzaldúa first published in 1987. Additionally the text by E. Patrick Johnson ‘Quare’ Studies, or (Almost) Everything I Learned about Queer Studies I Learned from My Grandmother will be discussed. Students are invited to prepare the texts and guide the readings but also to propose other theoretical texts that conceptualize border as a “threshold waiting to be crossed, a space rife with the seductive aura of transgression” (Sarai Reader 2007). The proposed texts would be discussed within the workshop. Film screening as collaboration with film program in the pcap organized by Claudia Caceres and Marissa Lobo will be part of the workshop.


12.12.2011, Monday

14.00 to 20.00 seminar with Ivana Marjanovic, part 1

20.00 do 22.00 film screening in collaboration with Claudia Caceres and Marissa Lobo

13.12.2011, Tuesday

14 to 20.00 seminar with Ivana Marjanovic, part 2

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