für bildende Kunst
Panel: Thinking in Our Languages – Gender and Race in Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and Central AsiaSunday, 02 April 2023, 15:00 – 19:00
Organized by: neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst
Panel and lecture: Thinking in Our Languages – Gender and Race in Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia
Most of the terms that are used to talk about privilege and discrimination are derived from the US American context. This creates challenges for activists from other parts of the world – in this case, Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus and Central Asia. Fighting against racism and gender discrimination, they often face false accusations of “copying” Western models and categories. This two-part event demonstrates the diversity and uniqueness of ongoing debates about race and gender in transnational activist circles between Western Europe and the regions in question.
15:00: Antislavism, Whiteness and Racism in Germany and Western Europe (en/de)
Discussion with Juri Wasenmüller, Anna Safuta, Angelika Kim and Dennis Chiponda (Chipi)
Discussions about "antislavism" as a form of discrimination have become more visible in German media in the last five years. The term was coined and used by activists, journalists and academics to describe the discrimination faced by people from "Eastern Europe" in Germany and Western Europe more broadly. Some materials on social media and in the field of political education describe antislavism as a form of racism, but the term remains insufficiently defined.
The roundtable will discuss recent contestations of the term. Is it appropriate to refer to antislavism as a form of "racism", given how most migrants from "Eastern Europe" are perceived as white? Is the term essentializing? Which experiences need to be included in the debate? Are there alternative ways to talk about the discrimination of people from Eastern Europe and the former USSR without making invisible the power dynamics, colonial legacies and racialization processes within those regions? These and other questions will be discussed by activists and researchers with Eastern European and Central Asian backgrounds.
Dennis Chiponda aka Chipi (he/him) was born in Lausitz in 1991 as the son of Polish and Mozambican guest workers. "I'm a child of international socialist love," he says about himself. He defines himself as a cis-queer, East German Afropole. For many years he has been engaging in politics and activism on issues of equality, East German politics and anti-racism. He most recently worked for the “Bürger für Bürger” foundation in the “Jugendstil” project, which promotes young (post-)migrant engagement in East Germany. He founded the association “Leipzig spricht”, is part of “Generation Grenzlos”, moderates events, gives workshops and advises structures on their diversity management.
Angelika Kim (she/her) is an author, anti-racism educator and community organizer. She was born in the Kazakh USSR and raised in russia and Eastern Germany. As a descendant of German and Korean forced transferees in the Soviet Union, she calls herself a “child of Stalinist repressions”. Angelika’s work revolves around her intersectionality as an Eastern German Asian-perceived russian-speaking person of Global Majority.
Anna Safuta (she/they) is a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer in political sociology at the University of Tübingen. She is Polish, grew up in Belgium and has been living in Germany since 2018. Their research focuses on feminist theory, social policy and the circulation of people, ideas and resources between East and West.
Juri Wasenmüller (they/them) studied Political Science and Sociocultural Studies in Berlin and Frankfurt (Oder) and has been working as a journalist for several media outlets, including Missy Magazine and taz. In their journalist and activist work, Juri focuses on queerfeminist topics, questions of antiracist and anticapitalist alliances, ruptures and negotiations between different migrant generations and more.
17:00: Being queer in the South Caucasus: Challenging Western Stereotypes Through Art Practices (en)
Talk by Giorgi Rodionov
Art has recently taken a leading position in fostering social justice, becoming an instrument to fight for a “better future”. This is especially relevant for issues that are foreign to the context in which they start circulating. At the same time, important questions arise. Even though sexual and gender identities have always existed, queerness in the South Caucasus has slowly begun to be perceived as “Western ideology”. Where does this idea come from? What do sexuality and ideology have to do with each other? And what is the role of art in promoting a Western-oriented view of queerness?
It has been three decades since the USSR collapsed, but it seems impossible for the now independent countries to get rid of the label "post-Soviet". Queer people from the South Caucasus are facing not only the eternal mutation of their countries’ unclear ideologies but also a constant pressure to fit into the foreign models “the West” is importing, with no space to find local equivalents. It is no surprise that certain concepts and the realities to which they are pointing seem unclear and “shocking” to these countries’ societies. This confusion creates more gaps than bridges.
In his talk Giorgi Rodionov will present practices of queer artists from the South Caucasus that actively challenge the stereotypical “Western” understandings of queerness. They promote experimental ways of recomposing fractures within communities by creating alternative models and opening spaces of dialogue.
Giorgi Rodionov (he/him) is an artist and curator from Georgia. In early 2019, Giorgi established "Untitled Tbilisi", an art space that aims to bring artists from the South Caucasus together to use art for promoting human rights and social justice in the region. Giorgi is also a member of “90x collective” that unites four artists from Georgia who rethink the changes the country has been going through since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Note on accessiblity:
The room is inaccessible to people in a wheelchair. There is an elevator, but access to it is blocked by 4 steps. To get to the toilet you have to overcome about 10 steps on narrow stairs. There are only chairs with a backrest for seating.
We recommend wearing medical masks throughout the event.