Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Camp again

As a counterpoint to yesterday's post about Camp as discussed by Susan Sontag, I want to discuss the article by Aymar Jean Christian titled "Camp 2.0: A Queer Performance of the Personal."  In this article Christian is discussing the way that people perform camp on  This article was very interesting and somewhat related to my subject matter in that it is talking about the way that young people today are interacting with Camp sensibilities online.  The major difference in Christian's subject matter and mine is that zie is focused on actual performers rather than people who are writing blogs and posting photos.  I see the difference in that zie is comparing these videos to traditional drag or Camp performances  and I see blogging as being more related to diary writing or zine making.  In many ways, I think blogging, particular tumblr blogging, which is very image heavy and involves sharing not only images and writings that you created but also works created by other users, is more like zine making than anything else.  Both involve putting private work and sentiments into a public, digital forum, but blogging is more about sharing personal statements and information than about performing.  I did like Christian's analysis of queer camp and online camp as being two separate things.  Zie says that queer camp did not have a place for discussion of the individual self while online camp focuses heavily on the self and individuality while embracing identity construction and categorization (Christian, 2010, 361-362).  Christian claims that it is the high visibility of gay culture today that enable young people to claim a place in larger queer and gay movements while still feeling able to construct their own identities as part of yet separate for more monolithic formations of identity (Christian, 2010, 362).  I'm not sure if I agree with all of zie's assertions about individuality because I think the fact that zie's subjects are in the act of performing on YouTube may make them more individualistic than other people in online communities, but I do think that there is a strong current of individualism and the importance of individual productions of identity in online work by LGBTQ young people.  If people are not expected to be symbols of a movement that is fighting for any sort of visibility, then there may be more room for them to play with, question, and redefine identities.

Christian, Aymar Jean. "Camp 2.0: A Queer Performance of the Personal." Communication, Culture & Critique 3, no. 3 (September 2010): 352-376. Communication & Mass Media Complete, EBSCOhost(accessed May 9, 2012).

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