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Title:'We want to see something different (but not too different)': spatial politics and the Pink Loerie Mardi Gras in Knysna
Author:Sonnekus, TheoISNI
Year:2010
Periodical:Critical Arts: A Journal of Media Studies (ISSN 0256-0046)
Volume:24
Issue:2
Pages:192-209
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:homosexuality
festivals
social life
norms
tourism
Link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/02560041003786482
Abstract:This article highlights the role of sexual orientation in the social transmutation of space, thereby illustrating how certain landscapes, generally characterized by heteronormativity, are queered by cultural phenomena such as the Pink Loerie Mardi Gras (PLMG) festival in Knysna, South Africa. It is, however, not the intent of this article to describe the processes of producing queer space in a 'celebratory' tone only, but also to investigate the manner in which hierarchies of race, class, gender and especially sexual orientation are sometimes re-asserted in relation to such spatial practices. The power-laden binaries initially disrupted by the queering of space can, in fact, revert when the PLMG is employed as a mechanism that attempts to control, discipline or even normalize queer bodies. It seems that capitalist role-players (such as corporate sponsors and other stakeholders in the tourism industry) seek to manage the PLMG in terms of 'how much' space it occupies and who is represented (and therefore included or excluded from this space). This leads one to critique the supposed 'otherness' of the PLMG, because if it is influenced by prejudiced ideologies of consumerism and cosmopolitanism that ultimately operate in favour of heteronormativity and what it considers to be 'different enough', then to what extent can the festival legitimately or freely call itself 'queer'? Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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