Shared Freedom

Montenegrin activists often claim that freedom is fundamentally shared, echoing the global activist idea that “No one is free unless we are all free”.

The collaborative research project Shared Freedom poses two kinds of questions stemming from this claim.

First, it asks what this idea of freedom as shared can contribute to the anthropological thinking about freedom and morality.

Second, Shared Freedom looks at how trans people and activists can make use of anthropological thinking on freedom in order to advance their socio-political project of liberation.

Building upon the ideas presented in this talk and the 2021 SA/AS article “Minority sexualities, kinship and non-autological freedom in Montenegro”, Shared Freedom presents a collaborative ethnographic study of two instances of collective moral deliberation.

One instance is grassroots queer activism where participants reach their decisions through collective deliberation and consensus.

Another one takes place during the post-coming out period in the families of trans people, when their parents and siblings often turn to psychiatrists, fortune tellers, and others to seek interpretative frameworks that would help them orient themselves in a new and morally demanding situation.

Shared Freedom aims to offer an ethnographically grounded theorization of how freedom is understood, claimed, and pursued through collective moral deliberation among differently positioned people in everyday life.

In Shared Freedom, trans people produce knowledge about themselves by leading ethnographic diaries and generating other forms of narrative, visual and audio representations of trans lives.

Shared Freedom is supported by a 2022-2023 Wenner Gren Engaged Research Grant won by Čarna Brković.