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Activist Media and Biopolitics

Wolfgang Sützl
Theo Hug

Borders and Boundaries

Sexual and National Mobility-Visibility Regimes in Israel/Palestine, and How to Cross Through Them

Roy Wagner

Texte intégral

1This text studies the relationship between the mobility and visibility of people marginalized by heteronormativity and ethnocracy in contemporary Israel/Palestine. By reviewing motions on either side of the 1967 Israel/Palestine ‘border’ and across it, by discussing together, despite the obvious differences, sexuality and nationality in an analysis of segregation and passing, this text highlights some under-researched aspects of Israeli governmentality. More importantly, this text reconstructs some techniques available to people marginalized by heteronormativity and ethnocracy for resisting their stationary exclusion from view.

2By visibility I refer not simply to being optically discernible, but to being seen as marked by certain identities — specifically, national or sexual identities such as ‘Palestinian’ or ‘gay.’ I will discuss visibility in urban spaces, while crossing borders, and through media coverage of political activism. By mobility I refer to the ability to move through space and take place. More specifically, I will discuss the (in) capacity of marginalized subjects to move through urban spaces and across borders.

3My purpose is to understand the Israeli mobility-visibility regime in Israeli/Palestinian queer and national contexts, and the opportunities and limitations of various forms of resistance to this regime. Note, however, that as a gay Israeli citizen the orientation and balance of my research is obviously limited, and should be complemented by people writing from other positions.

Three Parades that Did Not March: The Tradeoff between Mobility and Visibility

4To get a concrete idea of the issues at hand, let us consider Jerusalem’s 2006 LGBT pride events as vignette. The public debate concerning these events started with the initiative to host the 2005 World Pride in Jerusalem. The initiative suffered strong homophobic objection that spread from Jewish ultra-orthodox religious groups to the municipal council, other religious groups, nationalist groups, and liberal groups claiming that the sensitivities of Jerusalem’s multi-cultural population must be respected. These objections were compounded by security concerns due to the concurrent Israeli ‘disengagement’ from Gaza, and resulted in the postponement of the Jerusalem World Pride to the following year. In August 2006, the parade was postponed again due to the war in Lebanon and northern Israel (other scheduled World Pride events did take place). The organizers, Jerusalem Open House (NGO), obtained court permission to march in November. But then the Israeli army killed twenty-two Palestinian civilians in Gaza two days before the projected parade. The Police stated they could not simultaneously protect the Israeli population from Palestinian retaliation and pride marchers from homophobic opposition. The parade was replaced by an event in a confined stadium, which was separated from the rest of Jerusalem by several security circles (concerning how the security discourse took over, marginalizing ethical and liberal-democratic debates, see Arbel, forthcoming). This was the first of three pride parades that did not march in Jerusalem on November 10, 2006.

5This example demonstrates not only how sexual and national politics keep bumping into each other, but also traces Israel’s regime of mobility and visibility. LGBTs did move through the streets of Jerusalem on November 10, 2006, but those who moved through Jerusalem had to make a choice: either move about as city folk ‘lacking’ sexual orientation, straight by default, or be visibly proud and queer in a tightly secured off-center stadium. Reduced mobility allowed the participants in the stadium event to assert some forms visibility: media visibility and visibility among participants. They were forced to trade off mobility for visibility.

6Further evidence for a visibility-mobility tradeoff is provided by the attempt of some thirty activists to assert both mobility and queer visibility in Jerusalem’s urban space at the same time as the stadium event took place. The activists resolved to march inside Jerusalem despite police prohibition. This was the second parade that did not march that day. It resulted in a violent group arrest. As the activists’ mobility was more violently repressed than that of participants in the stationary stadium event, they gained media visibility disproportionate to their number, in comparison to the thousands of participants in the stationary event.

7To start tying together the regimes of mobility-visibility as they operate through sexuality and nationality, I would like to point out a similarity between two scenes where uniformed state agents deny demonstrators’ mobility: the attempted pride parade that ended in violent arrests, and the weekly demonstrations in Palestinian villages such as Bil’in, where Palestinians, accompanied by Israeli and international supporters, have been demonstrating weekly since 2003 against the separation wall that appropriates Palestinian lands for Israeli settlers and contractors. In both kinds of demonstrations, state agents violently deny demonstrators’ mobility — through the streets of Jerusalem or across the separation wall. In both kinds of demonstrations the levels of demonstrators’ persistence, the authorities’ ‘trigger-happiness’ and the corresponding level of injuries, predict the level of media coverage. In both cases, our tradeoff is manifest: the stronger the elimination of mobility (as measured in arrests and damaged human flesh) the more media visibility protesters gain.

