Interview with Beatriz Preciado >Queertheorist>Paris>
Tara Herbst

Beatriz: Just a previous thing to say before we start the interview.
When you asked me to do this interview and I saw the questions you send me, I thought I did not have much to say, that my political experience was not so long: I was in basically gay and lesbian groups for 7 years now. What I did is write a book about dildos and that's it. And having a lot of fun with groups and with friends. Even if I think about the involvement I had with politics in the last years, I had that for fun, to enjoy, because I was bored by feminist politics in the way I used to see it before. I don’t think that I have an answer to the questions. Also now I am going through very skeptic moments in politics, I am questioning a lot of practices I used to have before, ways of relating to people, even my own position as a writer or a speaker I am much more doubtful right now, that that could have any political sense.

Tara: I think this is similar for all of us, we all have these questions. That is also what Assembly is about; it's about all of us having these questions.

Beatriz: Then it's fine. So I don’t feel totally crazy and alone on this thing. beatriz

Tara: Do you yourself feel reflected in Media.

Beatriz: When I think of Media I am much thinking of it in a prosthetic way. I would take it into a theory of handicaps and disabilities, and so on. When I think about media I tend to think about prosthetic extension, much more than in terms of representation. That is one of the failures and deceptions of all this years of identity politics, this obsession with visibility and representation in the media, as if the media would be like this stereo thing that is representing political realities. I don’t see it that way. I am interested in media in as much as it can be a prosthetic way of producing subjectivities, and that is what interests me. But the media as TV things, I have no hope coming from that. When I think about media I think about people like De la Grace, people that use Media in a different way to produce subjectivities. When you are asking me if I see myself represented in dominant media; no not at all. And thanks God. Although my mother is really worried about me being represented in dominant media because in Spain there is this whole question going on about gay marriage...

Tara: And they found you as a reference?

Beatriz: No, I am precisely like the counter-reference. Because most people are fighting for gay marriage and I am saying we should just abolish marriage all together at the same time I have all these people even in the city where my parents are living from the church fighting gay marriage. Lately I gave a couple of interviews to papers. So my mom called me and said 'I can not go to the hairdresser any more because of you.'

Tara: So you are present in that media.

Beatriz: Yes, very rarely I can be present in that media. But I don’t believe in being myself in the media, as pretending to represent some kind of identity or principles or ideals that is just lost from the beginning. But ideally I think that I more and more would like to go into becoming imperceptible, in the Deleuzian sense, not being visible, I think invisibility is today much more than before a condition for political work, even though we are doing this now, you are working with your camera and I am talking to you, but that's what I meant when I said to you I am now into witchcraft. Even talking to a friend from Multitude, this magazine, we were thinking about organizing a whole political encounter called witchcraft and politics, precisely becoming secret, going totally invisible, creating rituals that will not be known by others as a condition for political work, I think we have something amazing there that we have to work with. Much more than this obsession of going into the media, going into mainstream and becoming visible, blablabla, it's lost.

Tara: That's also why we called it 'micro-international'

Beatriz: Very good, I like that.

Tara: Like a secret 'micro-international', Assembly International.

Beatriz: I like that. I don’t know that completely but I think that micro is going to be in my new book title, I was working a lot with the idea from Guattari, the micro-politics of the cells, precisely going into what is not visible. I am working on hormones, substances, drugs, really looking at the micro level of things, and dealing with the difference between one milligram and one and a half milligram. That is what I am interested in now.

Tara: And concerning sexuality?

Beatriz: Yeah. Of course.

Tara: That's what I just thought coming here concerning the prosthetic; I thought 'why is she never talking about drugs and sex', as an extension of body images.

Beatriz: Oh yeah, totally, and that would be even more if we go into the invisible prosthetic I think that that would be the sublime of prostheses, the invisible, the micro level. Which is anyhow already what is going on, which has nothing to do with identity in the sense of representation of visibility, in the terms that it has been thought by even the medical regimes of the nineteenth century, but also by the media regimes of the 70ies to 90ies, that's what I am interested in right now, what I would call politics of experimentation. When I was working on that I was talking to different friends and they said 'oh you start talking like Sloterdijk'. And I thought, Oh no, I hope not. And at the same time it is true that there is a similarity in the sense that it has to do a lot with drugs and homeopathy and what I call politics of experimentation, which means that the primary reign of politics is your own body. I presented this new work that I am doing in a long paper that will probably be the first essay in this book, which is going to be all about hormones, but also about precise people. Like histories, life histories.

