Performances as feminist, queer, and trans activism, from theater and flash mobs to street protests and online manifestos
Revolutionary feminism, queer, and trans activist movements are traversing Latin America and the Caribbean. Bodies on the Front Lines situates recent performances and protests within legacies of homegrown gender and sexual rights activism from the South. Performances—enacted in public spaces and intimate venues, across national borders, and through circulating hashtags and digital media—play crucial roles in the elaboration, auto-theorization, translation, and reception of feminist, queer, and trans activism. Movements such as Argentina's NiUnaMenos (Not One Less) have brought masses of protesters and “artivists” on the streets of major cities in Latin America and beyond to denounce gender violence and demand gender, sexual, and reproductive rights.
The volume’s contributors draw from rich legacies of theater, performance, and activism in the region, as well as decolonial and intersectional theorizing, to demonstrate the ways that performance practices enable activists to sustain their movements. The chapters engage diverse perspectives from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, transnational Central America, Peru, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.
Rather than taking an approach that simplifies complexities among states, Bodies on the Front Lines takes seriously the geopolitical stakes of examining Latin America and the Caribbean as a heterogeneous site of nations and networks. In chapters covering this wide geographical area, leading scholars in the fields of theater and performance studies showcase the aesthetic, social, and political work of performance in generating and fortifying gender and sexual activism in the Americas.
Brenda Werth is Associate Professor of Latin American and Spanish Studies at American University.
Katherine Zien is Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies at McGill University.
“Brings together innovative analyses of a region rich with, and enriched by, politically relevant performance, while expanding the meaning of performance itself and situating it in critical scholarship. Bodies on the Front Lines illuminates the complex contexts and specificities of a range of feminist and queer(ed) performance within the larger goal of ‘decentering and decolonizing cultural narratives’ of a region where such performance makes visible — and challenges — gender-based, intersectional violences.”- Elisabeth Jay Friedman, University of San Francisco
“Bodies on the Front Lines works as a kaleidoscope that expands notions of feminism, its subjects, and the role feminism serves within broader politics. The collection provides a balanced account of feminist and queer/cuir works in Latin America and the Caribbean, their intersections and divergences, and their transversal organizing modalities at a moment in which intersectional feminisms in the region are leading the way toward sociopolitical transformation.”- Marcela Fuentes, Northwestern University
“Introduces English-speaking readers to the rich panoply of political performances in Latin America with intersectional critiques of state violence toward women, queer and femme subjects, particularly those marked as indigenous or black, and introduces readers to feminist theorists from the global south. This is a truly excellent volume that stands alone, in being concerned with transfeminism and performance.”- Patricia Ybarra, Brown University