Week 12: All About My Mother

Both Crimp and Mercer advocate for the recognition of the interdependence of various communities. Crimp discusses the AIDS epidemic and the reluctance of the public and government to openly address it. He advocates for awareness and the ultimate finding of a cure for AIDS via the employment of art to address political matters. It is through art that we can communicate just how widespread the impact of AIDS is, bringing queer topics to a heteronormative society.

Something Crimp makes sure to address is that AIDS is not just singularly impacting on the stereotype of gay men, rather it is widespread and something of note for everyone. In this same manner, Mercer asserts that oppression is not singular. There should be no “hierarchy of oppression” (239) when it comes to race, class, and gender. Instead, there should be a “hybridized form” (239) in which we consider such attributes on level playing fields.

It is in Mercer’s piece that he urges for the “communifying” (238) of what would seem isolating topics, discussing the expansivity and diversity of black queer cultural politics. He then goes on to critique and analyze the films Tongues Untied and Looking for Langston, in regards to how we can best approach representation while maintaining a realistic and ungeneralizing approach. I think that this idea of “communifying” while maintaining the individuality of experiences is really important when it comes to topics like AIDS and the representation of any marginalized group. It is in our unity that we can accomplish great things, but with this we must remember to respect and acknowledge our diversity as well.

I’ve seen a few of Almodovar’s films in the past and I’m excited to see how he employs these notions of advocacy and communal mentality in All About My Mother.

Works Cited:

Crimp, Douglas. “AIDS: Cultural Analysis/Cultural Activism.” Melancholia and Moralism: Essays on AIDS and Queer Politics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, p. 27 – p. 43.

Mercer, Kobena. “Dark and Lovely Too: Black Gay Men in Independent Film.” Queer Looks: Perspectives on Lesbian and Gay Film and Video. Martha Geyer, John Greyson, and Pratibha Parmar (eds.). New York: Routledge, 1993: p. 238 – p. 256.

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