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Right now we have the queer film festival running in Munich and I went to watch some films and documentaries. Yesterday I saw a documentary called “Gay… So what? (2007, France)” which dealt with the questions how contemporary queer communities across the world are made up:  One question was what will happen in countries where being gay or being queer has been accepted fully by society and equal rights are given to queer people… for instance in New York in some areas people talk about being post-gay, or post-queer… one women stated her concern with the whole idea of a constructed separate identity of queer community because that in itself would highlight the difference towards the rest of the society (the straight (not necessarily meaning: heterosexual) people)… what is there to fight for if legally, socially and politically same things are possible for all… why then form a separate identity, since in the post-gay area… gay people don’t necessarily define themselves only over/just by their sexual identity, but also issues of race, class, social background etc. can be as equally important to one’s sense of identity. Plus they are people of the community who reject any labeling of themselves at all.

Then in the film it was very interesting to see 2 gay men tell about their experiences of being gay in China where homosexuality is not openly discussed or in any open discourse. There are no official public spaces for gay people in China. Only in the cities some nightclubs have opened up where people can come and meet. A lot is happening under the surface… But also the film talked about that steady a gay movement is forming in China in the last couple of years. Things are changing slowly… So for areas where the queer community has not the same rights, visibility… or in a sense an implicitness of existing… labels still are more important to get people together under a common umbrella community so to speak.

After watching this movie I am left wondering if a post-gay phase will be something that will eventually exist in the whole world… if the certain requirements for entering such a phase will be set… or will it always be different… homogeneous… while some people will reject a labeling just because of their sexual identity, others will still find it important for them to define themselves over that construction.  I tend towards the last thought… anyway will post more after the film festival is over…

Die boomende Studenten- und IT-stadt Bangalore ist bekannt für ihre sehr differenziertes und schillerndes Nachtleben mit Pubs, Discotheken und Nachtclubs. Seit 01.01.2008 erhielt ein großer Anteil der Bangalore Nachtclubszene allerdings erneut einen Dämpfer. Während Pubs mit Alkohollizenz weiterhin bis 23:30 Uhr geöffent haben dürfen, wurde Tanzen schlichtweg in allen Nachtclubs und Discotheken verboten. In dem beliebten Nachtclub Taika wurden an einem Abend über 60 Menschen festgenommen, die sich über das Verbot hinweg gesetzt hatten. Darauf hin musste Taika auf unbestimme Zeit hin schliessen. Auch andere Tanzflächen in Nachtclubs und Discotheken blieben dicht, während die Pubs ihre Einnahmen steigern konnten. Dadurch entstand grosse Spannungen zwischen den beiden Lagern. Das Tanzverbot durch die  Polizei Karnatakas geht auf mehrere Umstände zurück: Aufgrund von mehreren Vergewaltigungen sollen laut der Polizei Frauen nicht mehr an Orten tanzen, wo auch Alkohol ausgeschenkt wird. Mehre Gesetze wurden diesbezüglich auch auf bundesstaatlicher Ebene beschlossen. Die Behörden berufen sich aktuell auf ein Gesetz von 1967, um Menschen davon abzuhalten in Clubs zu tanzen, die Alkohol ausschenken. (Vgl. Johnson 2008; Vgl. o.A. 2008a). Es gab bereits in der Vergangenheit Einschränkungen auf das Nachtclubleben in Bangalore, als im Juni 2005 ein Gesetz erlassen wurde, dass eigentlich nur das uneingeschränkte Wachstum sog. erotischer „Tanzbars“ einschränken sollte, jedoch auf alle Arten des Tanzens in öffentlichen Orten wie z.B. Clubs ausgeweitet wurde. Desweiteren wurde die sog. Sperrstunde gesetzlich von 3 Uhr morgens auf 23:30 Uhr vorverlegt. Für Monate konnte nicht getanzt werden, bis im Dezember 2005 aufgrund eines Gerichtsurteils des Supreme Courts Tanzen in Einrichtungen wieder legalisiert wurde, in denen nicht Prostitution oder unzüchtige Shows zu sehen sind. So erlaubte die Polizei erneut Tanzen in Pubs, Restaurants, Nachtclubs und Discotheken und ging nur gezielt gegen Tanzbars vor (Vgl. Johnson 2008, Vgl. Thomas 2006, Vgl. Thomas 2005).

