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Abstract

This work addresses Catalan plays and performative works created and staged between 2010 and 2017 (that is, within the context of the emergence of contemporary pro-independence movements). I argue that queer themes, dramatic conventions and languages in these works generate a framework that exceeds the debates on national identity in Catalonia to embody a utopian space of critical observation that re-elaborates important sociopolitical debates by a complex negotiation of the textual/literary and the staged/extra-literary. At the same time, I examine how Catalan theatre –recognized as one of the cutting-edge dramaturgies in Europe– has dealt, sometimes in a highly problematic manner, with non-normative topics. In Act One, “Ghosts in the Archive: Marburg, The Touching Community, and The Theatre of HIV/AIDS in Catalonia”, I address the precariousness of dramatic representations of HIV/AIDS, through the exploration of what I define as an archive of invisibilities. I consider the ethical implications of such absence, and I advocate for the recovery of an archive of ghosts. Finally, I analyze the only mainstream Catalan theatre play that tackles HIV/AIDS as a central issue, Guillem Clua’s Marburg (2010), as well as Aimar Pérez Galí’s The Touching Community (2016). In Act Two, “TransCatalonia: Onstage Proposals of Political Fluidity”, I argue that the Catalan political debates about self-determination have organically overlapped with the emergence of a considerable amount of transgender narratives. These plays generate an archive of complex transitionings in which the individual and the sociopolitical bodies engage in a dialogue that doesn’t necessarily succeed in escaping binary regimes in both structural forms and narrative schemes, thus generating contradictory readings. Lastly, Act Three studies the challenging of normative spatialities and temporalities through the queering of genre standards and the emergence of alternative utopias. The chapter starts with the sabotage, by a radical Christian group, of one of the performances of Josep Maria Miró’s queer play Gang Bang (2011), while it was performed at the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya. I argue that this homophobic violation of the fourth wall functions as a metaphor of the anxieties of heteronormative thinking. The chapter explores two other representations of queer spaces in Catalan drama –Guillem Clua’s Smiley (2011) and L’oreneta / The Swallow (2017).

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