Queering Space in a Place Within a Place? : Geographical Imaginations of Swedish Pride Festivals

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Kulturgeografiska institutionen

Abstract: I have used Massey’s (1995) concept of Geographical Imaginations together with Ahmed’s (2006) Queer Phenomenology to research the different meanings attached to Pride festivals in Stockholm and Gothenburg. In this thesis, Pride is defined as a contested place, which is held in places. To research perceptions of Pride and its hosting cities, I have interviewed people with experiences from the Pride festivals and city council employees involved with them. I have also analysed communication and marketing material related to Pride and LGBTQ tourism in Stockholm and Gothenburg. The interviews and the published material showed that Pride as a place sometimes queers parts of the city space by changing them temporarily, making LGBTQ performances more visible. Meanwhile, the articulations of Pride made by city officials, employees and tourist marketing materials showed how LGBTQ rights were understood as dependent on space and time, where both the cities and Sweden were conceptualised as “ahead” in time compared to other places, defining human rights as a Swedish national trait and a tourist commodity.

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