8But connections between anti-wall demonstrations and the attempted Jerusalem pride parade of November 10, 2006, are not restricted to those structural similarities, which in fact extend far beyond the local context, and form part of a general logic of media visibility. In Jerusalem and Bil’in there is a substantial intersection of Israeli activists, as well as a shared ideology. Indeed, the activists who wrote the email invitation to the attempted Jerusalem pride parade make the sexual-national connection explicit: “We won’t tolerate threats in Jerusalem, and won’t be silent concerning the massacre in Gaza [where twenty-two civilians had been killed two days earlier]! Sexual freedom and gender equality are inseparable from political, economic, social and religious freedom and equality.” Those who oppose protestors make the sexual-national link explicit as well. The former national soccer coach Shlomo Scherf explains: “They’re doing the march of the gays in Jerusalem of all places, why specifically there, in the holy city?… There’s no place in Tel Aviv?… Do you know where I’d do it? In Eilat, near the [Israeli-Egyptian] border, I’d get them across the border and wouldn’t bring them back” (Ha’ir, April 20, 2007, p. 53).

9But while keeping these relations between sexuality and nationality in mind, one must not forget that in Bil’in the army shoots tear gas and bullets, while Jerusalem LGBT activists suffered ‘only’ bashing and bruises, and that the Israeli oppression of Palestinians is generally much more violent than that of queers. This means that the possibilities open for citizens and for Palestinians in the context of sexuality are not identical to those open in the context of nationality, and that the transfer of techniques from one context to the other is limited.

10To conclude this demonstration of mobility-visibility tradeoff, note that the mobility-visibility regime is sensitive to who is trying to move and to what is made visible. Indeed, the mobility-visibility tradeoff is much more relaxed, if Jerusalem is replaced by Tel Aviv, where pride parades are a Western-style routine. On the other hand, things become much stricter if Palestinians replace Israelis. Indeed, on the day of the two parades that didn’t march a third attempt was staged. But the “group of gay Palestinian Americans canceled [the] planned pride march in East Jerusalem… after one of them was beaten unconscious by a local man who said he was from the Waqf Muslim religious authority” (San Francisco Chronicle, November 11, 2006). Whereas Israeli pride demonstrators who were stabbed by a religious Jew a year earlier received substantial visibility in Israeli media, the attacked Palestinian organizer received no Israeli media coverage whatsoever. Few Israelis have heard of this third parade that didn’t march. Palestinian gays can gain mobility in Jerusalem by being invisible, but they can’t gain visibility even when their mobility is violently denied.

11For another attempt to make the intersection of sexuality and nationality visible, let’s go back to August 10, 2006, the originally scheduled date of the Jerusalem 2006 World Pride. The parade was postponed due to the war in Lebanon and Northern Israel, and replaced by a smaller stationary vigil. The vigil started quietly with the police watching over. But once local and international Queeruption activists joined in with banners and slogans linking Israeli homophobia and militarism, the police attacked (the 9th Queeruption, which took place in Tel Aviv, was defined by activists as an “anti-commercial, non-hierarchical, DYI gathering aimed at creating a safe open space for workshops, music, art, activism, parties, sex, shows, etc.”; Queeruption 9 Collective, 2006, p. 2. An analysis of earlier Queeruption events was published by Brown, 2009). The violent dispersal of this demonstration, however, did not result in substantial media visibility. Tami and Ishai, two Queeruption activists, summarized the lesson they learned: nonpolitical “gays dancing in a thong next to a telecom sponsorship ad — pass; gays who think that the Occupation is corrupt — break their bones” (Queeruption 9 Collective, 2006, p. 8).

12We see that hypothesizing a tradeoff between visibility and mobility can only serve as first approximation for describing Israel’s visibility-mobility regime. Gay Palestinians and anti-war queers are left out of sight even when they are made immobile.

Caught in a Panopticon

13Above we saw how activists gain visibility by being denied mobility. But to get a more complete picture of the mobility-visibility tradeoff imposed by the Israeli regime we should observe not only activists, but also Palestinian non-citizens who avoid visibility to gain mobility.

