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“It is equally vain,” she thought, “for you to think you can protect me, or for me to think I can worship you. The light of truth beats upon us without shadow, and the light of truth is damnably unbecoming to us both.”

Virginia Woolf, Orlando

I can’t stop reading the news. I can’t stop reading the news.
It travels, I travel from my optic nerve, through unmoving vocal chords,
past the lump, gut deep.
Can’t stop reading the news and.
It wants to travel back out as vomit and rage.

Hillary tweets in Spanish.
Trump tweets in grunts.
I watch Father Obama while
I make a salad.
The wind is raging.

Think of his affect after Sandy Hook.
(I don’t want to think about it.)
(I can’t stop thinking about it.)

I know what’s coming, as a U.S.–Ameri-kan:

As Americans…
Brutal murder…
Massacre…
Pray for families…
Attack…
We know enough to say that this was an act of terror and an act of hate…
FBI…
All the facts…

No definitive judgment on the precise motivations of the killer…
As an act of terror…
What, if any…

Filled with hatred…
We will go wherever the facts lead us…
This could have been any one of our communities…

As a country…
Carnage…
Law enforcement…

Sacrifice, courage…

Especially heartbreaking for all of our friends, our fellow Americans who are

lesbian.
gay.
bisexual.
or transgender…

A nightclub…
Be with friends, to dance, to sing, to live…
More than a nightclub…
Solidarity, empowerment, awareness, civil rights…

Sobering reminder…

Attacks on any American…
regardless…
an attack on all of us…

Dignity, equality…

Country…
Hate…
Terror…
Values…

The most deadly shooting in American history…
Handgun…
Assault rifle…

Further reminder…

Weapon:
School, house of worship, movie theater, nightclub…

We have to decide…
To do nothing is a decision…

Victims…
Names…
Faces…

Who they were…
Joy to families, friends…

Difference to this world…
Prayer…
Prayer for family…
God…

Strength…
Bear the un-bearable…
Strength…
Strength and courage to change…

As a country…
Heroic, selfless…

Friends who helped friends…
Hate violence…
Love…

United as Americans, protect our people, defend our nation, take action against threats…
God…
Families…
God…
This country.

God, this country.

This fucked up
family.
Attack!

Living in ellipses:
“No definitive judgment…”

Living for ellipses:
“This could have been any one of our communities…”

Thinking of ellipses:
The only way to slow down,
what is said too fast,
what is said is not enough,
Also all wrong, too much.
Can’t speak out every meaning.

Thinking with ellipses:
Going in circles.
On a Sunday.

How is it supposed to make you feel?
Don’t care
How you feel.

Can you feel any other way than wrong?
Don’t care
How you feel.

What are you supposed to do?
Just you wait.

[For Lauren Berlant, “to live elliptically” is to ask a question rather than formulate an answer; a “shrug” is a rhetorical response to a non-rhetorical question of the body – an embodied letting go of future promises in favor of life in the durative present. Revisiting a conceptual grammar drawn from psychoanalysis, Berlant is using “dissociation” to understand it not as a symptom of an underlying abnormality but as a practice of attaching to life. Berlant is dialing back the multiple intersections of subjectivities and pondering what doesn’t add up in social worlds. She is thinking about the content of “being proximate” but not “in community.”

In “Culture@Large,” the Society for Cultural Anthropology’s signature event at the 2012 AAA meetings,  Berlant and her interlocutors thought through the sensorium which overcomes “affective stuckness” but does not jump immediately (as is our social science instinct) to discursive symbolization. For these scholars, this is work that is trained at scenes of social abandonment and lostness, the precariousness of life at large. Drawing from Claudia Rankine’s poem Don’t Let Me Be Lonely and the film based on Christopher Isherwood’s novel A Single Man, Berlant spoke of the way that quick and slow death by racism and homophobia inspires a sociality of not caring, of deciding to be stubborn.
––from http://production.culanth.org/fieldsights/32-walking-around-in-lauren-berlant-s-elliptical-life]

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Figure13-1

Michele Lancione‘s (aka l’editore più generoso e simpatico––non da dire intelligentissimo––nel mondo, o almeno quelle parte che so io del mondo!) first book/edited volume, Rethinking Life at the Margins, is out today! Like all hardcover academic books, it’s euphemistic to call it ‪#‎notcheap‬, but you can get your libraries to order it! And/or use the discount code -50% with ‘ASHGATE230’

I’m beyond proud to have written the final chapter of the book, “Between the Fool and the World” and to have it sit among such excellent and varied contributions to the book! For my part, I get biographical on Deleuze+Guattari and question what it means to “claim a margin” in the university, a questioning journey that began years ago and that is inspired by and grounded in so much of the radical work that has learned and taught me well in FES, especially Ace Yorku Equity Seminars. Of course, it’s all framed by doing tarot…critical-spiritual survival practice for marginal life/living, which, as usual, cuts right to the core.

