Issue 3/2023

Queer Postsocialist

In her 2018 book "Unruly Visions", Gayatri Gopinath describes the „aesthetic practices of queer diaspora“, through which „alternative ways of being in and moving through these spaces" emerge in various geographical locations. In the aftermath of February 24, 2022, these influential concepts of queer post-socialist solidarity, affinity, and mutuality are challenged and threatened by the deadly threat to the Ukrainian people. Irina Zherebkina, founder of the Kharkiv Center for Gender Studies, wrote in March 2022: “Putin has hijacked and manipulated the idea of solidarity and support for the peoples of the countries of the former USSR. We must take it away from him and turn it back into a weapon of antimilitarism.” In May 2022, queer feminist activist and scholar Tatsiana Shchurko from Belarus explained that the war raises important questions of transnational solidarity against imperial warfare – not just in a local context, but globally. She recalls internationalist anti-capitalist, anti-racist, and anti-imperialist projects from which we could learn today because they envision transnational connections of mutual aid against imperial violence. In solidarity with these calls, guest editor Masha Godovannaya invites artists, filmmakers, writers, and film critics from this region to use springerin as a forum to voice difficult questions about the current situation, with the help and through the reflection of “aesthetic practices of the queer post-socialist diaspora”. Can these practices still hold a utopian political promise, a hope for living and acting in alternative social worlds? What could be the practices and sites to imagine this hope and realize the mutuality of [queer] being? Do the aesthetic practices of queer post-socialist diaspora have the potential to rebuild, nurture, and promote trust, respect, affection, queer intimacy, and desire among war-affected post-socialist subjects of queerness? What might be alternative models of visuality emanating from these practices and sites?

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