“We will always mourn like children…” Racism, homophobia and thanatopolitics; again


Dimitris Papanikolaou




Taking its cue from the deadly attack against activist and drag performer Zak Kostopoulos/Zackie Oh and shocking death on 21/9/2018 in Athens, this article joins a number of public interventions on the issue and reaffirms the need to discuss, once again, the issues of racism, homophobia and thanatopolitics in the Greece of the Crisis. The aim is to underline the ethical, aesthetic and political dimensions that such a discussion can take in this context. In the second part of the essay, using examples from films and texts referring to the genealogy of the HIV/AIDS movement, the article reassesses the need to reframe and rethink the central notions of creative rage, cruel insistence and non-normative time and duration.


Dimitris Papanikolaou is Associate Professor of Modern Greek Studies at the University of Oxford. He has written the monographs: Singing Poets: Literature and Popular Music in France and Greece (Legenda/Routledge, 2007), “Those people made like me”: C. P. Cavafy and the poetics of sexuality (Patakis, 2014, in Greek) and There is something about the family: Nation, desire and kinship in a time of crisis (Patakis, 2018, in Greek). His book Greek Weird Wave: A Cinema of Biopolitics will be published by Edinburgh University Press in 2020.