This essay considers the clash of different notions of difference as they exist philosophically (through the work of poststructuralism) and sociologically (through diverse placement in the world). It highlights an idea of movement and oceanic archive as a way of resisting notions of belonging tied to dwelling articulated in the work of Martin Heidegger. It also strives to understand how the postcolonial emerges in ways quite distinct from any notion of identity, with its often unexamined claim to a politics of injury. The author considers the importance of theory as moving across the queer aesthetic of Isaac Julien. Understanding Julien's use of citation and technology allows for an aesthetic elaboration of difference that highlights the persistence of modernism in postcolonial installations. It reinvests the idea of hope in modernism through a postcolonial lens that both laments and looks to a different future. In so doing, the essay considers how archival reference emerges through altered vision and different technologies.
Ranjana Khanna; Unbelonging: In Motion. differences 1 May 2010; 21 (1): 109–123. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10407391-2009-020
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