by Jin Haritaworn - £16.99 Pluto Press (2015)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780745330617 | ISBN 10: 0745330614
Berlin is once more capital of queer arts and tourism. Queerness is more visible today than it has been for decades, but at what cost? In Queer Lovers and Hateful Others, Jin Haritaworn argues that queer subjects have become a lovely sight only through being cast in the shadow of the new folk devil, the ‘homophobic migrant’ who is rendered by society as hateful, homophobic and disposable.
At the centre of this book is the concept of ‘queer regeneration’. Haritaworn sees the queer lover as a transitional object which allows the present-day neoliberal regime to make punishment and neglect appear as signs of care and love for diversity. Alongside this shift, in the wake of older moral panics over crime, violence, patriarchy, integration and segregation, the new Other, or the homophobic migrant appears. To understand this transition, Queer Lovers and Hateful Others looks at the environments in which queer bodies have become worthy of protection, and the everyday erasures that shape life in the inner city, and how queer activists actively seek out and dispel the myths of sites of nostalgia for the ‘invented traditions’ of women-and-gay-friendliness.
Haritaworn guides the reader through a rich archive of media, arts, policy and activism, including posters, newspaper reports, hate crime action plans, urban projects, psychological studies, demonstrations, kiss-ins, political speeches and films. In the process, queer lovers, drag kings, criminalised youth, homosexuals persecuted under National Socialism, and other figures of degeneracy and regeneration appear on a shared plane, where new ways of sharing space become imaginable.
(Price & availability last checked: August 2015)