Autumn 2019. One of the main ideologues of the theory queer He is invited to speak before 3,500 psychoanalysts at the School of the Freudian Cause in Paris. To begin the speech, the philosopher and writer in question, Paul B. Preciado (Burgos, 1970), lamented that apart from him, possibly, there was no other non-binary body in the room. “If there were such a person among you, if that trans, non-binary psychoanalyst existed and had been admitted among you as an expert and were here today, my greetings to that honorable mutant would be even warmer,” Preciado stated.
“Mother tongue” on stage: maternity in the plural and not very normative
On April 22, 23 and 24, Paul B. Preciado performs at the Conde Duque Center for Contemporary Culture (Madrid) dramatized reading of the text that they did not allow him to complete in its entirety in that School. All tickets have been sold out for four months.
elDiario.es has been one of the four media outlets invited to have breakfast with the creator and the cast to talk about the jump to the stage of the book I am the monster that speaks to you. Report for an academy of psychoanalysts (Anagram, 2020). “Within my own work, I am trying to make Philosophy go beyond the most usual academic framework”, confesses the author.
The conservative School of the Freudian Cause held an event in the framework of women in psychoanalysis. Despite not agreeing with the title of the meeting, Preciado accepted the invitation to the presentation but was only able to complete a quarter of her speech. When Paul B. pointed out to the academy the dilemma it was facing: validate the patriarchal-colonial regime or open a process of confrontation against the necropolitics of patriarchy, the boos and whistles began to be more notorious.
As Preciado recalls, he also had support since “in the chicken coop there were a large number of much younger psychologists and psychoanalysts who began to stand up applauding.” Unfinished act that left the academy fragmented. Parts of his speech were soon shared online, and translated into Spanish, Italian and English. In order to deepen the debate and expose the full text and without translation errors, the writer decided to publish what would have been the speech in its entirety.
Until now, the last book published by the writer –self-proclaimed uranista– begins by putting himself in the skin of the ape Pedro el Rojo, the protagonist of the book Report for an academy, written by Franz Kafka in 1917. The ape was caged and learned to communicate with the language of humans. This human-animal hybrid being spoke before an academy of scientists to narrate his evolution since he was captured. Like Pedro, Paul spoke before academics using the language of colonial patriarchy, with the language of Freud and Lacan. From the cage of “trans man”, diagnosed by psychoanalysis as “mentally ill” and “gender dysphoric”, he stated: “I am the monster that speaks to you. The monster that you yourselves have built with your discourse and your clinical practices. I am the monster that gets up from the couch and speaks.
The political cage chosen by Paul B. Preciado is that of a “non-binary gender living body”. Thinker recognized for his support for the “abolition of sexual difference”, as he indicated to this medium in 2019, that he has taken his “transition to a public spectacle”. The debinarization that he exposes empirically turns him into a “living political archive”, which he calls “somateca”. “I prefer my new condition as a monster to those of a woman or a man, because that condition is like a foot that advances in the void and points the way to another world,” he writes. “I know that I have turned my body into a showroom.”
Preciado’s biopolitical spectacle comes out of the book. He gets on stage and raises three sections that invite the reflection of the Freudian academy. The first, the regime of sexual difference, on which all psychoanalytic logic is articulated, is a political epistemology of the body that is historical and changing, not empirical. The second, that binarism with which Freudian psychoanalysis works has been in crisis since the 1940s, after the Second World War. And the third and last, sexual difference is mutating and generating a new epistemology as well as new practices of relationship, affiliation and identification.
Preciado, at fifty years of age, considers himself “a grandfather” in the trans world. For this reason, the dramatized reading that he represents is not carried out by him alone. The text I am the monster that speaks to you it has mutated to be a collective monologue since it is read by four voices, apart from that of its author. Víctor Viruta, Andy Díaz, Bambi and Jessica Velarde are the people who, since last Monday, have been working on the play. “There is a historical proximity of the people who were expelled from the public space and who were pushed into the theatrical space,” indicates Preciado.
The cast is subordinate and uses inclusive language. “It is important to be able to do projects together”, confesses the creator. “It doesn’t matter if we just met, between trans people you create a pineapple immediately, it’s very easy to connect,” says Andy Díaz. Bambi assures that this work is being “therapeutic”. Viruta is a renowned singer-songwriter from Madrid and Jessica Velarde landed on Sunday from Bolivia, and it is her first time in Spain. Verlarde, in addition to being an actress, is part of the Mujeres Creando collective. This transfeminist and anarchist movement created in 1992 in La Paz, has as one of its referents the activist and writer María Galindo, an author who presented her book in Spain last November bastard feminism (2021, Mujeres Creando), whose prologue is signed by Paul B. Preciado.
Paul B. Preciado points out the “epistemological mutation” that is underway and questions what the course of Western academia will be. Beyond the West, there are speeches such as those of the Bolivian activist María Galindo and the Puerto Rican sociologist Ramón Grosfoguel that denounce epistemicide. Concept that indicates the destruction of all non-binary or colonial knowledge articulated by the West and suffered by the Latin American and African population, among others.
The philosopher announces that his next book will be “a letter to the TERF”. “The big problems of this transfuge feminism are sex work and transsexuality, as if these were really the two spaces against which feminism must fight. Not patriarchal oppression, not aggression against women’s bodies”, he denounces.
For Preciado, a “planetary revolution” is being experienced, which is not only driven by feminism, but also by the trans movement and by sex work, “working women for whom the labor force and the means of reproduction is their own body,” he clarifies. “The problem that the TERFs have, among other things, that they talk about genderism queer and of things that do not exist at all, it is that they have never militated. I met these ladies at the Women’s Institute, when I lived in Madrid at the age of 17 and wanted to study feminism, and they dedicated themselves to analyzing Hegel and Kant. They were ladies who did not leave the Women’s Institute. We spent twenty years making a revolution”, recalls Paul B. Preciado.