Precariousness and the queer politics of imagination in China



作者/主要创作者:Ana Huang





群体:多元性别群体 运动员



Instead of pursuing reformist LGBT politics, queer activism in China today should embrace imaginative utopianism because it offers the most expansive political method that allows for fully flourishing lives while also addressing the affective needs of the lala (queer women) community. In the neoliberal context of China’s metropolises, female same-sex relationships are socially unrecognised and ungrievable, and romantic love between lalas is deprived of the structural support of kinship, resulting in a state of futurelessness. A sense of precariousness pervades throughout lala culture, as lalas float in a temporal limbo, longing for anchorage. The pragmatist politics espoused by mainstream LGBT organisations in China does not fully address the problem, as it clings onto normative ideals of a good life. A queer politics of imagination, on the other hand, responds to the affective experience of precariousness with the embrace of futurity. Utopian politics defies the power of the limited present and enables us to imagine other possible worlds. It functions like a mirage in the desert that never quite materialises, but inspires radical action and hope. I read narratives of loss and precariousness from the China Queer Digital Storytelling Workshops that reveal the affective dimension of lala activism. To illustrate the politics of imagination, I discuss the queer magical realist play The Rabbit Hole, highlighting scenes that feature immaculate conception, polyamorous families and a drink named the ‘Daydream’. I suggest that daydreaming, as an entry into utopian imaginations, is a quee