Funny queers: performances in the margins


Humourists and queers both engage with tools which reveal the absurdities of the political, albeit in different ways. While queers have been the butt of jokes, especially in Indian popular culture, for decades we have also been reclaiming the space through humour. Being laughed at, has perhaps allowed us to think of politics beyond shame and turn humour the other way around in order to make ourselves heard in non violent ways. Humour does not only exist as a device which is worked through on an everyday basis but various communities within the larger queer umbrella also perform through humour. Therefore, humour as a practice is not only professional for queers but it is also very much personal. The lines are blurred between professional and personal. It is also not very different aspects of humour which is used in both personal and professional. Perhaps, some remnants are carried from one space to another and give a hope of survival?

Through engaging with modalities of respectability, shame, vulgarity and obscenity, this sub project will attempt to understand the overdetermined relationship between humour as a mode of performance and mode of presence. Such an understanding would allow us to unfurl the epistemic potential of humour in understanding and expanding our definitions of the political.