PhD Researcher, Institute for Geography, University of Potsdam
From February 5 to February 16, 2020
Chris Hiller (preferred name: Lotte) is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Geography at the University of Potsdam, Germany. Their research is based in the geographies of sexualities and aims to deconstruct ‘Western’ notions of the concept of safer spaces for LGBT individuals with a postcolonial framework. During fieldwork in the Philippines in 2018 and 2019, they interviewed Filipino LGBT advocates and attended several local LGBT events. In October 2018, they delivered a public lecture at the University of the Philippines in Diliman on “Securitizing LGBT Refugees in Germany”. In Germany, they taught “Gender Geographies” in Göttingen, “Migration of Desires” in Potsdam and they are going to teach “Safe Spaces on University Campus” in Berlin. They created a literary excursion for Potsdam where the participants experience personal stories of fictional characters and reflect on identity, migration, integration and privilege.
Project at Faber —
During my stay at Faber Residency, I will explore alternative concepts of safer spaces by analyzing the transcripts of the interviews which I conducted in the Philippines and write the concept of my paper.
While ‘Western’ imaginations view safer spaces as physical and monolithic spaces, Filipino discourses focus on the bodies of individuals. Empowerment appears as a strategy to make LGBT individuals resilient against discrimination in precarious situations. In addition, I want to exchange ideas, experiences and views with the other residents, whose different professional, national, and cultural backgrounds allow nuanced discussions.