"Black LGBTQ+ Activism and the Politics of Revelry in Rio de Janeiro"
Building 50, Room 51A
In recent years Black LGBTQ+ activists in Rio de Janeiro have navigated violently right-wing authoritarian shifts in politics. This has included economic austerity measures, anti-Black “shoot to kill” policing policies, federal military occupation, as well as persecution of Afro-religious spiritual communities. Amidst this, cross-sections of Black LGBTQ+ feminist activists and artists create spaces of relief and resistance by weaving memory and matter in forms of communal sociality and solidarity. This talk ethnographically traces routes and networks of movement-building across Rio to analyze how such disparate sensations as laughter and erotic pleasure help create protests spaces—from intimate gatherings to public forums —as sites of joy. Outside of formal protests, activists forge such spaces in everyday entwinements of pleasure and politics. Sites of coping with grief, loss, and structurally induced oppression, they offer insights into critical forms of political aesthetics presented in everyday sites of revelry.