I believe in low theory

What I am doing these days:

I am a believer in low theory, as stated by Jack Halberstam: “I believe in low theory in popular places, in the small, inconsequential, the antimonumental, the micro, the irrelevant. I believe in making differences by thinking little thoughts and by sharing them widely. I seek to provoke, annoy, bother, irritate, and amuse; I am chasing small projects, micropolitics, hunches, whims, fancies.”(p.21, The Queer Art of Failure)

I had a hunch about something when visiting these little jizobosatusu statues at the side of Zojoji Shrine, Tokyo, devoted to stillborn babies, but I did not know what was ahead of me. I admired the finely crocheted red hats made by mourning mothers. These scullptures were the most memorable trivia of my trip and I had just stumbled upon them. They punctured me with feelings of love and loss, all these dead babies and their immaculate outfits left behind by mothers and families, sometimes baby toys and objects.

Nobody noticed it too much, except for my sister Mieke, a legal consultant in the Flemish parliament on children’s rights,  who always looked at my snaps of travels and who happened to comment on these statues. They punctured her a little bit as well. Our eyes fell upon them and we probably sensed amazement and pain.

When she fell ill several months ago and finally died of cancer on january 19, 2013, I knew how special her support for me had been. She liked my whimsical intellectual nature. With her departure, my world has gone haywire, I fight my counter-attacks to hegemonic academia, l stay afloat and follow my whims and fancies and I chase small projects. I believe in my own micro-niche university but I am still  not quite recovered from her absence.