14Sari Hanafi (2004) describes the Israeli control system as “spatio-cide”: an attempt to leave Palestinians in a placeless state of exception without prospects. Given this reality, it is not surprising that many Palestinians have to cross into Israel for their livelihood. But given the visibility-mobility tradeoff, crossing depends on passing unnoticed. The video report Catch Me (2007) by the Israeli human rights NGO B’Tselem shows the Israeli army preventing Palestinian workers from reaching work inside Israel. The army’s elaborate technologies of seeing (binoculars, choppers) turn the open hillscape into a Panoptically supervised prison. As in a Panopticon, the filmed Palestinians cannot tell whether they’re seen or not — until, that is, they hear a warning shot.

15Palestinian LGBTs, regardless of whether they work in Israel, also cross the Panopticon described above to participate in the gay life of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, which, for better and worse, are more Western-like than in the Occupied Territories (in terms of sexual categories, meeting places, pop culture, etc.). Once in Israel, however, workers and/or LGBTs must maintain low visibility under pains of expulsion, fines, imprisonment, and sometimes even death (B’tselem, 2007). I won’t relate the stories of Palestinian LGBTs here because my access to sources is limited, and because circumstances are ripe for gay Palestinians to access the means, opportunities, and strategies for publicly telling their own stories (see Palestinian groups).

16Before investigating techniques of passing through the Panopticon, let’s note how Israel applies it for economic control. One must understand that the Panopticon does not prevent Palestinian entry into Israel. Indeed, many Palestinians enter Israel in ways considered illegal by authorities. For instance, the estimated number of Palestinians employed illegally in Israel is approximately 20,000 – 30,000 (in addition to a similar number of legally employed Palestinians). Palestinians expelled by security forces exceed 100,000 annually, including, of course, many repeated expulsions of the same people (B’Tselem, 2007, p. 22).

17The Panoptic technology, which makes it expensive, difficult, dangerous and potentially lethal — but not impossible — for Palestinians to enter Israel, enables the exploitation of Palestinian workers. Israel’s policy of intermittent repression and turning a blind eye with respect to Palestinians working in Israel creates a threatened and highly exploitable body of workers (Kav LaOved, 2006). This visibility-mobility regime generates a caste of beaten bodies under constant threat of violence and death, in constant hiding, with no certainty over their comings, goings, and livelihood, which is unusually cheap (for more information on the impact of this mobility regime on Palestinian life, kinship, and economy, see Kelly, 2006; Handel, 2009; Parizot, 2006; and Gutman, 2003).

Attaining Mobility by Realigning Visibilities

18After this glimpse at the Israeli visibility-mobility regime, it’s time to study the means available for marginalized individuals to subvert this regime. The obvious technique for confronting a mobility-visibility regime is, of course, passing. Passing as manipulation of visibility to gain mobility is well researched, especially in the context of identity formation and its politics (see, for example, Sanchez and Schlossberg, 2001).

19The term passing emerged from the US racial context (people of partly colored ancestry who managed to be temporarily or permanently taken for white). Later, this term was applied to gender and sexuality as well. Passing indeed fits well the notion of a tradeoff where one suppresses visibility to gain mobility, as in the previous section. But the literature shows that a binary division into those who do and do not pass is false, and that passing depends on a complex economy of doubts, denial, and partial knowledge (Garfinkel, 1984; Sedgwick, 1991). Following this insight, I’d like to focus here on techniques for retaining mobility that do not depend on passing unnoticed.

20The first technique comes from the context of the Israeli policy (which has since been revoked) not to deport and detain children of migrant workers and single custodians of such children. As a result:

children started serving as shields for their parents against arrest and deportation. Babies and toddlers were often brought to my meetings with African community leaders…. “I don’t dare to leave home without my daughter” a participant in such a meeting apologized while trying to soothe his one-year old daughter. “As her father I must protect her, but here she protects me.” (Wurgaft, 2006, pp. 140 – 141)

21By keeping close to his child this man passes as father (hence non-deportable) rather than as migrant worker (hence deportable). I will refer to such passing as passing by association: changing one’s visibility to gain mobility by associating with a person who is allowed to pass.

