I’ve been obsessed with the figure of “the diva” and her position within black popular music for awhile now. Been really preoccupied with her role in the house performance complex as the often unremarked explosive ingredient in much of dance/club music. But this moment is issuing a new era for the diva — in drag — and most often of color as African American or Latino. What is the power of today’s “camp of color”? What are our current iterations of “fierceness”? Beyonce’s I Am…Sasha Fierce, Leyomi and Vogue Evolution’s recent turn (and at least for the moment, adulation) on ABDC, the underground viral following of underground ballroom battles via YouTube. What’s up with the rising value of fierceness and who has the authority to perform it? The intersecting vectors of queerness, race and mass media are creating some strange combinations in public culture. I will keep these happenings in view as I tease out how divadom, camp of color, fierceness, sexuality and house/disco suggest a potent mix.
(this entry is crossposted with another blog: http://givethanks2009.wordpress.com/)