Tara: Experiences.

Beatriz: Yes, exactly. Body experiences. And people told me 'oh now you are going from politics into aesthetics of life, now you are going into individuality', and I said, 'Who is telling you that the body is individual? That the body is not already a community?'

Tara: I think it is an interesting way to go beyond theory.

Beatriz: Yeah. Right. I would even the work I am doing right now...maybe I am going into a terrain that has nothing to do with the interview and you will say what the fuck is she talking about...

Tara: You can talk about anything you like.

Beatriz: Okay. I was working about a woman called Agnes, a case that was very discussed in psychopathology and psychiatry around the 50ies, it is an amazing story, that story goes far beyond and completely puts into questions perfomativity, performance, everything and you are really going through high risk experiences, and I think without those high risk experiences with your own body, there is no politics whatsoever. We can do a lot of stuff but it will not be real politics. I would like to work on this kind of political moments right now. And how do you go from that individual level into the collective or communities or whatever, apart from the fact that like I already said the body is already a community.
I am interested in thinking about rituals to program desire.

Tara: What do you mean by program?

Beatriz: By program I mean... that I don’t believe in desires as being a kind of foundational source of subjectivity, but much more as an effect of political regimes. Why should we follow desire in any manner? How can anyone be loyal or true to his own or her own desire? I like to think that we can really program desire and change desire, modify it, and if we don’t modify desire we are lost and we just...

Tara: Reproduce normality.

Beatriz: Even where desire produces perversity nothing tells us that that perversity will be put into question in the regime of the normal; it could just be the exception, the exotic. What I mean by program... after working with the group in Barcelona, I have been very obsessed about going back to Guattari, and it was very funny that you were immediately talking about subject groups and things like that. About going back to Guattari's method of working with institutions and with groups. Because I realized when I worked around Drag-king and Post-Pornography, that I went into an area that had to do with political therapy or something that I was not ready to deal with.

Tara: What do you mean by political therapy?

Beatriz: I don’t know yet. I see that in relation to the work that Guattari was doing when he was claiming... both you can say with Deleuze, language like 'minority languages' or much more with Guattari, in submission of micro powers, that produce other knowledges. The questioning of the position of the expert, I realized working in different groups, gay, lesbians, trans- and so on, that you produce a certain kind of knowledge and the question is what is this knowledge good for. Can this produce ruptures into realities? And working into the experience of drag-kings and doing Post-Pornography like doing these workshops, using sexuality as performance; I realized we were producing a kind of knowledge that in my sense was displacing the knowledge itself, both ordinary psychology but also psychoanalysis in relation to desire, subjectivity even sexuality. And I saw it and I experimented myself processes of therapy, which I would call political therapy, things that you can not deal with individually but you will also be able to collectively; in an institutional context of people that are supposed to be crazy, or supposed to be homosexuals, there is something else that is going on, kind of breakouts of subjectivity that come up. There is a dimension of political witchcraft in what is going on in those groups. These ideas, you can find that mostly in black writers, in Fanon for example, in a lot of people that are working from not even minorities but like un-voice. Not even minorities but something much more radical than that. Completely de-subjectivized communities. And then you have to deal with something that is stronger than that. For instance last year I was doing an interview with Adrienne Piper, this woman, she is an artist from the 70ies, a black woman that basically is pale, is white on her face and has been working a lot with that complexity of being black and being white at the same time and not fitting in both communities and of course for me she was doing post identity politics like thirty five years before even identity politics was invented. Which was amazing and that was one of the reasons why I really wanted to relate to her. We talked and she told me well, if you really want to do politics, then you need some kind of meditation and religion, and you can not do politics just as if you would do like business. I like that. There is a sense of we are not doing business, we are not creating enterprises, firms, we have some other aims and those aims are kind of undercover, they are secret and sometimes they are even so secret that we don’t know where they are, and some people might continue them and that is my sense of community, we belong to... of course that can look as if I am talking about...I am an awful girl, I am talking about sex, you know like this: 'Oh, we are an undercover community that nobody knows' . No, I am just thinking we need to become invisible to give us the privilege of experience to basically give us the opportunity of thinking... Not thinking of black magic, but thinking for instance that science can not be the only approach to subjectivity, and the same way that performativity and theory of language can not be the only approach of the theory of identity, that is non-sense.

Tara: And are you actually meditating?