Im Januar 2008 folgte nun erneut ein Tanzverbot für alle Clubs in Bangalore. Diesmal gehen die Behörden eine Beschwerde nach, die von Betreibern der Tanzbars gegen die Besitzer der Nachtclubs eingereicht wurde, die sich durch das Gerichtsurteil des Supreme Courts ungerecht behandelt fühlen. Es scheint eine Verwirrung zwischen dem Unterschied des Tanzens in erotischen Tanzbars und dem in Nachtclubs zu geben, welche dazu führt, dass jegliches Tanzen als sexuell von der Norm abweichend und unmoralisch kategorisiert wird. Gegen die erneuten Einschränkungen gab es zahlreiche Proteste: Radiostationen und Medien haben eine Kampagne gegen die regressiven Maßnahmen begonnen. Auch der Verband der Nachtclubs in Bangalore kündigte mit Unterstützung großer Teile der Bevölkerungen zahlreiche Demonstrationen und und rief dazu auf, sich dem Verbot aktiv wiedersetzen zu wollen. Viele fürchten um Bangalore’s Image als moderne Metropole (Vgl. Johnson 2008, Vgl. o.A. 2008c). Mittlerweile wurde das Verbot etwas gelockert, d.h. Tanzen ist von 22 bis 23: 30 Uhr in einigen Discotheken und Nachtclubs wieder erlaubt. Die Behörden weigern sich jedoch bisher das Verbot ganz aufzuheben (Vgl. o.A. 2008b). Solange Tanzen jedoch in sexuellen Kategorien assoziiert wird und durch diverse Verbote zu regulieren versucht wird, wird das Nachtleben in Bangalore auch in Zukunft mit Einschränkungen konfrontiert bleiben.

 

Literatur:

 

Johnson, T.A. 2008: Cops enforce deadline, but no one is dancing to their tunes. In: The Indian Express (21.02.2008). Online Edition. Online verfügbar unter: http://www.indianexpress.com/story/276020.html; zuletzt geprüft am 15.03.2008.

 

o.A. 2008a: Dancing ban: Blame it on the live bands. In: The Times of India (17.02.2008). Online Edition. Online verfügbar unter: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Dancing_ban_Blame_it_on_live_bands/articleshow/2788616.cms; zuletzt geprüft am 16.03.2008.

 

o.A. 2008b: State in no mood to amend rules. In: The Times of India (19.02.2008). Online Edition. Online verfügbar unter: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Bangalore/State_in_no_mood_to_amend_rules/articleshow/2793523.cms; zuletzt geprüft am 15.03.2008.

 

o.A. 2008c: Bangaloreans want dance floor back. In: The Times of India (16.02.2008). Online Edition. Online verfügbar unter: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Bangalore/Bangaloreans_want_dance_floor_back/articleshow/2786759.cms; zuletzt geprüft am 15.03.2008.

 

Thomas, Edison 2005: Rock bottom! In: The Times of India (17.03.2006). Online Edition. Online verfügbar unter: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-1353313,flstry-1.cms; zuletzt geprüft am 15.03.2008.

 

Thomas, Edison 2006: After the dancing, the music. In: The Times of India (17.03.2006). Online Edition. Online verfügbar unter: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1454225.cms; zuletzt geprüft am 15.03.2008.

 

 


after a long time of not writing… i am finally back online… hihi…

my two internships at MMB Delhi and Bangalore are finally over and i was on vacation in Bangalore… to see my boyfriend and my other friends… unfortunately… turned things out not the way i wanted them to be… things just didn´t fit anymore and we broke up… that was tough for me… especially because i saw him in a different light all together… saw sides of his character that i had not known before… it hurt me the most that i lost him completely as a person… that he was not mature enough to be able to still talk to me or have me in his life… i was constructed as someone bad… i guess that makes things easier…but it hurt a lot… so of the 5 times in bangalore for 3 weeks i was pretty much very miserable… only in the last 2 weeks i started to fell stronger again and to feel better about myself… i had great and tremendous support from friends in bangalore but also from germany as well… slowly i started feeling better… now i am back in delhi… i have two more months to do my master thesis research on queer indians, LGBT issues and the use of in the internet… besides that i am battling with a cold right now… and my mom and her girlfriend are finally coming to visit me / india this sunday… i am very excited i haven´t seen my mom and lily in so long… on tuesday i will take them to pegs and pints in delhi… which is queer on tuesdays… i am quite excited and will keep you updated…

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i am actually very excited today because i am meeting up with Sangini Trust tomorrow… Sangini Trust is an lesbian organisation in Delhi that provides several projects to the community…

as some of you may know i am currently doing research for my master thesis in delhi on queer spaces on the internet and the use of internet as a tool to connect to various other groups (e.g. queer community in usa or europe) also interesting to see how much queer people being in the diaspora have an effect and influence on the scene here in india and vice versa. i am using the term queer in parenthesis here… since it´s not always fitting and doesn´t mean to everyone the same thing. for my research i will mainly talk to “gays” and “lesbians”, again in parenthesis, because those labels don´t fit in general either about their experiences in delhi, their use of the internet, their lives etc. in how far create the various cities in india spaces for queer people that can live in a way which is not possible in rural areas… in how far are the communities (if you can speak of a community in the first place) confined to specific cities, regions, groups… or are different groups fragmented… ?

it will be very interesting to get in touch with various people on that matter… i will be supporting Sangini as a volunteer from october onwards. for my master i will try to conduct interviews and speak informally to “queer indians”… it will be also very cool going to some bars and nightclubs on certain queer nights…

on orkut… the online-community by google that is used very widely in india… it was already very interesting to note various communities like: lesbians in delhi, indian lesbians, queer india, queer indian liberation front, gays, queer india, gays in bangalore… etc. what i have noticed however so far is that most communities receive a huge amount of spam mails regarding sexual topics and the discussion between members of the groups is often (sadly) non-existent… so far i haven´t contacted anyone directly… but i was thinking on maybe sending some mails to certain people and tell them what i am trying to do for my master thesis…

anyway so far… so good… i will keep you updated…

sleeping dogs, originally uploaded by javeja.

