Queer World Making
Contemporary Middle Eastern Diasporic Art
- PUBLISHED: February 2024
- SUBJECT LISTING: Visual Studies, Middle East Studies, Art History, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 328 Pages, 7.25 x 9 in, 47 color illus.
- SERIES: Critical Ethnic Studies and Visual Culture
- ISBN: 9780295752297
- Publisher: University of Washington Press
Premodern archives from the Middle East show rich and diverse homoerotic worlds that were disrupted by the colonial imposition of Western models of sexuality. Andrew Gayed traces how contemporary Arab and Middle Eastern diasporic artists have remembered and reinvented these historical ways of being in their work in order to imagine a different present. Building on global art histories and transnational queer theory, Queer World Making illuminates contemporary understandings of queer sexuality in the Middle Eastern diaspora. The author focuses on the visual works of artists who create political art about queer identity, including Jamil Hellu, Ebrin Bagheri, 2Fik, Laurence Rasti, Nilbar Güres, and Alireza Shojaian.
Through engaging with these artists, Gayed is seeking to articulate a Western and non-Western modernity that works beyond the dichotomy of sexual oppression, stereotypically associated with the Middle East, versus sexual acceptance, attributed to North American norms. Instead, Gayed traces how diasporic subjects create coming-out narratives and identities that provide alternatives to inscribed Western models. Queer World Making reframes Arab homosexualities in terms of desire and alternative gender norms rather than through Western notions of visibility and coming out, narratives that are not conducive to understanding how queer Arabs living in the West experience their sexuality.
Authors & Contributors
Andrew Gayed is assistant professor of art history and visual culture at the Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCADU).
This remarkably interdisciplinary work on queer art from Middle Eastern and North African diasporas departs from auto-theory to make a crucial contribution to transnational queer studies. Through his own strategy of 'queering locally' and Piotr Piotrowski's concept of 'horizontal art histories,' Gayed articulates very practical strategies for decolonizing the discipline of art history.- Jarrod Hayes, author of Queer Roots for the Diaspora: Ghosts in the Family Tree
A groundbreaking and original intervention that contributes to the fields of art history, visual culture, and queer studies.- Alpesh Kantilal Patel, author of Productive Failure: Writing Queer Transnational South Asian Art Histories