Deconstructing Zoe: Performing Race

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    Abstract

    “When I’m driving as a man, nobody notices me, everyone goes Chink, but when I’m Zoe people are honking me, winking at me, tailing me and she’s like voom, speeding down the West Way.” What is it that makes Chinese men mostly invisible in the West? Why, by contrast, are Chinese women nearly always seen as desirable?   Zoe has grappled with this question in her work as an actor on stage.  As a Chinese man he often passes unnoticed, but as a Chinese woman, Zoe attracts attention and feels empowered. Deconstructing Zoe is a vivid and intimate portrait of a transgender actor. We trace the journey from boyhood in a small town in Malaysia to the West-end stage via the trans scene of London.  The accompanying commentary describes the filmmaking process and discusses how Deconstructing Zoe, explores the intersection between gender, race and sexuality, in the postcolonial geographical spaces of her world stage. It questions how Zoe, by performing race, is able to create agency and become the author of her own identity
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalZapruder World
    Volume4
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - 31 Mar 2018

    Keywords

    • Cinema
    • Gender
    • LGBTQI
    • Performance
    • Race
    • Sexuality

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