Arşiv - 2015 - 16 Mayıs 2015

‘Safety itself may well be a threat’


Susanne Luhmann at the Kaos GL’s Anti-Homophobia Meeting: “It is the role of activists to disturb peace.”


The 10th International Anti-Homophobia Meeting has started today in Ankara with the opening speech of Susanne Luhmann from the University of Alberta in Canada.


Moderator of the session, Remzi Altunpolat from Kaos GL, first emphasized that education has always been of importance for the first LGBTI association in Turkey and said:


“When Kaos GL set off in the middle of 1990s its activists were university students and they were well aware that education itself was a tool for heterosexist socialization.”


“Queer signaled a radical critic, rejection to logic of tolerance”


Luhmann opened safe space campaigns in North America to discussion which aim to create physically and emotionally safe places particularly for sexual and gender minority students.


She explained that safety is mostly referred to self-expression and affect rather than being free from physical and moral violence, and claimed that the political aims queer people want cannot be reached through safe space discourse.  


Luhmann claimed that safe space is a misleading terminology and normativity is not unsettled, and added: “Our task should be to unsettle queer pedagogy. Queer signaled a radical critic, rejection to logic of tolerance and representation.”


Which violence counts as legitimate?


Luhmann gave the example of Sochi Winter Olympics and discussed which violence counts as legitimate:


“While violence against LGBTI people in Sochi is defined as violence, poor and colored trans people being homeless is not considered as violence. Similarly, the police brutality against black unarmed men in the USA is not defined as violence or risk. Race and class remains unquestioned.”


What does knowledge do to the learner?


Luhmann also discussed the impact of knowledge on the learner and how textual position affects teaching subject and refusal of it.


“Queer pedagogy is about not manifesting self-esteemed but resistance to normalization,” said Luhmann, adding that privilege of not knowing makes it difficult to recognize vulnerability.


Luhmann ended her speech by a quote from James Baldwin “It is the role of the artist to disturb the peace” and said it is also the role of activists and all of us.


The Meeting will continue with a session where homophobia, sexism and ethnic discrimination in sports will be discussed.


You can find the program of the 10th International Anti-Homophobia Meeting here.


The 10th International Anti-Homophobia Meeting is supported by the Embassy of Canada, the Embassy of Germany, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the SIDA.