Navigating a series of complex and sometimes seemingly contradictory identities, Zulfikar recontextualizes cultural referents from his Pakistani and Lebanese heritage, his islamic religion, and queer culture. Through an exploration of the performativity of his identities in Karachi (Pakistan) and San Francisco (USA), where he currently resides, Bhutto’s work offers an alternative reading of the narratives that have defined the socio-cultural groups he belongs to, offering a perspective that oscillates between the violent and the sexual, colonialism and identity, the erotic and the forbidden.
The (anti)discursive space that Zulfikar’s performance creates, becomes all the more relevant in the current global context, where hate discourses towards marginalized communities such as the islamic and LGBTQ ones, becomes more tangible and violent. His performance in Colombia is also highly relevant, as the so-called “gender ideology” has launched a conservative rhetoric based on the negation of sexual and gender diversity. The performances by Kika Burns, Hellvira, and Mis Amigas Drag, enhance this same critical space, challenging paradigms of identity that normalize oppression, segregation, and violence.