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Hybrid Identities and Conflicting Identifications in Postcolonial Britain

   

Added on  2019-09-20

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Hybrid Identities and Conflicting Identifications in Postcolonial Britain_1

ContentsIntroduction................................................................................................................................3Queer Theory.............................................................................................................................4Culture, Gender and Sexuality...................................................................................................4Post Colonial Identity.................................................................................................................6Hyrid Identity.............................................................................................................................8Thatcherism and the Politicl Scenario......................................................................................10Conclusion................................................................................................................................12References................................................................................................................................132
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IntroductionMy Beautiful Launderette is a 1985, HanifKuereishi British film, set in Thatcher’s Britain depicting the interaction between the Pakistani and British communities. However, it addresses poignant issues of importance like gender identity, homosexuality, precolonial identity, Thatcherism and queer theory among others. The movie can best be described as a hybrid film that questions the ‘black identity’ as per the pre-colonial definition, tries to bring about the interrelation between ethnic and class differences through the main protagonist, Omar. The movie is an attempt to examine the societal construct and cultural identity in Britain under Thatcher. The two generations (Omar and his father) give a comparative analysis of pre-colonial and post-colonial identity of the immigrants. Stemming from the undertones of homosexuality, it also attempts to depict how the commendations pertaining to interpellation in the South Asian queer diaspora of Britain under Thatcher are resisted. As labelled by Cameron Bailey, films of this kind could be referred to as ‘cinema of duty’ as it tries to tranquilize the negative portrayal of ‘Blacks’ by ‘Whites’. Through his depictions, Hanif tries to understand the hegemonic discussions related toidentity formation while focusing on alterations in the desires and sexuality within the societal and cultural bounds of Britain, intentionally attempting to include the politically and socially disenfranchised section of the society, here, the marginalized South Asian diaspora. Such readings make us revisit identity as something dynamic and constantly evolving which is difficult to bind in categories.The essay will try to address how identity-cultural, social, sexual instigate responsibility, pre-colonial identity of the marginalized and Thatcherism and queer theory as depicted in My Beautiful Launderette.3
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Queer theoryQueer theory is an ideology based upon the thinking of non-fixation of identities. Identities do not determine who we are! To assume that an individual can be described on thebasis of one characteristic is absurd and hence it does not make any sense to call someone a ‘man’ or ‘woman’. Thus, queer theory questions the status quo and challenges the set notions of the society. Queerness likewise challenges well known national representations and consequently national lucidness, in the event that we consider that the country in it its plans for citizenship, work and so on benefits. Queerness is like a diaspora space, a middle space which is not bounded by a nation or even the world. [ CITATION Wil13 \l 1033 ]The movie is laying emphasis on the South Asian gay diaspora, which assumes that South Asians in general are homophobic and that westerners are more tolerant of such deviating sexualities. So, to a south Asian queer a western refuge is like welcoming into an acceptable world. Thus, this diaspora space makes him feel comfortable in his own skin. As can be seen in the movie, the protagonist Omar does not feel self-hate and he is neither concerned about his ethnicity. He is pretty much comfortable being a British and gay. The characters are seen challenging the sexual and racial identities through the relationship between Johnny and Omar.Culture, Genderand SexualityKureishi, through My Beautiful Launderette has attempted to challenge the prejudices that exist in every culture. He has used sexuality as the instrument to highlight these pre conceived socio-cultural notions. The homosexual relationship between Omar and Johnny paves way for the distinct path than conceived by their cultures, societies and families. Their 4
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