At first, I struggled with how to pull together ideas regarding the ideas explained in Elizabeth’s Groez’s chapter, Refiguring Bodies, and the class visit to the Pop-Up Museum of Queer History. One link between the two is the idea of temporary autonomous zones. If I understand correctly, temporary autonomous zones are spaces where new ideas and identities can be explored and experimented with. An intentional community is a temporary (but perhaps more permanent) autonomous zone because it allows its residents to find and create new ways of developing community interaction, supplying one’s needs, and interacting with the outside world.

The  Pop-Up Museum of Queer History  creates a temporary autonomous zone. The museum could be placed anywhere in the world, and therefore creates a space where queer history is recognized and celebrated. Queer history isn’t recognized as part of US History in high school, but it could exist if the museum sets up in a local high school. By using its mobility, the museum creates recognition for an entire sector of the population that are often ignored and discriminated.

The internet has probably been on the best innovations in terms of temporary autonomous space.  Anyone can create a space that sets for a new way of being in the world. In fact, except for limited censorship (we hope, right?) and child pornography, you can legally post about anything in everything in the world. Just think about the TAS we create on our Facebook page. We can create a zone where we are represented as exactly the person we want to be. In fact, people often believe that this zone is so temporary and so autonomous that nothing they post will have an effect on their real lives, but perhaps we are wrong for thinking so! But the internet can also bring about temporary autonomous zones that are positive. One of the exhibits at the Pop-Up museum featured a blog called I’m From Driftwood, which featured stories of gay people from all over the world. I listened to the story of a Linda Mortimer.

 Her story was about her first time going to a lesbian bar. As a reflect now, I realize that through the mechanism of a temporary autonomous zone like The Pop-Up Museum of Queer History, I accessed a permanent autonomous zone, the blog, which shared the story of a woman experiencing the liberation of another permanently autonomous zone for the very first time.  When I can experience the idea of a temporary autonomous zone, I recognize how powerful the space can be.

-Jenna Graham

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