In Queer Companions Omar Kasmani theorizes saintly intimacy and the construction of queer social relations at Pakistan’s most important site of Sufi pilgrimage. Conjoining queer theory and the anthropology of Islam, Kasmani outlines the felt and enfleshed ways in which saintly affections bind individuals, society, and the state in Pakistan through a public architecture of intimacy. Islamic saints become lovers and queer companions just as a religious universe is made valuable to critical and queer forms of thinking. Focusing on the lives of ascetics known as fakirs in Pakistan, Kasmani shows how the affective bonds with the place’s patron saint, a thirteenth-century antinomian mystic, foster unstraight modes of living in the present. In a national context where religious shrines are entangled in the state’s infrastructures of governance, coming close to saints further entails a drawing near to more-than-official histories and public forms of affect. Through various fakir life stories, Kasmani contends that this intimacy offers a form of queer world making with saints.
19:15 Welcome note by Hansjörg Dilger
19:30 Reading + Conversation Omar Kasmani with Fabian Bernhardt & Nasima Selim
21:30 Music set + sonic response by DJ Taxila (Syma Tariq)
Organized by CRC 1171 Affective Societies Freie Universität Berlin
Time & Location
Jul 01, 2022 | 07:00 PM
Reinickendorfer Straße 17, 13347 Berlin