#SpoilerAlert (from the conclusion to my chapter):

Agencement [assemblage] seeks to enable the elaboration of difference en route to contextual understandings of the institutionalizations of power and the potential for unmasking and unsettling the oppression of marginal bodies, groups, and practices. It has been my argument that, if  agencement [assemblage] is to be a critical, even liberating, concept-practice, then we must skeptically attend to the particularities of the very institutions that profess commitments to diversity and difference, including through the elaboration of ideas of assemblage and through the gesture of assembling life at the margins. As Sara Ahmed (2012 [On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life]) reveals, although many universities are increasingly managing to ‘make room’ for ‘diverse’ bodies through commitments to inclusion, such principled policies often, and necessarily, fail precisely on their own terms.

 

English-speaking Friends: An updated version of the translation of Atlantide R-esiste‘s statement regarding the immanent eviction is now out (See Below.)

Please (re)read, share, and send your statements of solidarity, whether you are out there in internet-land on your own or you are writing on behalf of your collective, political organization, conscience. Or maybe you will consider sharing the statement with your english-speaking and politically active networks.

The clock is ticking. The eviction order issued against Atlantide takes effect tomorrow at 8am (2am EST).

A note for those who are tagged or who are, as the statement says, “just meeting us now” in this disembodied context (though some of you have visited Bologna!):

The statement references a number of technical developments specific to the Bolognese/Italian context, but familiar anywhere that neoliberal and statist “reforms,” sometimes under the guise of law-and-order, in defense of borders, sometimes under the guise of gentrification, have trampled trans*-feminist-queer (or, for that matter, any type of) self-determination and self-management (autogestione) of (urban) space.

If we believe that an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, if we believe that an injury to one is an injury to all: Consider this news that an organ which you may never think about or which you never knew existed and which has been working hard and in its place for 17 years, is signaling a latent failure after a bad diagnosis in 2012, when the eviction proceedings technically began. This failure that may not immediately translate into grave illness all the way over there, but our collective integrity can be eroded in the strangest of ways.

In light of the effect this is having on the bodies in that space––who have been born and reborn (irony alert, definitively not in the christian/catholic way) there, who have found refuge there, who have already landed there as a result of the perpetual displacements that accompany being trans*-feminist-queer––we are calling up all forms of resistance to the pathogen of precarity, to the toxicity of pretextual and perpetual evictions and states of emergency, to the state-driven terrorization of living, breathing alternatives.

Your expressions of solidarity on our Facebook page and/or blog, your sharing this with your networks, groups, collectives, and so on matters incredibly and will sustain us as we once again place our bodies on the line, as if they are ever not.

It is us who contaminate their dreams, not the other way around.

We cannot be (pro)cured.

They Want Us to Drown, They’ll Make Us Overflow

The Slumber of Politics Produces Evictions

(Posted on by smaschieramenti)

It is clear by now how Bologna’s government has been taken over by the public prosecutor’s office. In the past few months, police have been investigating the municipal administration’s decision to grant the use of running water to residentially occupied buildings. We have witnessed an alarming  number of unjustified restraining orders placed on many local activists. The eviction notice which was scotch taped to Atlantide’s doors on Thursday October 1st gave us 5-days to clear the building. All of which fits perfectly well in this dismal picture.

Yesterday morning, Friday October 2nd, we interrupted the City Council’s Question Time meeting demanding a public and political response from the Mayor who had just signed the eviction notice. After our action, the Mayor candidly spoke to the press, admitting that, “This is no longer political. I am the Mayor, I cannot follow dreams: Now I have to evict you.”

Our needs-&-dreams are extremely different from those of an administration whichpractices pinkwashing by supporting civil partnerships while at the same time forcefully evicting those queers who practice autonomy and self-management(autogestione). An administration which fills its mouth with empty talk of “welcoming refugees” while at the same time beating those refugees who don’t comply with the city’s guidelines for “integration.” An administration which concedesagency to sexist, racist and homophobic subjects in public space (No 194, Northern League, Sentinelle), avoiding in each of these incidents, to face its political responsibility by hiding itself behind concepts of “legality” and “lawful procedures.”There is no such thing as a “democratic bulldozer.”

We know very well by now that “legality,” today’s rallying cry for parties left and right, is a continuation of politics “in disguise”: It is a way to hide the reactionary politicalaims behind the alleged neutrality of the law in order to outlaw all those forms of life which resist against the unrelenting processes of neoliberal assimilation.