22Passing by association is relevant for the Occupation context as well. In 2007, I made a short trip from Tel Aviv to the Palestinian town of Qalqilia and then to the industrial zone of Jewish settlement Barqan as an activist for workers’ rights with the NGO Kav LaOved (Worker’s Hotline). Such a trip cannot be taken for granted under current political circumstances. The visibility of my colleague, a hijab wearing Israeli Arab, allowed us to pass the Qalqilia checkpoint. But entering Barqan, my colleague insisted that I, a full member of the colonizing power, take the front (more visible) seat. A mutual passing by association allowed us to complete the journey.

23The next form of passing through Israel’s visibility-mobility regime should perhaps be termed double-passing . To illustrate it, consider Budi, a young gay Palestinian from Ramallah, who visited Jerusalem regularly, and even performed as a drag queen. In the documentary Jerusalem Proudly Presents (2007) he testifies:

When I go to Jewish Jerusalem, it’s clear that I go illegally, it’s clear. And it happened more than once that the military detained me. And then I showed them my Palestinian ID, and told them that I was going to the Shushan [Jerusalem’s only gay bar at the time], and explained that I go there for one day to live my life as a gay person. And they would tell me, OK, you can go.

24In this testimony, a person, who acknowledges that he is not allowed mobility, manages to gain mobility by making visible another immobilizing feature: his sexuality. Since the soldiers can’t see a person as both gay and Palestinian, Budi’s visible gay identification erases the threatening aspect of his visibly Palestinian identity. And since, as observed in the comparison of gay and Palestinian activism above, gay mobility is more tolerable than Palestinian mobility, Budi crosses through.

25A similar form of double passing applies to Palestinian gays seeking refuge in Israel. Gay Palestinian visibility in Israeli media is restricted to those who state that they would be persecuted for their sexual orientation or their association with Israelis, if they returned to the Occupied Territories (for example, the news article “Gay Palestinian Seeks Residency in Israel on Humanitarian Grounds” by Dana Weiler-Polak, Haaretz, September 29, 2010). These gay Palestinians profess that their gayness is negatively marked on the Palestinian side; therefore, according to the binary logic of the Occupation, this gayness becomes a positive mark on the Israeli side, sometimes leading to temporary residency in Israel or refuge abroad. The occasional display of such spectacular ‘liberalism’ allows the Israeli regime to dissimulate its own routine exclusion of Palestinians of all sexualities and its own homophobic and racist violence.

26Subverting the tradeoff system presented earlier in the essay, passing is not reducible to erasing visibility to get mobility. But we must bear in mind that not everyone has access to sophisticated passing techniques, and those who do are in constant danger of failure.

Attaining Mobility and Visibility by Moving through a Different Topology

27The last couple of sections focused on Palestinian non-citizens and their passing techniques. Now I would like to study an example of how queer activists who are citizens of Israel manage to retain both mobility and visibility.

28The case study discussed here is one parade not mentioned so far, which did cross through Jerusalem on November 10, 2006, the very day when the three parades discussed in the first section failed to march. I bring the description of this event as recounted in an email sent by one of the participants a day after the event (Peleg, 2006):

One other small event took place yesterday in Jerusalem between the ‘demonstration’ that I’d rather not comment about [the stadium event] and the action in the Bell Garden [the mass arrest]. Noa K. said in our last meeting on Thursday that we’re being led into a rehearsed scenario. We’re coming to get beat up and arrested .…
Four people… marched through King George — Jaffa Street [West Jerusalem’s high street] in the morning for a short while. At noon we climbed up the entire Gaza Street…. Each of us held a banner: I am a gay Jerusalemite, I am a trans Jerusalemite, and I am a friend of Jerusalemites. Not a single person or vehicle failed to stop and watch, curse, give the finger, smile with embarrassment, and very few to cheer.… And of course the cops. The streets were littered with those .
In the morning we could tell the policeman, who humiliated us and threatened to tear up our banners, that we were just on our way to the march [the stadium event]. They followed us to the car and unwillingly let us through. Then in Gaza [street] the cops told us: you can’t be here. Only where you’re told. After a pointless argument we put down the banner for a few steps and picked it up again.
When we finally made the Women in Black place we joined some ‘black-pinks’ [anarcha-queers] who were already waiting there.… We set to circle the place (seven times?) singing the partisan hymn…. Some avant-garde person yelled from a window “Lesbian Arafat fuckers.” At two o’clock we left each to his and her own permitted life.
Why weren’t we arrested? It’s true, we tried not to, and we marched in the streets of the bourgeois Rehavia neighborhood. But that’s not the main point. We marched with heads high and high heels as queers.… Of course, the struggle is not over. And it must continue well before next June. Next week .…
Before we started marching with the banners I was terribly frightened. I’ll be frightened next time too. That’s the way it is. There’s reason to be afraid.… And again I was afraid and again I depend more on the kindness of strangers.

