Zanna Gilbert: Curator

Friday, 25 February 2011

'Today more than ever love in its multiple forms is a space of living resistance'

Last week Miguel López, an art critic and cultural agitator from Peru, wrote about the ‘Kisses Against Homophobia’ demonstration in Lima for the publication Peru21. His analysis of events shows how protest using affectionate gestures has a deep symbolic resonance. The brutal police reaction to ‘Kisses Against Homophobia’ was widely reported precisely because the affectionate nature of the protest exposed the unmoving and unmoved face of the state. Many of the works in Intimate Bureaucracies have this kind of resistance at their heart – a personal, poetic and stubborn refusal to accept the terms and logic dictated to them by those who are, ostensibly, in control. I’ve translated Miguel’s article, but you can see the original in Spanish at: http://peru21.pe/impresa/noticia/cuerposy-afectos-politicos/2011-02-16/297195

See also:

http://www.passportmagazine.com/blog/archives/2341-Peruvian-Police-Violently-Break-Up-Valentines-Day-Kiss-In-Against-Homophobia.html

Political Bodies/Political Emotions by Miguel López

Last Saturday, a group of students and gay activists, various integrants of the Lima Homosexual Movement (Movimiento Homosexual de Lima/MHOL) took part in the action ‘Kisses against Homophobia’ on the Cathedral steps in front of the Plaza de Armas. An activity organised for the forth time in Lima, which aims to give visibility to non-normative sexualities, and to reassert emotions and the body as crucial political spaces.

Nevertheless, the courageous and poetic performance (that tried to demonstrate in public what is apparently ‘permitted’ in private) was savagely repressed by a group of police who beat the activists, to the point of abusively driving them out of the central square by hitting and shoving them, without any explanation whatsoever.

Such brutality deserves our maximum repudiation and we demand sanctions against the aggressors. That the police should aggressively violate such a pacifist action is a sign that insubordinate emotions and bodies are still vehicles that are too dangerous for a political order that hopes to dominate everything. And where our total liberty is also the most dangerous dynamite.

To go out armed with kisses is also to fight against the discrimination and the prejudice that they want to impose uselessly with blows and kicks. Today more than ever love in its multiple forms is a space of living resistance.

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