“There is no entity, no identity, no queer subject or subject to queer, rather queerness coming forth at us from all directions, screaming its defiance, suggesting a move from intersectionality to assemblage…” 211
“There are no points or positions…There are only lines.
As opposed to an intersectional model of identity, which presumes that components–race, class, gender sexuality, nation, age, religion–are separable analytics and can thus be disassembled an assemblage is more attuned to interwoven forces that merge and dissipate time, space, and body against linearity, coherency, and permanency.” 212–Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times by jaspir k. puar
Who we are is contstantly in flux. We are not stable identities/ subjectivities. Intersectionalities freeze to quickly only to reveal a flow. We flow. We move. When we stop at a pariticular subject, our momentary freedom only hides pain, terror, and possible death. When we stop at a particular point is when we close off connections. New possibilities. New relations. New forms of life. To flow is to be free and to desire. To flow is to revel in the being of becoming.
There are days when I feel Muslim.
Their are days when I hate being Muslim.
There are days I am an atheist.
There are days I am agnostic.
There are days I wish for God to come down and strike the evil doers.
There are days I wish to kill God.
Am I a Kafir? I have been told to leave Mosques.
There are times I feel like an anarchist.
There are times I feel like a communist.
There are times I feel we are all cowards.
There are times I feel like a coward.
There are times I feel like I will explode into the many assemblages I am.
Only then will I will be able to sort out who I am.
I have been told that I am a great person of color.
I have been told I am white.
I have been told I am Black.
I have been told I am Mexican.
I have been told I am Arab.
I have been told I am a Jew.
I have been told I am a terrorist.
I have been told I am a camel-jockey.
I have been told I am a sand-nigger.
I have been told I am a nigger.
I have been told I am an idiot.
I have been told I am a genius.
I have been told I am a failure.
I have been told I am a disappointment.
I have been told I am a mentor.
What I have been told and what I feel…
There are days I feel like a man.
There are days I do not feel gendered at all.
There are days I gaze at other men.
There are days I desire no one.
There are days when I feel trapped in my sexality and body.
There are days when I want to escape.
There are days when I want to stand up and say I am a Brown man.
There are days when it is only Queerness that can explain me.
There was a moment I wore women’s clothes and danced.
There are times I feel ashamed.
There are times I feel ashamed to be a person of color.
There are times I feel ashamed to be Indian-American.
There are times I feel ashamed to be a human.
There are times I feel proud for all of it.
There are times I wonder what it is like to be white.
There are times I wonder what it is like to be Black.
There are times I wonder what it is like to be nothing.
I have been told that I am a destructive person.
I have been told that I should run for political office.
I have been told that I am a patriarch.
I have been told that I am a leader.
Who I am is a flow of assemblages. Most of the assemblages are rarely determined by me. They are often cast upon me. Who am I in this flow of assemblages? How do we know what is accurate? This might seem trivial. It might seem that we automatically know who we are. But the people we interact with on a daily basis shape us profoundly. I have gone through a couple experiences where I have lost most of my friends. This is perhaps why I see the importance of assemblages. Once you lose all your connections to a group of people, some type of identity crisis surely follows. The people who shaped your moral, intellectual, spiritual, cultrual etc world are gone. What are you? How do you find validation? How do you know what you are doing makes sense? At times I have come to believe the most powerful force on the planet is the human conscious. We must be loyal to that…
But any subjectivity is a coming together of assemblages to create the subject. This is the experience of capitalism today. It is the surplus-flux of capital, humanity, of movement, of time and space in ways unexpected and difficult to grasp. It crushes us, dis-orients us, and often causes us to seek stable identities/ subjectivities. But the future is fluxuation of subjectivities. In what will be the only subjectivity of fluxation. There will be no racialized, gendered, or national subjectivity in the new society. In the new society, it will be pointless to describe ourselves in any of the ways we do so today: Black, Queer, Muslim, Bhuddist etc. A new moment and new spaces will allow for something beyond these categories. The important part though is not the future, but that such social types are already appearing. It is the type that claims, they are a native from everywhere…
What kind of movement should be built on the dynamics of flows and assemblages? Do I belong in a POC only group if I do not always feel that? I am not always racialized as that? What about a Queer only group? There are moments certainly when my ‘masculinity’, my ‘manliness’ etc are in doubt? What do I do with that? But everything I have described are arguably only moments. Some short. Some long. Some painful and others that I never want to forget. What happens when white boy comes into a poc space and says they feel like a POC sometimes. What should we done? Is the era of such formations over? When there is so much fluxuation?
This might seem to be a problem of the most recent composition of capital, but works like the Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison show us this world. That this fluxation and assemblages goes back long and crosses over into the world of Black, Woman, Queer, Muslim etc. It knows no borders. Where it does, it usually becomes fascisitic or some form of nationalism (gender, worker, race, etc.).