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Follow Us Sophia, Belgisch Netwerk voor Genderstudies

+32 (0)2 229 38 69

Middaglijnstraat 10, 1210 Brussels


Complicated Fascism: Cross-dressing, the Wehrmacht and the Camera

This event will feature a talk by Paola Medina-Gonzalez, followed by a Q&A session with the audience.
This talk aims to explore the complications that arise when researching cross-dressing within the Nazi military as it muddles soldierly gender dynamics as it defies cultural memory. There will be an exploration of military cross-dressing through amateur photography taken by Wehrmacht soldiers during basic training, the front lines, and prisoner of war camps. The images showcase non-heteronormative play through stage productions, celebrations, and ambiguous activities. They illustrate instances of jovial camaraderie and merriment alongside potential cruising, powerplay, and hazing. These photographs show the soldiers drive to commemorate these events within military life, all the while conducting the War of Extermination. Ultimately, this talk attempts to illustrate the difficulty of identifying and defying queerness within a system that propelled to cleanse itself from it.