<em>Lesbian Bodies and the Question of Margin: Beyond the Geography of Poland</em> — ASN Events

Lesbian Bodies and the Question of Margin: Beyond the Geography of Poland (15580)

Marta Olasik 1
  1. University of Warsaw, Poland


To quote bell hooks, “Spaces can be real and imagined. Spaces can tell stories and unfold histories. Spaces can be interrupted, appropriated, and transformed [...].” Since lesbian studies (and spaces) are my academic field, and always a central focus, I am particularly concerned with multi-dimensional implications of lesbian (in)visibility. Non-heterosexual women have a very particular cultural role to perform, which further translates into social and individual positionings. Drawing from this, and being deeply inspired by the field of lesbian geographies, I perceive non-heterosexual female experience as a space of contradictions. In my presentation I will investigate the question of geography as an intersectional and multi-layered concept with regard to gender and sexual minorities. Based on my own experience—one that is specifically cross-cultural, conceptually anti-cultural, and, in a sense, involves several geographical areas—I intend to revive lesbian bodies from the realm of spaces that are interrupted, appropriated, violated and, simply, lost.

As a queer lesbian scholar who works in the geo-temporal reality of Poland, and yet somehow belongs to other spatialities, I see cultural mechanisms as a significant point of departure for investigating both the particular Polish lesbian experience and the importance of localities in general. In this context it is, in a way, correct to say that I come from a country that seems to be somewhere in between the much overused ‘East-West divide’. Within such a multi-dimensional reality of divisions, where exactly is a place for, and of, lesbian identities and sexualities? Is lesbian desire cross-cultural?

Keywords: lesbian geographies, geo-temporality, queer lesbianity, Poland