Monday, March 30, 2015

DarkMatter Presents #ItGetsBitter at Occidental

DarkMatter will be performing for free at Occidental College on Saturday, April 18th. They are a performance art duo comprised of Alok Vaid-Menon and Janani Balasubramanian. They have been touring and performing a show called #ItGetsBitter, with a title that clearly references the "It Gets Better" project started by Dan Savage and Terry Miller. In her essay, "Coda: The Cost of Getting Better," Jasbir Puar unpacks the neoliberalism of the project, arguing that it actually harms people who identify outside of dominant race, class, gender, and ability formations.*/** DarkMatter puts this critique into a night of "poetry, polemic, and healing as we not only critique - but also imagine new queer futures."

I've watched some of their videos and admire their work. They also have a very strong Facebook presence, which continually provides my Facebook feed with thought provoking articles, quotes, thoughts, and more. They also have a great aesthetic with a South Asian/queer/campy/futurist vibe. If anybody is interested in going to their show, let me know as I think I'd like to go as well.
DarkMatter on Facebook

*Puar actually explores bodily capacity as a reconceptualization of ability/disability, but that's for another discussion.
**It's a very strong critique and does provide helpful points for moving forward in discourse, but sometimes I worry that it may come down a little hard on the "It Gets Better" project, given the project's material effects of saving lives, even if those lives belong to people who are white, cis, "healthy," and thus have the capacity to lead "normal" lives.

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