The politics of in/visibility: carving out queer space in Ul'yanovsk

Stella, F. (2012) The politics of in/visibility: carving out queer space in Ul'yanovsk. Europe-Asia Studies, 64(10), pp. 1822-1846. (doi: 10.1080/09668136.2012.676236)

Text (The politics of in/visibility: carving out queer space in Ul'ianovsk)



<p>In spite of a growing interest within sexualities studies in the concept of queer space (Oswin 2008), existing literature focuses almost exclusively on its most visible and territorialised forms, such as the gay scene, thus privileging Western metropolitan areas as hubs of queer consumer culture (Binnie 2004). While the literature has emphasised the political significance of queer space as a site of resistance to hegemonic gender and sexual norms, it has again predominantly focused on overt claims to public space embodied in Pride events, neglecting other less open forms of resistance.</p><p> This article contributes new insights to current debates about the construction and meaning of queer space by considering how city space is appropriated by an informal queer network in Ul’ianovsk. The group routinely occupied very public locations meeting and socialising on the street or in mainstream cafés in central Ul’ianovsk, although claims to these spaces as queer were mostly contingent, precarious or invisible to outsiders. The article considers how provincial location affects tactics used to carve out communal space, foregrounding the importance of local context and collective agency in shaping specific forms of resistance, and questioning ethnocentric assumptions about the empowering potential of visibility.</p>

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:lesbian identity urban space sexual politics sexuality - Russia leisure space Sexuality studies Gender studies
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Stella, Dr Francesca
Authors: Stella, F.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Central and East European Studies
Journal Name:Europe-Asia Studies
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1465-3427
Published Online:15 June 2012
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