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DV-Made ChinaDigital Subjects and Social Transformations after Independent Film$
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Zhang Zhen and Angela Zito

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780824846817

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824846817.001.0001

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“To Whom Do Our Bodies Belong?”

“To Whom Do Our Bodies Belong?”

Being Queer in Chinese DV Documentary

(p.289) Chapter 11 “To Whom Do Our Bodies Belong?”
DV-Made China

Luke Robinson

University of Hawai'i Press

Independently produced digital documentaries about the Chinese queer community have often approached male homosexuality as performance, while deploying formally performative techniques to document their subjects. In contrast, more recent work departs from these conventions. Focusing on Fan Popo and David Cheng’s New Beijing, New Marriage, Cui Zi’en’s Queer China, Comrade China, and the webcast Queer Comrades, this chapter explores how these documentaries deploy particular qualities of digital video, such as remediation and low impedance, to refashion the relationship of the Chinese queer community to visual representation. One consequence of this development is a transition in how these works construct queer male subjectivity—from inscription to incorporation, from sexuality as performance to identity as network—a transition that also raises new questions about what is distinctly “Chinese” about Chinese queerness. This, I suggest, is arguably where the “queer politics” of these works lies.

Keywords:   documentary, activism, small media, queer representation, performance, network aesthetics

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