29This text records an exploration of mobility-visibility boundaries. Its success depended on local knowledge and manipulations of the visibility-mobility regime: where to cross, when to put banners down, group size, secrecy with respect to police and the media. These activists walked between the lines, rather than through police lines. They gained full visibility, but were not identified as illegal demonstrators. This activity was about embodiment, fear, trust, community, and nationality (note the reference to the Israelites’ sevenfold circling of Jericho that brought its walls tumbling down and Jewish partisan resistance to the Nazis), as opposed to the passivity of the big stadium event and the prescribed violent dispersal of the second attempted march. This march obtained visibility and mobility where the other attempts had to sacrifice one for the other (or, in the case of the gay Palestinian attempt to march, attained neither).

30A possible objection: The bigger events — those that received mass media coverage and were presented to millions of TV viewers — were those where mobility had to be restricted. This small group gained mobility, one might claim, simply because it had negligible visibility. But such an objection, I maintain, is wrong.

31This parade that did march, did not gain its mobility due to its negligible size (in fact, the number of people who eventually reached the Women in Black place was close to that of the activists in the mass arrest). Its visibility was not smaller than that of the media covered events — their visibilities, I claim, are incomparable.

32The parade that did take place took its place in a topology different from that of the two parades that did not march in West Jerusalem. The stadium event and the mass arrest were measured in terms of the quantity and quality of their media coverage, in terms of the security rings that surrounded them, in terms of police violence, and in terms of the twists and turns of the legal battle that was held to try to make them happen. In other words, the visibility and mobility of these two parades were assessed mostly in terms of media coverage and law and order topologies. But that is not how the parade that did march was measured. This parade was viewed mostly in terms of the reactions of passersby, in terms of the sense of fear or security of walking Jerusalem’s street while manifesting pride, and in terms of community interaction. In other words, the visibility and mobility of this parade were assessed in terms of the urban interaction topology.

33Comparing the visibility-mobility of the two West Jerusalem parades that did not march and the one that did is a comparison of apples and oranges. They have different senses and are subject to different measures. The parade that marched visibly approached people in terms of urban interaction topology, but remained practically invisible in terms of law and order and media topology. That is why the visibility-mobility of the parade that did march managed to bypass the tradeoff between visibility and mobility.

34Locally savvy Jerusalem queer and LGBT activists managed to turn the above parade into a replicable, ongoing, and yet, police-free event. Every Friday for over a year a dozen or so activists rallied in Zion place, at the heart of Western Jerusalem and marched through the adjacent pedestrian street. Throughout a year of vigils, activists recorded only two minor violent incidents, and even those took place only when the 2007 Jerusalem pride parade approached. Most Israelis with whom I discussed these rallies expressed disbelief at their almost peaceful weekly existence. Those who observe Jerusalem in terms of mass media topology see only the clear and distinct lines of the dominant visibility-mobility regime. But these parades take place through the urban topology, where lines are often (but not always) less strictly drawn, and where visibility and mobility can concur.

From Visibility to Opaque Place-making

35To better understand the potential of mobility and visibility in urban topologies, let us consider the interactions between demonstrators and passers-by in the above urban vigils. Some passers-by expressed support, some experienced silent encouragement, some expressed hostility (directing demonstrators to protest in Arab villages, linking sexual and national exclusion even in a vigil that said nothing about the Occupation), but many passers-by expressed bewilderment as well. An older woman, who sat next to an activist, expressed support, but asked, “what am I supposed to do?” Another woman, a young soldier, approached, and asked, pointing to a banner, “what’s homophobia?”

36Something in the presence of these LGBT and queer activists was opaque. The message was unclear. The activists were visible, but their purpose was not. Such opacity is not restricted to gay vigils in Jerusalem. For example, during a Tel Aviv anti-war demonstration in August 2006, anarcha-queer activists joined in, carrying banners and chanting slogans with messages relating sexuality, militarism, and the war. The slogans ranged from “No pride in Occupation” to “Dan Halutz don’t you brag, one day we’ll see you wearing drag” (a take-off on “Dan Halutz don’t you brag, one day we’ll see you trialed in Hague,” suggesting that the Israeli chief of staff should be trialed by the International Court of Justice in the Hague). In response, an observer wrote an article published on the Israeli communist party website stating “that the anarchists protest in a colorful and interesting manner, but… it is not clear what the anarchist messages are, and what a ‘black block’ and pink ribbons have to do with the war” (Adi Livni, Hagada Hasmalit, August 10, 2006).

