Intersectionality Kiki

This trailer relates most to Kimberle Crenshaw’s article on intersectionality in American culture. The video, and the film it presents, follows members of the Kiki scene, a safe haven of performance and self-expression for LGBTQ youth-of-color in Harlem.

While it is possible to analyze the people the film presents by one distinct aspect of their identity, sexuality alone for example, Kiki begs an analysis that accounts for the various intersections of identity that we witness.

Not only in the performers, but also in the outsider perspective of Sara Jordenö, the film’s white, Swedish director, and especially in the navigation of space and how it relates to the identities of those involved. For example, the trailer teases the integration of Kiki into the mainstream, and in doing so delineates a disparity between the physical spaces inhabited by a majority black LGBTQ audience, and a “mainstream” audience.

A culture of standing crowds, theatre stages, and runways bounded by bodies, gives way to a raised catwalk surrounded by audience seating. The introduction to mainstream becomes a formal presentation to a white crowd, reminiscent of amateur fashion or an outdoor music festival and clear in it’s distinction from the usual Kiki scene. The space changes with the intersections of identity, and by examining the environment we gain insight into differences in class, race, sexuality, gender, and even ideological mindset.

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