Anarchism, Geography, and Queer Space-making: Building Bridges Over Chasms We Create
Keywords:queer space, Richmond Queer Space Project, anarchist, queer theory, city, affinity, identity
AbstractThis paper examines the complex, creative, and contradictory processes of making queer space through an analysis of the rise and demise of the Richmond Queer Space Project (RQSP), a queer- and anarchist-identified organization in Richmond, Virginia, US. I begin by synthesizing emerging perspectives from anarchism, queer theory, and the conceptualization of queer space in geography. Then, I observe the practices through which RQSP members created a queer space; their location politics in a small-city context; and the contradictory politics of affinity and identity that led to the group’s demise. My goal is to seriously consider the complexities and contradictions of queer anarchist spatial formations and to develop a perspective on queer space that is simultaneously critical of its composition and supportive of its potential for creating liberating, pleasurable spaces of relating with others. Theoretically, I argue that anarchist and geographic perspectives on queer space have much to learn from one another: queer anarchists can benefit from the critical perspectives on queer space-making developed in recent geographic work, and geographers can benefit from a deeper awareness of the positive, creative space-making processes through which alternative nonhierarchical spaces can be imagined and lived.
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