(i) a diasporic parallax

with Kamran Behrouz


at IUAES (International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences) conference on The Re-invention of Traditions in the Middle East in cooperation with Orient Institut of Istanbul.

(i) always stumble on the word “middle east” cause our brain can't process what exactly this term means? Middle of which [...] east? Do we mean the territory of centuries of neo-colonial consumption, where the notion of diaspora and diasporic bodies emerged as a daily narrative? What does it mean for our future bodies to keep being identified with such a vague and unlocatable yet tangible territory?

(i), kamran behrouz and setareh fatehi, are living in our diasporic bodies, in different locations while coming from the so called “middle east”. In our current research (i) are busy creating an avatar called kl!tar as a mutual third body, which functions as a symbiosis of our virtual bodies: a re-imagined co-living space that exists within and beyond our individual experiences. The diasporic nature of our so-called “middle eastern” body makes the daily practice of virtual connection inevitable. For (i), virtual works as a new form of imaginary, that can transform relations into culture, which includes the transformation of identities as well.

For this conference (i) is proposing the format of a lecture performance to immerse into two parallel narratives that joins our, setareh and kamran’s, notion of our diasporic body:

Setareh elaborates on a trans-local body that looks critically at the hegemony of corporeal presence and practices parallax as an ability to see (and imagine) two or more images at once, a feeling of absence which can suggest the possibility of the multiplicity of presences in the room. While Kamran connects this re-imagined co-living space to the body of “Breathe” (an avatar/interviewer as part of their PhD project) in order to shed a light on the effects of language in formation of diasporic queer bodies. How do these bodies locate themselves within a diasporic language that does not accommodate them in the first place?

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