Thibaut Raboin
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The queer optimism of asylum
in Discourses on LGBT asylum in the UK
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This chapter starts by concentrating on the question of optimism and shows that asylum is based on a cruel optimism that cannot but fail in its promise of happiness. Optimism in LGBT asylum is a combination of discourses on neoliberalism, sexuality and rights-based aspirations which imagines futures for asylum seekers and simultaneously closes them off to render them unachievable. The chapter shows how the impossibility of reaching these happy futures turns asylum into a site for the contestation by advocates and asylum seekers themselves not only of asylum policies, but also of certain forms of queer liberalism. Such critiques are examined in detail in a second part, which analyses three art projects and performances that give rise to dissident voices and new imaginings of how asylum seekers and liberal queers can be engaged collectively in sexual politics in the UK. Challenging the cruel optimism of asylum, the analysis proposes to liberal queers to engage with LGBT asylum by looking at how their experiences differ in relation to migration, access to markets and mobility.

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Discourses on LGBT asylum in the UK

Constructing a queer haven

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