Politics of Transgression and Small Gestures
University of Otago
This issue of borderlands takes its title, ‘Politics of Transgression and Small Gestures’, from Leela Gandhi’s Affective Communities. Although focused on very different geopolitical scenes from those that are of interest to Gandhi, the contributing essays to this issue share her diagnosis of pervasive Manichaeanisms that infiltrate and deform relationality in their respective locations, and are similarly invested in exploring what Gandhi calls ‘innovative border crossing’. For Gandhi, as for our contributors, such border crossing sheds light on what Jean-Luc Nancy calls the space of ‘the between as such’—and it is from this space that the ‘crisis of nonrelation’ encoded in Manichaean structures is simultaneously disclosed and refused (Gandhi 2006, p. 184). It is in the ‘small, defiant flights from the fetters of belonging (Gandhi 2006, p. 7)—flights, in other words, that are part and parcel of the kind of ‘politics of transgression and small gestures’ that the contributions to this issue of borderlands seek to bring into view for us—that a transformation of the toxic ‘quality of unrelatedness’ which underpins Manichaean social structures might become possible.
At the start of his life, a man is always congested, drowned in contingency.
The misfortune of man is that he was once a child.
—Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks (1952)
The full article is available as a PDF document: click here.
© borderlands ejournal 2013