The Poetics and Politics of Sharing
Alok Vaid-Menon and Bini Adamczak in an Online Masterclass Tandem
14 May 2020, 1600 (CEST), Zoom
There are many aspects of sharing and ways in which we can share: Affect, stories, words can be shared; experience can be shared; instagram posts can be shared; property, power, labor can be shared. Sometimes, something supposedly shared is said to legitimize a community, sometimes sharing actually creates community. Sharing often has a ring of harmony to it. But sharing means always already to divide, and questions of sharing are questions of distribution.
This workshop is interested in the poetics and politics of sharing as community formation: both online and offline, and in terms of affective and linguistic, as well as political and economic sharing. Alongside questions of solidary community building beyond the one-for-all or once-and-for-all, the workshop poses questions of distribution of power and material elements: Who organizes the spaces in which communication takes place and communities form, where are the limits and preconditions for these spaces, and how does this relate to physical labor, the labor of birthing, and carework?
Alok Vaid-Menon will focus on racialized transmisogyny, and notions of community and interdependence in the digital era. Both touch upon notions of the “real”: What is real womanhood, what is real community, what is real connection? How can transfeminist theory and poetics help us navigate this profound time of alienation?
With Bini Adamczak we will discuss the political potential of ways of relating: friendship, solidarity, political desire, sexual economy, and other aspects of economy. What can a queer-theoretical re-examination of critical theory tell us about the systematic and affective roots of the terror of ‘real existing communisms’, as well as about the limits of 1968’s and postmodernist feminisms and emancipatory movements?
Each of the sessions will have a text as a basis for a loose discussion to start out. The workshop will conclude with a joint conversation between Alok, Bini, and the participants.
Due to the online format, participation is limited. To register and receive the reading material, please send an email to Alex Thinius (email@example.com) or Divya Nadkarni (firstname.lastname@example.org) before 1 May 2020. Please include in your email about one or two lines on (1) your affiliation (if any), and (2) why you’re interested in joining the workshop. An email with confirmation and materials will be sent out by 4th May.
Alok Vaid Menon
ALOK (they/them) is an internationally-acclaimed non- binary performance artist, public speaker, advocate, and educator. Using poetry, comedy, lecture, and design — their (trans)disciplinary work traverses themes of gender, race, mental health, and fashion. ALOK appeared on HBO’s “The Trans List” and “Random Acts of Flyness.” They are the author of the poetry book Femme in Public, a meditation on anti-trans harassment, and Beyond the Gender Binary, a clarion call for a new approach to gender in the 21st century. In 2019 ALOK was honored as one of NBC’s 30 LGBTQ changemakers and one of Out Magazine’s Out100.
You can find recordings of their recent talks and performances at alokvmenon.com/gallery
Bini Adamczak (she/her) is a Berlin-based social theorist and artist. She writes on political theory, queer politics, and the past future of revolutions.
Bini Adamczak works (preferably not too much) as an author, performer and visual artist. Her books include Communism for Kids (English translation by MIT Press 2017), Beziehungsweise Revolution (Suhrkamp 2017), Yesterday’s Tomorrow (English translation MIT Press, Forthcoming 2021). See her wikipedia entry for more of her work. You can find her on Facebook and twitter.
Bini’s pic is by Kornelia Kugler
Alok’s pic is by Eivind Hansen