Political Joy

12th Jun, 2018 // Katie Stone

In a solo utopian mission / to support one of my very impressive friends I went to a drag king cabaret night last week. It was the culmination of a five week drag camp organised by PECS and Brainchild (check them out) so every one of the fine gentleman performing had never done so before. It was about testing out new ideas, trying on new identities and finding new ways of captivating an audience. It was exciting and funny and sexy and it made me think a lot about how experimental utopianism could be, how open to tripping up and forgetting lines and seeing the tape that’s holding it all together.

If you have thought about drag, or queerness, or performance, or education, or DIY activism in relation to utopianism I invite you to consider sending in a submission of interest to Utopian Acts, a day where we will explore some of these ideas. This could be an academic paper, a workshop, a conversation with a friend or indeed your own experiments with drag (however experienced you are). Submissions are open till 29th June!

I also coincidentally read Testo Junkie last week (and took part in an amazing discussion about it at the Transitional States exhibition in the Peltz gallery - an exhibition which I highly recommend that you visit, particular shoutout to Raju Rage who spoke wonderfully) so for anyone looking for some more inspiration here is what Paul B. Preciado has to say about his experience in drag king workshops:

My first drag king workshop is an initiatory exercise, the first step in an open process of mutation … Little by little, a denser and denser fabric of voices is created; it surrounds us and allows us to cover ourselves with shared words, creating a collective sekond skin. Under that protective membrane, through a political magnifying glass, we can see that femininity and masculinity are the gears of a larger system in which every single person participates structurally. Knowledge liberates. It produces a certain political joy that I have never experienced before.

(Testo Junkie, Paul B. Preciado)

How utopian is that?