Straight Separatism: Ten Theses on the Queer Archive

Stanimir Panayotov
This text is a revised version of a paper presented at the conference In/visible: The Sexual and Political Regimes of the Archive, in a panel titled "The Queer Location of Culture: Nationalism, History, Sexuality" (Skopje, National Gallery of Macedonia-Chifte Hamam, 25 February 2012). Definition: Straight separatism is the culture of self-assimilation in the forms of institutionality and memorialization. Thesis 1: All culture is the archive of heterosexuality and identity, because they imply
more » ... cause they imply each other. The battle for remembrance is the battle for the recognition of exclusionary identity and not of the excluded one. All culture is about the political self-determination of one identity-the straight one-against the organized self-destruction of all others. Queers exist through the death drive. The institution of the archive is the alleviation of that drive. Theses 2: Since society is today fragmented down to culturalized bits of identities and a politics of identitarian totalitarianism, all society and institutions-including the museum-are camps of erotically decorated straight separatism.The forms of formalizing memory are separatist strategies of straight survival. The queer archive is a huge dark thanatological and eschatological abyss of desires, the formalization of which does not reform the false universality of straight separatism. Queer inclusion is the ghettoization of the question of difference within the biopolitical camp of straightness. One has to either change the form of institution or abandon recollection altogether. Thesis 3: The form of institution, apart from being a biopolitical site of exclusion, is the battlefield of identity. Since identity in and of itself is heterosexual, the very form of institution is a straight ghetto. However, the battle is on the ground of the straight imaginary and the straight body. The question of remembrance is not the question of exclusion; rather, the