Lives of Constraint, Paths to Freedom
The conclusion proposes the concept of queer contingency to describe the recurring back-and-forth between the possibility of freedom and the risk of injury that characterizes Black queer experience throughout the diaspora, which is tracked in the book. The simultaneity of vulnerability and empowerment and the uncertainty of which will prevail at any given moment constitute the terrain of queer contingency. Cultural producers respond to the recognition of contingency by offering queer subjects aesthetic redress, or artworks that imagine paths to freedom that move through but never fully beyond threat. The conclusion turns briefly to Zanele Muholi’s photographic series of South African Black lesbians to illustrate this idea of aesthetic redress and offer a final visual example of the artistic exploration of queer contingency.
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