Queer Refugees - Dismantling the cultural capital of ethnographic research

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. This research project conceptualizes the constitutive and performative nature of such disavowals and movements. 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 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, this project seeks to determine if EU gender laws and sexuality citizenship frameworks interpolate racialised identities. It proposes to do so in four significant ways; through ethnographic fieldwork, documenting and 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 field recording practice that centers on queer studies as discourse and field recording 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.




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