interesting speech at hamburg university on july 9th 2005

Appropriations of Queer as a Lifestyle: (How) Do We Resist It?

Tomasz Basiuk and Dominika Ferens

We would like to consider the paradoxes that haunt efforts to preserve the non-identitarian, fuzzy, and contaminated meaning of "queer" in the face of a need to invest the category “queer” with enough specificity to make it a recognizable style of thinking and a rallying point for radical activism. Related questions that concern us are: How can queer politics avoid becoming dissolved in the larger category of radical politics without becoming synonymous with LGBT activism? Is a radical political stance, such as queer, characteristic of extreme oppression or extreme privilege? And what precisely is the difference between them? Is the adoption of a queer stance a matter of mere survival or also a matter of imaginative joy? Are these two categories ever to be separated when it comes to gender and sexuality? We will attempt to address these issues with reference to the specifically Polish deployments and appropriations of queer since 2000.