 

i wanted to write something about the current situation in bangalore with the stray dogs. Initiated by an incident 3 weeks ago when a young 3 year old boy died due to a stray dog attack, things have been getting tough for stray dogs in bangalore. first the responsible administration said that no dogs should be harmed and in cooperation with some animal rights NGOs over a period of 1 week dogs were captured and brought to animal shelters. of course things got rough… citiziens complained that only the well-off areas were “cleaned” of the dogs and the areas where the problem was the worst, there nothing changed. the catcher caught dogs that were no strays dogs after all. an animal rights ngos has a video where thousands of dogs were culled although nothing should have happened to them. the animal shelters were soon full so some caught dogs that were brought there and left in cages died from the heat and dehydration. there were protest demos against the dog catching and culling. today i read that this issue has taken a spiritual turn when a guru went on a indefinite hungerstrike to protest against the current situation. i am not saying that the stray dog problem isn´t a massive problem after all. but i think it is far better to sterilize them and immunalize them against rabies then to kill them all. this will cause an unbalance and is just cruel behaviour. not all stray dogs are mean and attack. most of them are nice dogs. the ones that do attack have to get captured. but sadly most of the caught ones that have died didn´t belong to this category. and i think it is outrageous for the responsible administration to promise not to harm the harmless stray dogs and then after capturing a great deal to decide to kill them. This is not right and very cruel. Is not the fault of all the stray dogs if a few of them (the minority) attacks and bites. those should be taken care of cuz there are dangerous but the others: leave them alone, don´t harm them.

for more information on this topic:

BBC News South Asia- Stray dogs killed

Indian Express- Bangalore goes to the dogs

The Hindu- Media has created a scare about stray dogs

The Hindu- Drive launched against stray dogs, 200 killed

 

i just found out something outrageous. at my university at home in Munich, (the LMU Munich) they sent emails to alarm the personnel to be in altertness about potential islamic fundamentalist students. If people behaved “strangely” or read the accordingly literature the staff should report this to the university administration. it is fucking unbelievable. You can not report someone just out of mere suspicion. I quote the original german email from the post “Hohe Wachsamkeit” from ethno::log: for original post click here

“Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

der islamistische Terrorismus stellt weiterhin die größte Bedrohung der Inneren Sicherheit der westlichen Staaten und damit auch Deutschlands dar. Aus Sicht der Sicherheitsbehörden besteht eine erhöhte abstrakte Gefährdung.

Wie Sie Presseverlautbarungen vom Wochenende entnehmen können, wurden Anschläge von Islamisten auch für die Bundesrepublik und in Österreich angekündigt. Auch die gescheiterten Kofferbombenanschläge auf Regionalzüge am 31. Juli 2006 in Dortmund und Koblenz sind ein Beleg dafür, dass auch Deutschland nicht nur Rückzugs- und Ruheraum, sondern Anschlagsziel für islamistische Terroristen ist.

Es ist also hohe Wachsamkeit geboten.

In diesem Zusammenhang sollte auf Hinweise auf Studierende, Mitarbeiter oder sonstige Gebäudenutzer geachtet werden, die sich durch besondere Verhaltensweisen, wie z. B. einen Bruch im Lebenswandel, Gewaltbereitschaft, radikal-verbale Äußerungen oder Beschäftigung mit einschlägiger Literatur auffällig in Richtung islamischer Fundamentalismus verändern.

Ich darf Sie bitten, verdächtig erscheinende Wahrnehmungen, die Rückschlüsse auf eine islamisch-fundamentalistische Haltung zulassen, unverzüglich hierher mitzuteilen.

Bitte informieren Sie Ihre Mitarbeiter entsprechend.

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Mit freundlichen Grüßen
[Name entfernt]
Ltd. Regierungsdirektor”

also there are several news report on this (in german). justbe. made a very good overview about the media coverage (so far): Please click here

To create an atmosphere of suspicion where people are differentiated because of their religious beliefs or interest in muslimic culture and literature will only create more hate and violence and not solve a damn thing. i am convinced “fighting terrorism” can not be achieved that way. intercultural dialogue, tolerance and respect of eachothers difference in an non-violent context seem to me far better choices (sounds similar to the Gandhian philsophy) but it will be quite useless to try to convince the conservative bavarian CSU from this point of view because they don´t get it.

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