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date: 05 July 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This paper reimagines a queer politics of globalization through three contemporary Taiwanese films. Lesbian Factory (2010) and Rainbow Popcorn (2013) were made by labor activists and focused on a landmark labor protest organized by Filipina migrant workers in Taiwan. However, during the filming process, the documentaries inadvertently turn into productions about migration, workers' protests, and new forms of queer intimacy and relationality forged among people who are on the move. Thanatos, Drunk (2015) is a feature film that centers on those who are forced to move, those without mobility, and those who have failed to move even when doing so is necessary for one's survival. Whether queer or straight in the film, everyone is on a downward spiral in life due to the neoliberal restructuring of the global economy. Drawing from queer theories of negativity, affect, and relationality, this paper rethinks queerness in regard to migration by establishing connections between queers' and migrants' negative relation to space and movement. Further, it cautions against the rhetoric of occupation in the Occupy Wall Street movement. It critiques the tendency to valorize mobility, capacity, and the logic of spatial expansion embedded in that of “occupy,” as well as the same logic that underlines contemporary Chinese nationalist and triumphalist thinking dominating large parts of Chinese and Sinophone locations. Ultimately, this paper is a critical intervention from the position of geopolitical and academic marginality. It reimagines the global politics of resistance against neoliberal economic order, the resurgence of nationalism, and imperialist ambition by placing subjects of resistance on the other side of mobility, spatial expansion, hope, and capacity—where new forms of intimacy and relationality also emerge.

Keywords: queer, precarity, negativity, relationality, Taiwanese cinema, globalization, migration, affect, occupy, mobility

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