Queer Urban Social Movements and the Zionist Body: National Erection Parades
In light of the growing interest in queer urban social movements in the Global South and East, this article turns to a discussion in the context of the Middle Eastern, Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The article offers a reading of socio-cultural, spatial and visual political aspects of National Erection Parades (Tel Aviv, 2007-2008) – sporadic urban parades organized by queer feminist activists in protest against the Israeli occupation and pinkwashing, during Pride Day and Protest Week against 40 Years of Israeli Occupation. Based on a close reading of photos taken by the activists, I claim that through a visual and spatial design of protest, of a poetic, comic, ecstatic and absurd character, National Erection Parades' activists create a flow, material, messy movement, of a queer feminist desire, streaming in one of Tel Aviv's main neoliberal, heteronormative and national orientated arteries; this fluid movement embodies the renewed, capable, Zionist body – the homonationalist body, in a way that debilitate it. It breaks the moral law that it is subject to, deviates from its structure, blurs its boundaries, diminish its power and cause it to become minor. During the movement, of the becoming minor of the Zionist body, the activists carry the creation of a moment when political action acquires real human bodies. These bodies create a geography of desire and of affect – of bodies affecting other bodies, being affected by them; they cause the surrounding space to become political by redefining its meaning and opening a potential for a variety of possibilities for formatting subjects, social differences and systems in the context of the activists lives under the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
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