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Queer Colonies: Postcolonial (Re)Reading of Western Queer Transnationalisms
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This thesis examines how transnational gay and queer discourses conceal ongoing forms of violence against multiple subaltern populations, through the seemingly natural teleology and progressive nature assigned to gay rights and queerness. I use the theoretical framework of necropolitics, developed by Achille Mbembe who analyzes how power is exercised through killing and death, to examine two sites of violence that are typically presented as progressive: transnational gay rights and queer tourism. First, I demonstrate that the problem of ‘anti-gay’ violence in non-western subaltern contexts is not due to a lack of legal rights, as most western activists have framed the issue, but is rather an issue of non-controlled forms of lateral violence carried out by non-state actors against multiple groups. Second, I reveal that the representation of queer tourism as progressive masks subjection of subaltern labourers to violence and death. These findings suggest that relations of power constituted through necropolitics should be the lens through which violence in subaltern contexts is read. This perspective is in opposition to most western based transnational discourses that misread and disregard forms of violence in subaltern contexts and consequently facilitate the recurrence of violence in these contexts.