Cite: Greyson, Pinkface

Greyson, John. “Pinkface.” Camera Obscura 27.2 (2012): 145-53.

URL: http://cameraobscura.dukejournals.org/content/27/2_80/145.abstract

Abstract

This article presents case studies of two recent Toronto actions protesting Israeli apartheid, as seen through queer eyes: the 2009 Toronto Declaration, a petition with thousands of signatures that condemned the Toronto International Film Festival’s (TIFF) collaboration with the Israeli consulate’s marketing campaign “Brand Israel” in the presentation of a city-to-city spotlight on Tel Aviv cinema (known as the Tel Aviv Spotlight); and the 2010 Pride Awards Give-Back, in which twenty-two recipients of various Pride Toronto awards from the past ten years gave back their awards in protest against the banning from the city’s Pride parade of the activist group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid.

Greyson recounts his experiences as an active participant in both actions: with the former, he pulled his short film Covered from TIFF in protest against the Tel Aviv Spotlight; while with the latter, he gave back his Arts and Culture award, which he had received the previous year. His account explores the tactics and strategies that made these actions effective. In particular, he deconstructs the arguments commonly used by the Zionist lobby on queers, revealing the contradictions and fabrications that are resorted to by those groups convinced that queers should side uncritically with Israel on all issues, simply because of Israel’s recent pro-gay stances on various issues.

The central portion of “Pinkface” presents Greyson’s response to the op-eds and full-page ads of noted Canadian producer Robert Lantos, who repeatedly accused the Toronto Declaration signators of being blacklisters, censors, and fascists (among other choice terms). By deconstructing Lantos’s accusations one by one, Greyson in turn reveals the specific tactics that distinguish this current boycott movement from past efforts, be they in South Africa, Chile, or India.

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