“Drag and Politics” Podiumsdiskussion

go drag! München 2024

The go drag! Munich festival takes place from 1-5 May 2024, with a programme of performances, presentations, discussions and films. On Sunday 5th May Helen Varley Jamieson is moderating a panel discussion with the theme “Drag and Politics”, featuring Buba Sababa (Berlin), Majic Dyke (Kenya) and Eric Big Clit (Vienna).

go drag! focuses on drag kings and queens, portrayed by female, trans* and non-binary artists (as opposed to traditional drag queens, men performing as female characters). The festival was initiated by drag king legends Diane Torr and Bridge Markland, and first held in Berlin in 2002, with its second edition in 2022. Earlier that year, Magdalena München invited Bridge Markland to our Performing Gender weekend, along with Zoe Gudovic and Ruby Tuesday. Bridge and Ruby have now teamed up to bring go drag! to Munich.

Drag is inherently political: it subverts gender norms and transgresses the binary constructs that underpin contemporary Western society. Drag kings, who dare to usurp masculine attributes and roles, are doubly political as they playfully critique dominant power structures and poke fun at masculine authority. In the almost four decades since the contemporary drag king movement
emerged from queer and feminist communities, the socio-political landscape has changed considerably: this panel explores how the politics of drag have evolved from 1980s counter-culture to the networked and commercialised world of today. From women’s lib, the peak of the AIDS epidemic and the rise of neoliberalism, we now live in a non-binary world of social media and identity politics. We have marriage equality and trans people in parliaments, Google sponsors floats in gay pride parades and Ru Paul’s Drag Race screens on mainstream TV; at the same time, these and other hard-won gains are increasingly threatened by backlash from right-wing extremists, online trolling and violent hate crime.

What persists from the drag king politics of the late 1980s and 1990s, and what is no longer relevant? What is lost in the struggle for recognition within a crumbling capitalist system? What does drag mean today for the queer community and for society in general, and what role does it play in this precarious world? The panelists Buba Sababa (Berlin), Majic Dyke (Kenya) and Eric Big Clit (Vienna) will unpack (pun intended) their politics to explore these questions and more.

The panel discussion is at 16:00 on Sunday 5 May, in at the Gasteig HP8, Probensaal, and entry is free. Full programme and ticket information can be found at https://www.pathos.theater/godragmunich2024.php.go drag! Munich 2024