El Cazador de la Ciudadana (The Hunter of the Citizen)
I am using this week’s theme to call attention to the ways in which queer desires disrupt the affective logic of liberal citizenship. My video highlights one of the many citizenship rights denied to gays and lesbians in the United States, the right to spousal immigration sponsorship. Family-based immigration is the most common route to U.S. permanent residency (the “green card”), however federal law under DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) does not recognize same-sex relationships and therefore offers no path for gay and lesbian citizens to sponsor their foreign partners. The result is that queer couples and families have been literally hunted down and separated under U.S. immigration policies, forced into foreign exile abroad or illegality at home. U.S. citizens who happen to love a non-resident alien are often confronted with an agonizing “Sophie’s Choice” between that relationship and their jobs, their families, and their country.
Magic Flute Production’s “El Cazador de la Inmigrantes” (The Hunter of the Immigrants) is a satirical trailer based on the popular Japanese television anime (and manga) series, El Cazador de la Bruja (The Hunter of the Witch). It is also an example of slash fiction, or video “femslash,” which romantically links the two central female characters of the series, Ellis and Nadie. The video takes the global influence, visibility, and commercial success of anime style and "chicks with guns" narrative motif as a discursive means of interrogating the imbrications of sexuality and gender with citizenship policies and national systems of acceptance and expulsion. For me, the video strikes a deeply visceral chord, as it dramatizes questions of mobility (voluntary vs. involuntary) within formations of citizenship, basically defining queer citizenship as citizenship on the lam. It serves as a reminder that any discussion of queer citizenship needs to be situated in a transnational queer studies, an analysis of the movements of bodies, desires, technologies, and capital across (and against) national boundaries. Moreover, it is an important reminder (suggested in the artist's use of the plural “inmigrantes”) that queer citizens in the United States are effectively rendered aliens in their own nation.