Dark Matters

Der Besuch von DarkMatter in Berlin vor einem Jahr sollte mich tief berühren. Ich kannte das New Yorker Perfomance Duo, bestehend aus Alok Vaid-Menon und Janani Balasubramanian, bereits aus Instagram und Youtube. Ihre Kunst und Politik  zeigten mir noch einmal, dass wir niemals sensibel, niemals soldarisch und niemals reflektiert genug sein können: „Love means listening differently every time“.  Anders zuhören und uns dabei eingestehen, dass nicht zuletzt unsere Sprachen zu vielen Realitäten nicht gerecht werden. Denn sie fordern Eindeutigkeit, gehen von verhängnisvollen Bildern aus und nähren sich von Selbstverständlichkeiten, die es jedes Mal aufs Neue zu zerrütten gilt. Radikale Offenheit bedeutet kontinuierliche Neuinterpretation der Dinge und die Entscheidung Uneindeutigkeiten anzunehmen und dabei multidimensional und intersektional zu denken. DarkMatters Kunst handelt vom Widerstand gegen Kategorisierungen, gegen den bequemen Weg mehrheitsgesellschaftlich-weißer und heteronormativer Sprache und Politik, die immer auch mit Gewalt und Unterdrückung einhergehen.

“When we think about liberation, it’s not just about ‘I want a world that accepts me for being trans,’”, erklären Sie in einem Artikel der Huffington Post.“It’s ‘I want a world where every single person can self-determine their gender’… for us, trans and queer liberation isn’t just about trans and queer people. It’s about everyone. It’s everyone under the systems that oppress people on the basis of their gender and sexuality, as well as their race, class, etc.”

Ende Mai diesen Jahres traf ich sie wieder. Seit unserer ersten Begegnung hatte ich den großen Wunsch, sie zu fotografieren und ihre Perspektiven auf Fashion, Politik und Ästhetik auf diesem Blog zu teilen. Ich hatte das große Vergnügen ein komplettes Editorial mit ihnen zu konzipieren und umzusetzen.

 

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„I wasn’t born in the wrong body, I was born in the wrong world.“

 

“Often the ways people talk about nonbinary & trans identities puts the burden on trans people to prove our genders and validate our identities within a broader (man/woman, male/female, masculine/feminine) binary system. The dominant narrative is that our bodies are the problem and that have to be ‚fixed‘ rather than a world with simplistic ideas of gender. This statement  flips the script–the structure is the problem, not individual people. What many nonbinary south asian have to do is go back to our communities and do the seemingly impossible task of saying, ‚We have always been here‘, without a precise grasp of what the ‚we‘ and what the ‚here‘ actually are because of all of the complicated histories of migration, of caste, of colonialism, of assimilation. We are tasked with proving our existence, rather than our communities taking responsibility for how we have internalized and reproduced the science fiction of the gender binary which creates the dystopic reality that all of us are supposed to be straight and cisgender.“

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 “ two sides of the same coin“

 

 

 

 

 

 

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„Because some trans and nonbinary people do not align neatly with white gender binaries, we are understood as hyper visible (which is awkward because the only reason we are seen as so ‚visible‘ is because the gender categories people are using to evaluate our livelihood just don’t fit with us!) Even though our bodies are visible — and when we say visible we mean being gawked at on the street, we mean having people take photos of you on the train — our cultural, political, historical, intellectual, spiritual contributions are erased from the narrative of our communities.  So what becomes apparent is that ‚hypervisibility‘ and ‚invisibility‘ aren’t a binary, they are two sides of the same coin — both are predicated on the continued devaluation and mockery of trans life.“

 

 

 

 

 

 

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„Often, the role of aesthetics in shaping culture and politics is ignored by masculine social movements that are obsessed with ‚reason‘ and ‚logic‘.  But aesthetics are absolutely reflective of and intertwined with political violences, joys, and histories!  Fashion is just one medium through which those stories are expressed. It is not inherently subversive, but it can be for so many of us who didn’t have consent of the ways our bodies have been stereotyped. Fashion allows us to create and assert a new narrative of who we are that directly confronts what the world teaches you about us.“

 

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creation is political“

 

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„Art and activism are not a binary!  Cultural work (and change) is totally part of the overall process of social transformation. In a world that privatizes pain and makes us constantly desensitize ourselves to the onslaught of disappointment, of hurt, of loss — creation is political. It’s about saying, ‚Hey we’re still here! And we have feelings! And they are important!‘

The role of our poetry and writing is always shifting based off of where we are in our lives. What has remained consistent is art’s ability to validate and nourish the parts of ourselves that are so often ignored and dismissed by a world that only values labor and cohesion.  And art’s ability to broaden our imagination of what is actually possible with the bodies and the friends and the ideas you have.“

 

 

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