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Politics of negative affect: intergenerational hauntings, counter-archival practices and the queer memory project

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Abstract

The article advances theorisation about intergenerational hauntings and affect theory, to argue that the intergenerational transmission of affect is not only autonomous and non-intentional, but that affective politics can be intentionally mobilised in order to challenge silenced histories of abuse, violence, and shame. Focusing on the installation Romantic Detachment by Naro Snackey, an Indisch (Indo-Dutch) artist, the article explores how counter-archival practices insist on evoking negative or unhappy affect by engaging in embodied performances of human and non-human bodies, aiming to surprise and shock at the visceral level. By reworking and reconceptualising old family photographs that represent the ‘good old days’, Snackey’s installation ferociously resists normative representations of family, loyalty, heterosexual kinship and happiness, insisting instead on creating a counter-narrative to conventional forms of Indisch memory work. This queer memory project invests in reimagining queer Indisch futurity, which is otherwise repressed by post-colonial racialised regimes of citizenship imposed on interracial subjects.

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Notes

  1. https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/443463894527378874/?autologin=true.

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Dragojlovic, A. Politics of negative affect: intergenerational hauntings, counter-archival practices and the queer memory project. Subjectivity 11, 91–107 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41286-018-0046-1

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