In Bologna, which is an historical laboratory for privatization (sussidiarietà). For some time, the PD (Democratic Party) forced whatever kind of sprouting social initiative to become either a start-up venture or a service based on free labour. Atlantide has always refused these conditions. Our mobilization tried to unmask this logic; we forced the administration to sign a formal document in which Atlantide is acknowledged as a project based on self-management.  On this basis, one year ago, we decided to start a dialogue with the administration’s cultural sector. We saw the possibility to innovate new forms of the relationship between institutions and self-managed realities.

This dialogue has now been violently interrupted. The Mayor and his Council, whether they like it or not, will have to take responsibility for the violent closure of an historical space of fags, lesbians, trans*, and feminists. This is not going to be a smooth election for them.

Nevertheless, we are sure that whatever social services are so urgently intended to displace Atlantide will meet the same fate of those planned to replace the evicted occupation of Santa Marta, a pension and kindergarten, or of the study rooms in place of Bartleby in Via San Petronio Vecchio (to cite just a few recent examples): They will never exist. After our eviction, the building at Porta Santo Stefano will remain empty for years and years, or forever, just as has happened to all of the evicted occupations in this city.

Though they want Atlantide to be “freed from things and people” (verbatim from the eviction notice), they will find it full of free things and free people. Hordes of furious faggots, perverted feminists, warrior lesbians, unruly trans*, and unlabeled punks will flood every neighborhood.

Atlantide stays. Atlantide is everywhere.

Over the years we have come into contact with many political groups in Italy and elsewhere. We remain dedicated to fostering transfeminist, anticapitalist, d.i.y. activist networks on a national and transnational level. Whether you knew us before or you are just meeting us now your statements and expressions of solidarity with Atlantide and its fabulous, resilient inhabitants, and to the collectives that animate her, please do so by posting a statement on the Atlantide R-esiste Facebook page or by sending an email to atlantideresiste[at]gmail[dot]com. 

Needless to say, every expression of affection and solidarity is deeply appreciated and makes us stronger.

You are all invited to the upcoming events in defence of Atlantide:

Sunday Oct. 4th, “Never a last time! Party”, h 17-21, @ Atlantide, Piazza di Porta Santo Stefano 6;

Monday Oct. 5th, general assembly, h. 20.30, Palazzina della Biblioteca delle Donne, Via del Piombo 5.

Stay tuned on http://atlantideresiste.noblogs.org or Atlantide R-esiste Facebook page.

Via Heather McLean (HMac).

Entered into lexicon: Manthropocene.

Mutable Matter

notdrowningfighting
Image: Tokelauns protest during Pacific Warrior Day of Action (Te Mana: Litia Maiava) via ABC Australia

We all may be a geophysical force, we may all be geology,
but we don’t matter, are matter and own matter equally.
Despite this realisation, we feel like we’ve been rendered geologically active,
but politically rather passive.
We pass through premature fossilisation in the face of nature’s agency
that we are suddenly able to perceive, apparently through Bruno Latour.
Shouting, flailing, we spew forth a deluge of cultural production
that portrays us as just that: already dead.

While the Anthropocene is embraced as an opportunity to reframe our engagement with the ‘geo’ in geography or even geopolitics, the on-going struggles against the dynamics that gave rise to the phenomenon of the Anthropocene are rarely mentioned. At best, the image of the Anthropocene serves to confirm the excesses of capitalism or is used to fantasise…

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This year, RuPaul and Michelle Visage launched their podcast, “What’s the Tee?” It’s amazing. I cannot get enough of it. I just listened to Episode 19, the year end round-up and it reminded me how Ru and Michelle – along with amazing guests such as Latrice Royale, TS Madison, and Alaska (among many others!) – have gotten me through a very tough and transformative year. Makeup tips, meditation advice, breakup talk, queer and trans* politics, activism, & everyday life, and, of course, Drag Race behind the scenes chat. ALL DAY. Ru’s wisdom and deep truth-telling capacity paired with Michelle’s irreverent, industry-smart Jersey style is always guffaw inducing, even if there are moments that make you go “Hmmm…” That’s also what I love about the show: It trusts itself enough to name taboos, to engage controversially, and to position itself effortlessly and with total grace. And always laughing. Ru and Michelle both have incredible laughs. It’s like the best eavesdropping lunch you have twice a month. All this brilliance has made a loyal, never-miss-an-episode listener out of me. The show has softened my ear to Michelle and elevated RuPaul into one of my spiritual touchstones. A life guide! “What’s the Tee” offers so much, if you’re not sure where to start, why not with the end? Find Episode 19 here.

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