Dictionary of the Queer International: Call for Participation

[pullquote]Queer speakers around the world are invited to submit words and phrases in local queer languages[/pullquote]We live in a peculiar era when both universalism and intersectional solidarity are retreating while regional powers become stronger in a globalized world, with the resulting race to the top giving rise to populist nationalism. In this situation, what is the role of progressive queer culture vis-à-vis global corporations and aggressive nation states? What is the function of the queer defense language at a time when there’s an assault on multiculturalism globally, nationally, and locally?

The question of culture and language comes to the foreground more than ever at times of political uncertainty, as a form of cultural resistance to both hierarchical globalization and a nationalism of exclusion. The progressive queer culture opposes the aggressive nationalist populist politics aimed at the erasure of culture of various marginal groups as well as the hierarchical globalization which produces dispossession of local communities all over the world.

The culture war also rages within queer communities themselves. The progressive, internationalist, intersectional, and local queer culture struggles against a conservative queer culture eager to form alliances with local nationalist parties and aid the hierarchical, neoliberal globalization. The forces of progressive queer culture oppose the imposition of neoliberal “global” (read Western) queer culture on the rest of the world as well as a vision of queers as good little warriors of individual aggressive nation states who support the exclusionary policies of local nationalist governments.

In this current political and cultural situation, the project Dictionary of the Queer International proposes a vision of international, intersectional, and non-hierarchical queer culture via the creation of a dictionary of an imaginary queer defense fusion-language.

The Dictionary of the Queer International will be a collection of words and phrases from different local queer languages from around the world. This dictionary proposes the concept of a queer language of “internationalist universality” as opposed to “neoliberal globalization” and a vision of an international queer language of multi-locality and horizontality. Dictionary of the Queer International is about internationalism, intersectionality, solidarity, the raising of consciousness, and a vision of a shared queer culture.

Call for Participation

Queer speakers around the world are invited to submit words and phrases in local queer languages, including “Beke” in the Philippines, “Polari” from the U.K., “Pajuba” in Brazil, among others, with a definition and English translation not exceeding 200 words per definition to this email QueerInternationalDictionary[at]gmail.com. There is no limit on how many words each person can submit. Each participant will be properly credited.

The collected volume Dictionary of the Queer International will be published in collaboration with ArtsEverywhere and Publication Studio Guelph in 2019.

Filed Under: Form, Various


Yevgeniy Fiks was born in Moscow in 1972 and has lived and worked in New York since 1994. As a “post-Soviet artist,” his works build on research into Cold War narratives to explore the dialectic between Communism and “the West,” addressing the Red and Lavender Scares during the McCarthy era, Communism in Modern Art, and African, African American, and Jewish diasporas in the Soviet Union.

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