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Teme
2011, vol. 35, iss. 4, pp. 1233-1256
article language: Serbian
document type: Reprint/Translation

Multicultural sites: Practices of un/homeliness
Fakultet za interdisciplinarne studije, Univerzitet Britanske Kolumbije, Vankuver, Kanada

e-mail: sneja.gunew@ubc.ca

Abstract

Drawing on real life and numerous examples from Australian and Canadian literature, film and video production, the paper analyzes different semaphoric repertoires which signal belonging, and, conversely, un-belonging to a wider community. The widely dissimilar, carefully choreographed somatic gestures are all employed to confirm/exercise acoustic and spatial entitlement of a certain group, while, simultaneously, excluding and disentitling other groups. Frantz Fanon's thesis that the turmoil of unhomeliness and un-belonging is reserved only for certain bodies in certain (i.e. public) spaces is further examined in the light of the new theories of the body, spatialization and feminist geography, with the aim of demonstrating that, first, the multicultural sites from the title are bodies themselves, onto which the dynamics of globalization and the history of racial intermixing are written and, second, that this 'blood quantum' is exactly why multiculturalism, with its 'deadening' essentialisms, is outdated as both discourse and practice. Finally, the paper poses very many questions about such issues as communication, identity, belonging, institutions and the function of artist and educators - many of which necessarily remain open and merely point to further directions in the criticism of multiculturalism.

Keywords

multiculturalism; body; belonging; unhomeliness; public space; spatial entitlement; acoustic entitlement; communication; essentialism; recognition; choreography

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