Reading Heading South as a decolonial romance reveals anxiety about the liminal location of young male citizens in 1970s Haiti caught within the necropower of state terror and US imperialism. Focusing on young men selling “romance” on the beach within the continuing colonial relations between the United States and Haiti and black and white bodies, the film engages with the limits of transracial, heterosexual romance in sex tourism. The impossibility of romance shows that for Haitian citizens, nationalist redemption lies in politics not in transracial intimacies. However, politics is itself necropolitical, since death is the only passage to narratable citizenship. As a decolonial moment, death speaks about the necropower of daily existence for Haitian citizens caught between state terror and US imperialism; asserts agency in the “will to death in order to be free”; and highlights the disposability and (un)grievability of poor, young black bodies in Baby Doc Duvalier's Haiti.
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Shirley Tate; Heading South: Love/Sex, Necropolitics, and Decolonial Romance. Small Axe 1 July 2011; 15 (2 (35)): 43–58. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-1334230
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