Love on Trial – Dr Christian Klesse on ‘Love, Activism, Polyamory’

Love on Trial is nearly upon us, with buy-one-get-one-free tickets flying out from http://lovemutinytickets.blogspot.com and speakers and performers booked up for every session.

In session 3, ‘Love Activism’, we’ll be discussing Russian revolutionary Alexandra Kollontai’s views on free love and sexuality, and bringing things bang up to date with a debate on the politics of polyamory now. Dr Christian Klesse of Manchester Metropolitan University will be joining the Mutiny table to stir up debate on ‘Love, Activism, Polyamory’…

“Radical social movments which strive for the creation of more peaceful, democratic, equal and just societies need to address questions of sexuality and relationality. The personal is political, after all. Old ways of (romantic) loving have reproduced heteronormative, patriarchal and sex-negative cultural values. The critique of compulsory monogamy and couple-centrism has been an important part on the agenda of critial social movements throughout the 20th and (early) 21st centuries.

Many believe that polyamory offers a roadmap for learning to love differently and to practice non-monogamy responsibly. Yet by fetishising love (as an icon for non-exploitative, non-absuive, egalitarian and consenual relationships), polyamory advocates frequently rehearse some of the exclusions, which went hand in hand with previous (romantic) love ideologies, too. Promiscuity (in all its distinctive forms) emerges as enemy number one of a new normativity at the heart of some interpretations of polyamory.

Yes, we need to learn to love, desire and to have sex differently. Yes, we need to develop the emotional and practical skills to relate to each other differently. Yes, we need to invent and realise new modes of sociality. However, whether we need to write the word ‘LOVE’ (whether singular or multiple) in the title of such a programme, is a completely different question. This does have, without any questions, some drawbacks.”

Have your say, argue the night away, join the Mutiny – Feb 10th, Resistance Gallery, 6pm.

With other contributions from academics Prof Deborah Philips and Nina Power; performance poets Alison Brumfitt and Deborah Grayson; comedian Helen Arney and polemical performers Sh!t Theatre, you’d be mad to miss it…

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