Visual and Material Perspective On East Asia is proud to present Yueling Ji, Ph. D student from Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago, this Friday, February 8th. The time and venue is as usual: 4:30pm at CWAC 156.
Title: “Queering the Sino-Soviet Alliance Posters”
During the 1950s and under the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, artists from China and the USSR made a number of Sino-Soviet alliance posters. The posters typically portray the physical intimacy between a white Soviet man and a Chinese man. They hold hands, embrace each other, and care for the boys of the two countries. These posters resurfaced in internet communities of the early 2010s, as activists and fan artists from Philadelphia to Shanghai picked up on the visual language of mixed-race same-sex intimacy and kinship. The images were repurposed as a sort of communist homoerotic art, and widely circulated online as gay rights activism.
My project aims to track the two lives of Sino-Soviet alliance posters. Following the end of the Second World War, Sino-Soviet alliance posters ambitiously campaigned for masculinity, patriarchal lineage, and family building under socialism. But the unexpected role of Sino-Soviet alliance in gay rights activism today suspends the heterosexuality of historical socialist states, producing a fictional coalition between Cold War communism and Western liberalist sexual politics. It is with such a retroactively projected heritage that I hope to investigate socialist and neoliberal conceptions of family, sex, and race, and reevaluate the homonormativity of sexual politics today.
Persons with concerns regarding accessibility please contact Dongshan Zhang at email@example.com
(This program is sponsored by the University of Chicago Center for East Asian Studies)