Posts Tagged ‘norway’

We Who Feel Differently

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011


A couple of weeks ago, the multi-disciplinary artist Carlos Motta released his fascinating research-based art project We Who Feel Differently with talks in Bergen and Oslo.

We Who Feel Differently is the result of Motta’s extensive work on queer activism and the question of alternative thinking, centered around numerous interviews with activists in Colombia, USA, South Korea and Norway. Motta has collected an amazing number of voices and material, and he has been generous enough to present it all for free on a compelling homepage: Great!

I have just started to read, listen and watch all the fascinating material in the interview, journal, ephemera and theme-sections, and look forward to spend much time on and with this homepage in the future. Here is how Motta presents the structure of the project:

We Who Feel Differently is a database documentary that addresses this question and other critical issues of contemporary queer culture.

Interviews features conversations with fifty queer academicians, activists, artists, radicals, researchers, and others in Colombia, Norway, South Korea and the United States about the histories and development of LGBTIQQ politics in those countries.

Themes outlines five thematic threads drawn from the interviews in the form of a narrative. This section has also been produced as a book.

Journal is a sporadic publication that presents in depth analyses and critiques of LGBTIQQ politics from queer perspectives. The first issue is “Queerly Yours: Thoughts and Afterthoughts on Marriage Equality.”

We Who Feel Differently attempts to reclaim a queer “We” that values difference over sameness, a “We” that resists assimilation, and a “We” that embraces difference as a critical opportunity to construct a socially just world.

I hope Motta’s project will generate critical discussion and debate about politics of difference and sameness, queerness etc. It surely is a gold mine to all scholars, activists, artists and others interested in queer activism, transnational solidarity and alternative perspectives on the “site” of queer politics. I hope to write more about this project in the future!


Monday, September 6th, 2010

Things are happening in Norway these days. The nice little left-wing publishing house Manifest has started to publish some promising queer and feminist texts as of late, and I hope they continue.

They srated this spring with Agnes Bolsø’s highly readable and important pamphlet Folk flest er skeive – Om queer teori og politikk (roughly translated, Ordinary People are Queer – On Queer Theory and Politics). Bolsø’s book is great for people unaccustomed to the importance of queer theory in political debates in Scandinavia, and has lots of good thoughts on how to develop a queer activist politics outside of the framework of identity politics. Her argument for dismantling the weight and value of categorical markers such as “heterosexuality” and “homosexuality” when talking about and teaching about sex is (of course) important, and her argument feels both refreshing and fun.


Now, they have just published the feminist sociologist Hanna Helseth’s new book Generasjon sex (Generation Sex), a critical feminist text on the sexualization of the public sphere in Norway – focusing the ambivalence of agency for women in the age of body-hype and sex visibility. A summary of Helseth’s arguments can be found in this article.


Siri Lindstad: Å fylle L-ordet med mening

Monday, August 30th, 2010


Siri Lindstad, the Norwegian queer feminist journalist and editor has just released the book Å fylle L-ordet med mening (which perhaps can be translated along the lines of, Filling the L-word with meaning).

Lindstad has travelled around Norway interviewing a wide range of lesbians from different generations, environments and places, resulting in a book of stories from lesbian communities and scenes across the country. As the press-release puts it, the book gives less attention to the ”coming out” process but focus instead on the complexities “of ‘coming in’ as a lesbian, about coming home, but also about getting away or even perhaps fall behind”.

Here is the press-relase in Norwegian:

“Kan man være lykkelig som lesbisk i Finnmark? Kan et utested uten biljardbord egentlig kalle seg et lesbested? Klarer du å kjenne igjen ei lesbe på gifteringen?

Å fylle L-ordet med mening er den første norske sakprosaboken med historier fra lesbemiljøene. Den handler lite om det å komme ut.  Derimot får du høre mye om hvordan det er å komme inn som lesbisk, om å komme hjem, men også om å komme vekk, og kanskje til og med komme bakpå.

Journalist Siri Lindstad reiste rundt i landet og snakket med lesber i alle aldre om miljøer, møteplasser og lesbiske liv. Resultatet ble en bok om kjønn, seksualitet og klasse, med tv-serien The L Word som bakteppe, og med den utskjelte traktorlesba som heltinnen.”

The book is published on the new queer feminist publishing house Kill Your Darling Press, and can be ordered here for 299 NOK.