37Similar criticism was encountered from the opposite direction, when some of the same black-pinks (Queeruption activists) participated in the Jerusalem anti-homophobia vigil mentioned earlier. The black-pink slogans, such as “In Beirut and in Sderot Lesbians should not get shot” (Sderot is an Israeli town near the Gaza border suffering Palestinian missile attacks since April 2001), were seen as overshadowing the anti-homophobic context, and rendering the demonstrators’ message inaccessible and opaque.

38This opacity brings me to my final point. Opaque messages are usually viewed as failures to get the message across. Rather than successfully affirming the connection between different aspects of oppression, black-pinks were accused of alienating co-demonstrators. But alienation, as Brecht taught, may bring people to thoughtfully reconsider their world view.

39In some discursive situations, subversive messages are foreclosed and cannot be expressed, or cannot be expressed without being reappropriated by dominant discourses. In such situations, one can only leave a trace of subversion by representing the contradictions and difficulties that this foreclosure generates. When confronted with such traces in the form of opaque messages, people may sometimes find that the discourse through which they frame an issue is inadequate. The opaque message may lead observers (though not always, not any observer, and definitely not under any circumstances) to rearrange the field of positions they are acquainted with in order to make sense of the opaque message (see Wagner, forthcoming).

40But there is more to opaque performances. While sometimes, indeed, the inability to communicate a clear message (because dominant discourse forecloses its convincing formulation) yields opaque statements, one should also consider the possibility that there is no (or not only a) message; that the queer political performance does not always seek to communicate anything. Indeed, Amalia Ziv (2010) has analyzed the non-communicative aspect of queer activism in the context of Israeli LGBT anti-Occupation group Black Laundry. She pointed out the impact of the group’s political performances not only on observers, but also on the activists themselves, generating an experiential bond between the performers and the performed situation (for example, in a performance of handcuffed and blindfolded Palestinians). This impact is, indeed, related to the performative experience of the activist who documented the parade that did march in the email quoted in the previous section: political performance allowed this activist to “depend more on the kindness of strangers.”

41The queer activism discussed in this text (in the contexts of sexuality and nationality alike) is largely about confronting visibility-mobility regimes, and also about attempting to pass through. It is largely about making statements, and also about disrupting a discourse that forecloses convincing formulations of queer claims. Confronting something as strong as Israel’s racist, homophobic, and militarist technologies may sometimes leave activists with little choice between banging heads against walls and contingent, nonreplicable, and dangerous opaque actions.

42But, that is not all there is. Beyond opposing and avoiding policing, beyond making clear or opaque messages, a politics of performative formations of communities and space takes place and takes a/part. Rather than valid statements, the performances dealt with here may be testimonies (the passions of martyrs and shaheeds, but also the acts of bystanders and passers-by): performances that may be hard to believe or understand, but which bear an undeniable force on self, space, and discourse; performances that affirm co-participation, taking a part (taking part, taking apart) in public space. The public, in turn, may try to reclaim this part, but can no longer deny this part/icipation, whether they understand it or not (for what can be reconstructed as place-making activities and opaque versus discursive techniques of migrant workers in Israel see Kemp et al., 2000; and Wagner, 2010. For a discussion of how Palestinians from the West Bank living without permits in Tel Aviv turn their experience of the urban topology into a safer and more communal place, see Topaz, forthcoming, Tel Aviv University).

43The four queer activists who marched through Jerusalem on November 10, 2006, those who attended LGBT & queer visibility vigils (and, in other ways, Palestinian noncitizens living without permits in Tel Aviv as well) — they are all reformers of selves and space. To reform their ability to express, they chart topologies and spaces where, briefly, sometimes singularly, they take a/part in public. The place they take does not necessarily depend on a sender-addressee relation with the public; they partake whether they are understood or not. But these parts and places that they take are not delineated (unlike the official Jerusalem pride parades) by security circles and police lines. They are taking a/part in public, partaking in places they have never taken before.



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