Thin Attachments: Writing Berlin in Scenes of Daily Loves
Omar Kasmani – 2019
Thin Attachments brings personal memoir to bear on an affective geography of Berlin. In scenes of daily loves, the city’s queers and Sufis, saints and strangers, lovers and research-partners cross paths at work, in cafes, at mosques, online, and in bed. Queer, migrant, and the religious are returning figures that coagulate in private rituals of be/longing and scenes of public intimacy. Insofar as thin stands for spectral depth and emotional traffic, it performs the task of engaging politics of time, sex, and religion in the city not in antagonistic terms but as critically coincident. Similarly, attachment in this work is that figure of affect, which brings us tad closer to the knowledge of how we might long and belong in shared unfamiliarity; of how ostensibly straight pasts and queer futures, sex and saints in Berlin constitute continuums otherwise implausible; of how delicacies of religious ritual echo precarities of queer love. The result is a body of non-linear fragments that discover the sparse and surprising ways in which longings of places and people intersect and in so doing summon the city as though it were a crafty djinn, shapeshifting between its material, virtual, and imaginal forms.