Zona Abierta: Queer Embodiment and the Politics of Tolerance at a Hatian Vodou ceremony

Date / Time

February 20, 2019

3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Presented by the UIC Latino Cultural Center

At a Vodou ceremony in Haiti, two trans-women who performed their femininity out of possession received instant insults and physical injuries. How they embody their gender and sexual identities as a transformative aspect of Vodou threatens to upend other participants’ traditional family values and wreaks havoc on the festivity. Reviving this violent altercation between queer and straight-appearing practitioners, this presentation questions general public and scholarly discourses that firmly position Africanist sacred spaces as inclusive of all bodies and creed.

What is the impact of institutional gender and sexual codes of conduct on queer bodies’ exercise of transcendence, as they seek to transform superficially tolerant yet inherently oppressive spaces into arenas of liberation?

Join us as Mario LaMothe begins to formulate answers by illustrating how queer bodies are policed in Vodou.

Mario LaMothe, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of African-American Studies & Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, a member of UIC’s Diaspora Studies cluster. He is a published author, curator, performance artist, and LGBTQI rights advocate. Mario’s practice-based research involves embodied pedagogies of Afro-Caribbean religious rituals and their queer feminine manifestations in Black Atlantic sites.

When: Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Time: 3:00pm to 4:30pm

Where: LCC – Lecture Center B2

FREE refreshments and admission

For more info, please call 312-996-3095.

All audiences are welcome to join us at this program. Captioning and ASL Interpretation services can be available by contacting the number above five business days before the program.

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