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Doing Memory on Right-wing Violence in Post-Migrant Societies: Artistic and Activist Interventions

Higher seminar with Tanja Thomas, Tübingen University (via Zoom).

Upon winning a Golden Globe and earning a nomination as best foreign language film for the Oscars in 2018, Fatih Akin's film Out of Nowhere received much news media coverage. Some feuilleton writers briefly mentioned that a line in the credits of the film commemorated the victims of the so called ›National Socialist Underground‹ (NSU), a right-wing terrorist group that killed nine migrants and committed several crimes all over Germany. Our project ›Doing Memory on Right Wing Violence‹ takes up this example and provides a new perspective on the issue of right-wing violence in ›post-migrant societies‹ (Foroutan): First, the paper calls for a resolute turn to the victims and survivors of right-wing violence, advocating to center them in acts of public remembrance and forgetting. We suggest Doing Memory as a practice—whether through film, theatre, artwork, social media or on the streets—to enable the recognition and thus, the mourning of the victims of right-wing violence. Second, by using artistic and activist examples of Doing Memory, I will show how remembering and forgetting as a contested practice in mediated publics is closely interwoven with individual and social recognitions of experiences and social positions, including the granting and claiming of rights as well as the possibility of imagining a common future in post-migrant societies. Recognizing the practices of remembering right-wing violence, its victims and survivors are thus shown as an essential condition for democratic cohabitation (Butler) – and the silencing of right-wing violence thus constituting a danger for an open society. In asking from which social positions and with which resources whose memory is articulated in specific historical, socio-economic, political and cultural contexts, we can study how memory is made (in)visible, (in)audible, (dis)respected, and (de)legitimized in media cultures. By proposing a 'policy of listening' (Bassel; Dreher) and practicing a 'power sharing' (Rosenstreich; Digoh-Ersoy), this project makes recommendations to help create participatory conditions in mediated public spheres.

For more information and Zoom link, please contact

Time and place

03 November 13:00-14:30

Higher seminar

ZOOM - Contact Saga Hansén for link.


Arranged by

Media and Communications Studies at the School of Culture and Education, Södertörn University



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