Beatriz: I have to say that I am very much into experimentation myself for different things. First when I started to do this work about pornography with the group I thought I need to go into my own shit because this is this trade to the group, the whole thing will only become about power, my own narcissistic desire to control people and see people fucking around me all the time and having sex with everyone, so I am convinced, if we want to do some political work we really have to be rigid with ourselves and fight desire in a very strong way. I am doing all kinds of weird things right now, from hypnosis to meditation to different drugs, I am even thinking about taking different hormones, but not to become anything, just to go into the process of becoming something without really becoming. I am quite fascinated about substances, and the way they play politically.

Tara: What we said before in the café, concerning subject groups and institutions, you said your tendency goes to institutions although you actually don’t really believe in institutions...

Beatriz: On one side I am completely disappointed about groups, identity politics, all kinds of different projects of communities as entities that produce communication, because that is what it is, you get into any identity group right now and they look like an enterprise, they produce images... I am right now taking some distance from that. But when I talk about institutions I am probably using the notion of institution in a loose sense, a little bit like I was talking about contracts before, for instance in the manifesto and other works.

Tara: Okay, in that sense.

Beatriz: Yes, in that sense. Just giving it a kind of fragile rigidity to something that has no consistency, that is completely fiction, right. So you have to invent a structure, I think we really need to invent new institutions.

Tara: So you mean a completely new form of institution.

Beatriz: Oh totally. Yeah. For instance we all know that couples don’t work, that marriage is useless or it is even worse than useless, it might be a political regime in itself. But how do we create other political regimes without institutions, it is impossible. Those institutions can be just like as you said before, an event, where people get together and connect, creating a net. That might last for 2 days, and that is already a small structure, that kind of planes, des plages, space, creating spaces, even if these spaces might not be there forever, they resist time. They pierce reality somehow. Otherwise what are we doing it for? That is for me the sense of witchcraft as well, creating small holes in reality. They have to be really small; if they are not very small they would be immediately swallowed by media representation, normal institutions. I see this like a much more complex... I realize now that I am very young although I am 34 years old, but I realize I am really young I know nothing, nothing, whatsoever, I haven`t done anything, you know what I mean?  Honestly. So I like to see myself like being 8 again, having an idea of getting to know at that point how do you really pierce. That's why I also think it is such a pity that we lost any relation to other generations.

Tara: It's strange, I am 34, too and I am exactly at the same point. That is exactly why I am doing Assembly because I really don’t know. Maybe it’s a question of being 34.

Beatriz: Maybe it’s a question of being 34, right.

Tara: Maybe it is a question of being born in the seventies, too.

Beatriz: Probably it is, but for instance in France it happens to me very rarely it is much more the case when I go to Spain, probably because of the structure of society in Spain, you are in touch with a lot of feminist, women, trans- people that are like 60... I don’t know we are really arrogant, you know, I now see all the identity politics movement as the most arrogant movement in the world. It is disgusting.

Tara: Even towards other minorities...that's also...

Beatriz: Oh, totally, completely. When I was going to Chile for a month I was very excited and when I came back I wanted to talk to everyone about Chile, I was going mad, I thought how is it possible that I am from Spain, and that I had never been exposed to all these political groups and that really speak the same language like myself and I am totally connected to communities of the US and how come, this is ridiculous: But I found nobody interested in Chile, when I say something about New York, everybody is like oh yeah, blablabla New York is this...
Even though we don’t care about New York because we all know that nothing is going on anymore in New York and it is lost. So we are arrogant and idiots, that's what we are. Also this also goes with friends that I do have they are gay lesbian people, we talk about people and 'oh they are straight oh they are stupid, they are straight', 'what do you mean?  Aren't you stupid because...just because you are lesbian or whatever?' This kind of gay sense of security at a point because we did not exist before it was just like 'Oh being born', and now I think we really need to hold on for a minute and think what do we really want to do.

Tara: Yeah, I agree. And back to the issue of invisibility, what about the professional representative level then, like earning money and having kind of a social recognition. Is it something you think you need? Or becoming famous, like your mother and the magazines...How do you deal with it?

Beatriz: I don’t know, it is funny that you say becoming famous; I am mostly completely unconscious of that. Honestly, I think that it is not me who is famous, it is completely ridiculous. I think that something magical has happened with the book, and that happens always with writing and images as well, at least in that prosthetic sense I was talking about before, when you really produce a level of reality or materiality, then suddenly that gives a platform for people to stay, that is really beautiful to see when that happens with something that you do. But being famous, I honestly don’t see it that way.

