Queering the family of nation: Reassessing fantasies of purity, celebrating hybridity in diasporic cinema

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Abstract

The article seeks to explore how the disclosure of queer desire is negotiated in the diasporic family. Focusing on Lola and Bilidikid (1998), My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) and Nina’s Heavenly Delights (2006), it examines the intersectionalities of ‘queerness’ and ‘diaspora’ and suggests that queer diasporic identities function as a master trope of hybridity. ‘Coming out’ in the diasporic family articulates a critique of fantasies of purity, which simultaneously underpin certain traditional models of the family (based on bloodline, gender role division and heteronormativity) and nationalist ideologies (based on ethnic absolutism and other essentialising concepts). The family emerges as a privileged site where the contested belonging of the over-determined Other is negotiated. Are the queer sons and daughters expelled? Can their Otherness be absorbed into a homogenizing family of nation? Or are they able to introduce new structures of family and kinship and thereby queer the family of nation?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-146
Number of pages17
JournalTransnational Cinema
Volume2
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • Diasporic cinema Family in cinema Queer cinema Asian British film Turkish German cinema Identity and European cinema

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