Queer Refugees - Dismantling the cultural capital of ethnographic research

Anti Academic Proposal

The formation of a pan-European notion of sexual democracy and rights in the 20th century has had the effect of producing new kinds of sexual ‘othering’ and contributed to new sexual minority cultures. By denouncing an academic research project approach, and working as an activist, I propose to undo the constitutive and performative nature of academic exploitation of 'refugee' subjects. Sexual democracy and sexual diversity have become central tenets in the formation of EU initiatives against discrimination and symbolise European understandings of freedom and modernity. However, this social order stipulates that ‘sexual identities’, including Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, A-sexual; (LGBTQIA) are rendered intelligible within prescribed academic ideological frameworks of race, gender formations, religion, kinship, citizenship and selfhood. Such legitimatisations incur costs, specifically of trauma and loss. Against a background of little existing historical documentation of LGBTQIA refugees into the EU, my activism seeks to understand if EU gender laws and sexuality citizenship frameworks interpolate racialised identities. I propose to do so in multiple significant ways; through working directly with LGBTQIA refugees in the NON NGO refugee spaces of Athens, Greece; through the development of an interdisciplinary theoretical framework that draws on the decolonial sexualities field, queer of color field and intersectional studies; through queer art practice that centers on queer studies as discourse and art practice as form; and through comparative close readings of archival data that approaches the archive as a living body and uses this framework to imagine, untangle and not document that which does not fit into normative and stable categories.