XXIX

A DVD on which a piece of paper reads a quote by Judith Butler:We are all precarious and “our precarity is to a large extent dependent upon the organization of economic and social relationships, the presence or absence of sustaining infrastructures and political institutions”. In this regard, vulnerability is not inherent to a particular group, but unequally distributed as an effect of power relations under specific conditions. When this is not acknowledged, vulnerability can be used by political discourses as a way to produce and naturalise forms of social inequality. Conditions such as the poverty and illiteracy faced mainly by women, are due to an unequal distribution of precariousness fostered by gender power relations and lack of adequate socio-political infrastructures. Women are “at once vulnerable and capable of resistance, and that vulnerability and resistance can, and do, and even must happen at the same time”. The struggle is to find a balance between the necessary demand for institutions to provide the conditions for livable lives, without resorting to modes of paternalism that “reinstate and naturalize relations of inequality” (Judith Butler 2015).

XXIX

In/Equalities: From the Reflecting Mirror to the Diffraction Apparatus

With quotes from Donna Haraway, Karen Barad, Judith Butler, Michelle Lazar, Evelien Geerts, Iris Van der Tuin, Clare Hemmings, Antonio Centeno, Carolina Suárez Rasmussen and Ana Solano

Created and contributed by Orianna Calderón, 2018

Keywords: Equality, Diffraction

Equality and gender equality are problematic concepts. Michelle Lazar explains that within a liberal perspective ‘equality implies “same as men”, where the yardstick is that already set by men. Instead of a radical shift in the gender order, women therefore are required to fit into the prevailing androcentric structures’. However, as Lazar also argues, the ideal of achieving equality remains ‘historically important for politically disadvantaged groups of women who have been systematically denied equality under the law’. Looking for a way of discussing in/equalities differently, I have resorted to Haraway and Barad’s proposal of thinking in terms of diffraction rather than reflection: not the reproduction of the same, but a critical consciousness attentive to differences and their effects.

On twelve DVDs on a corkboard, I pasted quotes from academic texts and from the interviews I carried out with filmmakers. Donna Haraway, Karen Barad, Judith Butler, Michelle Lazar, Evelien Geerts, Iris Van der Tuin, Clare Hemmings, Antonio Centeno, Carolina Suárez Rasmussen and Ana Solano. All of these quotes contain insights related to equality and difference. My idea was to build a diffraction apparatus that, by cutting these quotes together-apart, makes legible different approaches to in/equalities.

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