Guillermo Gómez-Peña’s “Strange Democracy: Border Wars”

Friday, 28 June, 2013
Pigott Theater

Blog Response by David Preciado

(See also Megan Hoetger’s Blog Response here.)

Photo by Jamie Lyons


“Radical discrimination!” yelled the woman, who resembled an Aztec warrior in an eagle headdress, fishnets, steel underwear and holding a sword. The woman came out of the theater around 7:30pm and addressed the crowd who anxiously waited for the performance outside by the stairs, much like a master of ceremonies. “Radical discrimination!” she kept yelling. The woman had power and did not hesitate reconfiguring the rules of theater. She prompted people without tickets to enter the theater first and suggested that those with tickets “fight” for their seats. “Radical discrimination” she called it, and those with tickets, those who spent money to view the performance were not guaranteed a space within the theater and those who did not purchase a ticket, either because of financial constraints or because the show sold out or because they left it to the last minute or some other reason, were granted access first.

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“Stitches In and Out of Time: Closing and Opening Queer Sites of Trauma” by Allen Conkle, Julie Cosenza, Amy Kilgard, Alexis Litzky, Thao P. Nguyen, Miranda Olzman (San Francisco State University)

Thursday, 27 June 2013
10:00 pm
Clubhouse Ballroom

Blog Response by David Preciado, Doctoral Student, Department of Ethnic Studies, University of California, Berkeley

The performance sought to explore “the intersections of queer temporalities and trauma” to critique neoliberal and colonial epistemologies of time and memory.

The performance consisted of five “presumed” women dressed in all black, each woman wore a piece of american-flag ribbon around their body, fresnel lanterns illuminated the stage, and audio was used to sensate scenes from broadway’s Hairspray song, “Timeless”, to dramatic death-tone beeps that made the space silent and serious. Technological mediums were kept to a minimum though, as storytelling was majority told through the bodies of the performers.

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