Tara: What about the social recognition?

Beatriz: Okay, if I talk about my own life, I was born in a very small city in Spain, with a huge fascist background; Franco wanted to create the new center of Spain, very conservative, catholic and everything. And I was born with a sickness on my face and my whole jaw was growing from the time I was seven it started to grow, so my whole face has been changed when I was 18 just like an aesthetical surgery, so it has been completely changed. And I think it gives me a sense of not being me; even when people take a picture of myself or something I don’t recognize myself. I have always been scared of being really really ugly and producing a disgust in people for being ugly, because that was the situation in which I was born and I grew up with; so I am always saying to myself, this is not possible, this picture is not myself and these people are not really talking about me. So for me it is kind of paradoxical in that sense. And then the question of money, I have very little money, I am living around off 1200 €... every month, that is the money I have, if I had to renounce to that money, but then of course I go homeless, because it is the only money I have right now, I don’t know becoming a teacher in the US and earning like 4000 every month, I don’t know what it means. Maybe it will be the case, but right now I realize that I don’t really care a lot about money.
Tara: Sorry I have to change the tape. 

Beatriz (coming back in drag): This one is really a try. Because one of the things I realized, doing Drag-king workshops and then Post-porno workshops and things like that, is the more you are masculine in ordinary life the less able you are of getting into a drag character, like male, because what would be the sense of getting into a drag character, for instance a straight woman goes faster and much easier into a drag character, but if you really embody masculinity it is much more difficult to allow yourself to play a drag character. So before I used to play drag characters that looked much more like myself, and one day I went with a friend to buy a wig for her and then I wore it for myself and I thought that I would be very feminine and everything but I realized that no, the more I had the wig, the worse. It's funny because this character appears as a German intellectual, a gay philosopher guy who is really prestigious and I had a lot of fun with this character, but in the lesbian film festival I was wearing this wig and having this character to give a talk, and I realized that the lesbians got really mad at me because they said, 'well now it is not even like a plain man but also like a woman's wig, what is the representation of women that she has' and I thought: 'Oh my God, no matter what you do it will always be bad. 'But for me it is a lot of fun, because it is the only way I can wear one of these wigs.

Tara: I like it very much.

Beatriz: You like it very much? Okay. I had a lot of fun. Also this character, sometimes he can represent the success of identity politics, which in a way could also be close to myself in some respects; if you become a professional of identity politics... What does it mean? If you go into business with identity politics which I think we have to be very careful with that. So that is a little bit what this character embodies, you know.       

Tara: You said before that you feel something is changing in a larger scale concerning identity politics.

Beatriz: Yeah, I think something is changing. You can analyze that in terms of exode and like people are leaving from places for instance, the way people deserted New York. Many people said it's because of September 11th and because of Bush politics but it is not only that. It is also... I think most of the people who were living in New York during the nineties we don’t want to live in New York anymore. And that is a whole reaction: I think places are really important and I don’t know if I will live in Paris anymore, even...

Tara: Where do you want to go?

Beatriz: I don’t know. I think we have to go to the south, more.

Tara: To Chile?

Beatriz: To Chile why not. In my case I think I do have something to do in South America, there is the whole colonial stuff that has been going on with Spain and that we completely silenced and did not want to talk about that. And it was much easier for us to talk about black feminism and to talk about women in Argentina. I want to go into that, I want to see what is going on. And I also found that they do have very different ways of doing politics, much more direct; they not even talk about communities... communities for what? I mean, you know. Of course alliances are really strong and you are really dependant on the other for survival, so it is much more than community and it is really really strong, meaning that if somebody breaks that alliance, you are going to die, you are going to have hard trouble. I think it is very interesting and we have a lot of things to get from that and to understand. I have to say when I first arrived to Chile I was pointed as the colonizer, the white woman the one that is represented  in the American Academia and all that was really interesting for me, too. To suddenly see myself as all that.  Of course, yeah, I am European, I am fucking white, I have been doing all my career in the American Academia, what am I fucking doing here in Chile? Am I supposed to come here to teach something or whatever? It was really beautiful and intense in that sense.

Tara: But you said, you see a change concerning...

Beatriz: Identity politics.

Tara: Yes, or political struggle.

Beatriz: I think that you can see a change, or both things, a becoming professional of identity politics, which is now happening as well in Europe, even in places that where unthinkable before, like Spain, suddenly this kind of Gender politics becomes really mainstream in Spain. That on one side. But also I see that lots of people are dropping from that, little by little, and that creates a new surface and what is interesting is that these people come from very different movements. Sometimes they are also coming from the left.

