The relationship between urban space and queer subjectivities is no stranger to scholarly attention. The thesis intends to contribute to this debate by tackling one of its most critical limitations: a predominant emphasis on Anglo-Saxon and North European case studies, which are often interpreted as paradigmatic models aspiring to universal applicability. Rome is the capital city of a Western country, Italy; nevertheless, by hosting the Catholic Holy See, it is also imbued with a powerful religious discourse, which has led scholars to talk about an ‘alternatively modern’ or ‘alternatively global’ city. In the year 2000 Rome hosted the first official World Pride in history, while the Catholic Church was simultaneously claiming hegemony over Rome’s urban space for the celebrations of its Jubilee. The thesis looks back at the World Pride through some of the conceptual tools of the urban studies debate on mega-events: the World Pride is interpreted as the climax of a larger trajectory of queer communitarian development, which was supposed to spur dramatic improvements in terms of both sexual citizenship and the consolidation of gayconnoted urban experiences, as it was happening in many Western metropolitan areas, whose flourishing gay commercial scenes were starting to be incorporated into the cities’ branding strategies. The argument then moves onto the analysis of Rome’s Gay Village, a three-month-long summertime festival that was created in continuity with the significant trajectory of visibility in public space, which the 2000 event had set out. Participant observation during the 2017 edition revealed how the space of Gay Village is shaped by strong heterosexist dynamics, which I critically approached with a focus on bodies and corporeality inspired by Robyn Longhurst’s works. Conclusions are critical about the success of the long-term goals attached to the World Pride, in light of the quick disruption of its organisational leadership and the poor cohesion of Rome’s activist networks; similarly, the commercial success of Gay Village has progressively weakened its social significance: interviews with the organisers unveiled a vision of gender and sexual identities that is not thoroughly articulated, and does not succeed in effectively queerying the space of Gay Village. The case of Rome problematises some tenets of the academic debate on queer geographies, in particular by challenging the notion of a uniformly progressive queer metropolitan ‘West’.

S.P.Q.R.: Space and Pride in Queer Rome. Critical reflection on the 2000 World Pride and its urban legacy / LA ROCCA, Marco. - (2019 Jul 16).

S.P.Q.R.: Space and Pride in Queer Rome. Critical reflection on the 2000 World Pride and its urban legacy

LA ROCCA, MARCO
2019

Abstract

The relationship between urban space and queer subjectivities is no stranger to scholarly attention. The thesis intends to contribute to this debate by tackling one of its most critical limitations: a predominant emphasis on Anglo-Saxon and North European case studies, which are often interpreted as paradigmatic models aspiring to universal applicability. Rome is the capital city of a Western country, Italy; nevertheless, by hosting the Catholic Holy See, it is also imbued with a powerful religious discourse, which has led scholars to talk about an ‘alternatively modern’ or ‘alternatively global’ city. In the year 2000 Rome hosted the first official World Pride in history, while the Catholic Church was simultaneously claiming hegemony over Rome’s urban space for the celebrations of its Jubilee. The thesis looks back at the World Pride through some of the conceptual tools of the urban studies debate on mega-events: the World Pride is interpreted as the climax of a larger trajectory of queer communitarian development, which was supposed to spur dramatic improvements in terms of both sexual citizenship and the consolidation of gayconnoted urban experiences, as it was happening in many Western metropolitan areas, whose flourishing gay commercial scenes were starting to be incorporated into the cities’ branding strategies. The argument then moves onto the analysis of Rome’s Gay Village, a three-month-long summertime festival that was created in continuity with the significant trajectory of visibility in public space, which the 2000 event had set out. Participant observation during the 2017 edition revealed how the space of Gay Village is shaped by strong heterosexist dynamics, which I critically approached with a focus on bodies and corporeality inspired by Robyn Longhurst’s works. Conclusions are critical about the success of the long-term goals attached to the World Pride, in light of the quick disruption of its organisational leadership and the poor cohesion of Rome’s activist networks; similarly, the commercial success of Gay Village has progressively weakened its social significance: interviews with the organisers unveiled a vision of gender and sexual identities that is not thoroughly articulated, and does not succeed in effectively queerying the space of Gay Village. The case of Rome problematises some tenets of the academic debate on queer geographies, in particular by challenging the notion of a uniformly progressive queer metropolitan ‘West’.
Rome; World Pride; mega-events; Gay Village; corporeality
S.P.Q.R.: Space and Pride in Queer Rome. Critical reflection on the 2000 World Pride and its urban legacy / LA ROCCA, Marco. - (2019 Jul 16).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12571/9734
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