Lydia Ayame Hiraide
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Living and resisting intersectional oppression through ballroom
Dreams and the dreamlike in Pose (2019)
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This chapter reads the second season of US TV series Pose (2019) through the lens of dreams and the dreamlike in order to underline how the series deals with intersectional oppression; the experience of harm and marginalisation by colluding structures of subjugation such as racism and heterosexism. Following the lives of queer Black and Latinx characters, the series centres marginalised communities living at the precarious interstices of structural violence for whom intersectional oppression functions as a source of substantial trauma. This chapter argues that Pose makes use of dream sequences and dreamlike aesthetics to comment on this trauma as it foregrounds the complex ways in which marginalised communities strategically and creatively navigate hostile environments. The first part draws on Michel Foucault’s concept of heterotopia, proposing queer heterotopias as dreamlike spaces in and of themselves. The second part moves to consider the explicit use of dream sequences in the series and borrows from Achille Mbembe’s vocabulary of necropower to specifically examine the ways in which the sequences address the precarity and death which haunt queer communities of colour. Thinking through the ways in which Pose employs the use of dreams and the dreamlike, we thus see the oneiric employed in the series as both a celebratory aesthetic and a critical allegory which exposes the traumatic gap between the ballroom and the world beyond its walls.

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Dreams and atrocity

The oneiric in representations of trauma

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