Tara: And do you see them unite?

Beatriz: Not yet, not yet. And even I have the example of that it will not be very easy to unite. And maybe that has something to do with the questions that you asked me, for God`s sake, just that might be... if we are thinking about creating an event, in the best sense of the word like saying basically like a rupture in ordinary time and this breaking up of making it possible to think reality otherwise, even if it is only five minutes, I don’t think this is going to be about unity and about recognition and consensual encounters. I think it is much more going to be about tensions and not-recognizing of the Other or in the Other or whatever. And not even wanting to make that explicit in terms of difference. Not even saying, okay fine, I am recognizing your difference, not even that. We don’t need to make that explicit in terms of identity and difference, it is a tension and it is precisely that space in between that is interesting for us to do something in.

Tara: Concerning this choice between an inner compulsion and an outer ego-boost, what do you live more, more what one could call inner perversions or more outer perversions like everyday life, earning money, going to work and being part of this society. Or do you combine both maybe, at the same time?

Beatriz: I don’t know it is difficult for me to think that I have an ordinary life, not in the sense that my life is extra-ordinary, not at all, but I do have a very unorganized muddy life.

Tara: What do you mean by 'muddy'?

Beatriz: Muddy means that everything merges into everything and it is very difficult for me for instance to separate... I think I have never worked in my life. That I mostly know for sure, even when I teach I don’t think I am working I think I am using some institutions to promote some ideas that I believe in.

Tara: So that would be a combination of both, then.

Beatriz: I don’t know if this is a combination, because I do have this sense of oddness, sometimes when I have days of a super-ego, like social structures come into my mind; I suddenly ask myself, what are you fucking doing with your life, you do not work, this resembles to nothing, you have no place to live, you don’t have a car, you don’t have a family, what do you have? The only thing you have is a dog, so what are you going to do with your life, right? So I don't know for me inner and out...maybe that’s why it is not work for me, describing that in terms of outside and inside does not work for me, because also the way in which I live my own body as not being interior but as being outside of myself, like you can take the example of dildos or drugs, or any other example we gave before, rituals or programmation of desire or whatever. So I don’t see like this inner and outside.

The whole approach of renunciation looks very modern, very metaphysical, and I can not really identify with that: it is very difficult for me to renounce. That's why I do have to train my desires. Because when I really want something it is going to be very difficult, you know, to stop me.

Tara: So you do believe that you can stop to desire something that you do desire?

Beatriz: Yeah. Yeah.

Tara: How does that work?

Beatriz: Not to stop to desire but desire something else or differently. Stopping desire I think that never happened to me until now, but training my desire, yes.
Tara: So how is it possible then to change a desire?

Beatriz: Yeah, that would be like desire in the end the undesirable, like forcing yourself to desire otherwise.

Tara: Well, it is stupid to ask because I know what you think about it but I will ask you anyways.

Beatriz: It's fine. It's fine. Maybe I even change and I don’t think anymore what you think I think.

Tara: So, could you imagine a form of feminism without essentialism.

Beatriz: Of course. And even more, in relation to essentialism and feminism, I do totally agree with Sedgwick, who is now very present to me because I just finished the book. She uses this formulation of paranoid hermeneutics and I think that its true that a lot of queer theory was really paranoid of essentialism, we had to fight essentialism in such a way it was just crazy everything looked like something coming from essentialism, at the same time in the new book that I am working on I say that everything is about essentialism, in the sense that I am going back to substances, milligrams, biology in the sense of molecules, cells. So I think that we urgently need to go back to forms essentialism that are not metaphysical or that do not come with regimes of the normal or precise morality, saying essentialism does not immediately mean that it is reproducing certain disciplines or certain regimes of the normal for me, we have to stop this kind of hermeneutic paranoia, or hermeneutics of paranoia or whatever, because it is not taking us anywhere any more, it also is too known for too long. So I think it is a good idea to think about forms of feminism within or with another kind of essentialism, or I would like to say that even I would turn around your question and say I would like to think of forms of essentialism that are not feminism. For instance radical trans- politics because I can see that you make reference to Terre's trans- feminism position.

Tara: Yes, he calls it non-essentialist trans-genderism.

