On revolutionary loneliness

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In late-April, the Waterloo Public Interest Research Group at the University of Waterloo organized a conference titled "(En)gendering Resistance: Exploring the possibilities of gender, resistance and militancy."  Concluding the conference was a keynote presentation by Jackie Wang, who spoke on the concept of "revolutionary loneliness", referring to the seemingly inevitably traumatizing and alienating effects of participating in revolutionary struggle, and to the sense of loneliness that the experience of gendered and racialized forms of suffering can produce.  Historically, revolutionary movements have based their politics on (implicitly) masculine and white positions and thus fail to eradicate social alienation. This presentation (a bit over an hour long) explores the liberation narratives of militant women and gender-variant revolutionaries such as Assata Shakur, Sylvia Rivera, Safiya Bukhari, Yuri Kochiyama, Marilyn Buck, Susanna Ronconi, and more. 

Jackie Wang is a writer currently based out of Las Cruces, NM. She has published experimental essays and poetry in Action Yes, Oyster Kiln, and the anthology Other Tongues. In her critical essays she writes about queer sexuality, race, gender, the politics of writing, mixed-race identity, prisons and police, the politics of safety and innocence, and revolutionary struggles.  Through her poetry she is trying to create a queer, anti-colonial, weird-girl poetics of the body using hybridized writing styles. She is a part of the Moonroot Collective (an ongoing zine project that features the writing of Asian women and trans* people) and has made short films about topics such as sexualized police brutality against women and bodily intimacy in the age digital disembodiment. Her zines and chapbooks include On Being Hard Femme, Memoirs of a Queer Hapa, and the Phallic Titty Manifesto. She is currently working on a book about revolutionary loneliness for the Semiotext(e) Intervention Series.


Recorded and edited by Migrant Matters Radio, [email protected]


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