[Filmfestivalresearch] New Doctoral Thesis - Curating Precarity: Swedish Queer Film Festivals as Micro-Activism

Siddharth shrekzie at gmail.com
Fri Apr 23 14:42:24 CEST 2021

Dear list members

I am happy to announce the publication of my doctoral monograph *Curating
Precarity: Swedish Queer Film Festivals as Micro-Activism *from Uppsala

You can download the monograph here -

*Abstract *

This research is based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted at Malmö Queer
Film Festival and Cinema Queer Film Festival in Stockholm, between
2017-2019. It explores the relevance of queer film festivals in the lives
of LGBTQIA+ persons living in Sweden, and reveals that these festivals are
not simply cultural events where films about gender and sexuality are
screened, but places through which the political lives of LGBTQIA+ persons
become intelligible.

The queer film festivals perform highly contextualized and diverse sets of
practices to shape the LGBTQIA+ discourse in their particular settings.
This thesis focuses on salient features of this engagement: how the queer
film festivals define and articulate “queer”, their engagement with space
to curate “queerness”, the role of failure and contingency in shaping the
queer film festivals as sites of democratic contestations, the performance
of inclusivity in the queer film festival organization, and the
significance of these events in the lives of the people who work or
volunteer at these festivals. The thesis combines an ethnographic approach
with post-structuralist discourse theory and insights from other fields,
including the growing academic discipline of film festival research, to
de-construct the entrenched meanings, representations and ideologies that
are embedded in signifying practices performed at the festival.

A recurring theme of this research is the way LGBTQIA+ persons living in
Sweden find themselves abandoned and vulnerable in contemporary Swedish
society. The thesis proposes that the queer film festivals become relevant
through re-constructing the precariousness of LGBTQIA+ lives in Sweden, by
engaging in various forms of micro-activism. The research describes how
participants engage in micro-activist practices, bringing together people
who become collectively aware that things can change. It unpacks the
internal tensions between the various identity groups present at the
festival, shows how these festivals struggle to construct a LGBTQIA+
community, and outlines the ways in which queer film festivals can be
understood beyond the prism of identity politics. Through a detailed study
of the two festivals, the thesis suggests a multi-faceted illustration of
how micro-activism is performed in a post-rights society such as Sweden.

Siddharth Chadha

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