Beatriz: Yes, exactly. But I can also see a possibility of thinking about trans-genderism itself as a way of rethinking feminism in a non-essential way, in every manner. Especially in the case of the MTF but also in the FTM cases, which is less obvious but I think the case as well. But I am also interested in forms of essentialism, that are not feminism, and that are not metaphysical and moralist and so on.

Tara: Do you consider yourself a feminist?

Beatriz: No, I don’t think so. It continues to not to fit to me in some way. If... I I don’t know. It really depends on the political context, once again I think it has to be contextual and that would be again falling into the traps of identity and into the traps of essentialism, we don’t need to do that, feminist, yeah, what for if being feminist enables me to actually wear this wig and have this moustache and do what I do, then fine, then it's okay for me to be feminist. But what I am interested in right now is exactly these forms of essentialism, I would say beyond identity. Which can be total non-sense for people, but I think it is something like that. And I think most radically is into trans-politics, but which does not always mean to relate to particular treatments, particular operations or surgery or I think it is much more complex than that.
Tara: How would you define the political, where do you see possibilities, at one point you talked about cellular micro-politics... what would that be, for example?

Beatriz: Oh, that for me it is very precise, it is not using politics for subjectivity, because we are always thinking politics in terms of political subject and that is a very modern notion that immediately after that relates to the state and so on. When I am talking about micro-politics of the cells I am thinking about objects, substances, non- subjects, beings, and political interaction among them as well as images as well as words and so on, they are like non-subject beings and right now that is the politics that interest me the most, as opposed to the ordinary politics, which is like group politics dealing with the masses and the collective, etc.  

Tara: And so on the practical level it would be experimentation in that sense.

Beatriz: It would be experimentation but it is also, sadly it is also becoming conscious of this already huge micro-political level of politics in which you are already in. Starting from 'are you taking the pill, or not taking the pill, or using condoms or not using condoms' does not just relate to aids, it opens a whole field of possibilities and impossibilities, just like a string of plastic. And all these things are there or not there. So I would rather like to concentrate on that micro- level. Probably because I am quite distressed and anxious by the ordinary way the politics of subjects is working right now, that is my way probably maybe not to escape but to look for another space of the political.

Tara: That's interesting. And concerning communities, in what way do you feel belonging to communities and in what ways do you not feel belonging to communities.

Beatriz: I don’t know, I ask myself the questions of communities lately very intensely and for instance before I used to think that community was related to identity recognition and proximity, like working in your ordinary life with and in proximity with it. And I think that all these things have fallen down, they are not there anymore. And for me community right now has to do with non-recognition, with distance and also physical distance, it means that my community sometimes are people that are really really far away, and I still consider like close somehow, and we work together. For instance when I got in trouble very seriously with the communities here in Paris...

Tara: With the lesbian community?

Beatriz: Yeah, the lesbian community, but also with all these identity politics becoming professional, new groups that open in France basically as publicity promoters, like their agencies already. I realized that to any of those as a community, my community was much more trans-national, a lot of nomads like myself that sometimes we have very few things in common in terms of identity.

Tara: So what would it be based on, then, this community?

Beatriz: Only political projects.
Tara: Do you feel empowered by communities?

Beatriz: Communities thought as that, as that non-belonging to, not-recognition outside of identity; Yes. I think it is really really empowering, I think it is very empowering. Precisely it is a thousand times more powerful than the power of recognition and the immediate blablabla power of identity and 'We are so happy because we are the same, and we are doing this revolution together' and so on. I think that it can be very empowering but it is very fragile, that is the beauty of it, as well, that it is very fragile. Of course I see it as a powerful thing, because I told you before I see it as a kind of witchcraft, that kind of undercut knowledge, or underground knowledge, so of course it is very powerful, and sometimes it is scary. And it can also become disempowering, as well, it can go all the ways. There is no formula.

Tara: And it empowers you to do what?

Beatriz: I think everything that I have done; I always see the things that I do as not coming from myself, as being strange to...even though they are very close to my biography, they are close to everything that I do, but I always see it as a kind of side effect of... of all the mess. And what is difficult is to hold the mess, but it is that that is beautiful, it is just gorgeous and for me the most empowering thing is that it makes me happy, there is a kind of political joy, that you can only find there, once you find political joy; once in your life, then you are going to want more. And it is a kind of pleasure that resembles nothing, nothing, none of the other pleasures, it has nothing to do with money, it has also its own glamour and perversity but I think it has a very particular quality, precisely as this micro- quality it is pretty consistent. That is what I think I get from it.