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Queer Partisaning: Traces of Queer Relationality as Cinematic Errantry

Masha Godovannaya
Dissertationsstipendiatin an der Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien | Abschluss-Stipendium des Doktoratszentrums 2019|20


In the wake of “classical” texts, including Esther Newton’s “Mother Camp” (1972) and Kath Weston’s “Families We Choose” (1991), studies of non-heterosexual kinship have entered gender theory and LGBTQI+ studies. The phenomena of Queer Kinship has been explored as an alternative model of family/intimate arrangements to traditional monogamous heterosexual marriage and refers to more diverse and complex social structures, configuration and practices of intimacies between people.

Challenging the bases of nuclear family and notion of romantic love, my PhD artistic research Queer Partisaning: Traces of Queer Relationality as Cinematic Errantry aims at exploring alternative intimacies and family formations – “queer kinships” – lived by queer people who come from or have a background other than “fortress Europe”, who are placed or pushed to the margins treating marginality as a space for emancipation and resistance, and who are at/from places known as postsocialist/ post-soviet spaces. Through investigation daily practices of living, loving queerly and upbringing children together, I attempt to conceptualize what it means to do (queer) kinships now in the time of reinforced conservatism and austerity regimes. How can “queerness” be [re]defined enveloping diverse political, social, economic and cultural contexts and considering radically different personal experiences of dispossession, [re]migration, displacement, uprootedness, and deprivations? How and in which way can the audio-visual medium - experimental cinema in particular - be a mediator in researching and expressing all these issues and concerns?

Grounding methodological approach in experimental cinema and DIY film tradition, queer autoethnography, and affect theory, the PhD dissertation centers itself around three films which are constituted my artistic research: a middle-length film essay “who said there will be a walk in time” (2018), an art-documentary feature “Countryless and Queer” (2019-2020), and another feature film “On our history: the escaped past, the dubious future, and the uncertain present” (in a process of completion).