Talk

• 03​ 05​ 2016 •
How Colonial Is Welcome Culture?

19:00 Venue: ACADEMYSPACE, Herwarthstraße 3, 50672 Cologne Free admission

Over the last months, there has been much talk in Germany about Wilkommenskultur, or the “culture of welcome.” But what comes after the cheerful greeting? What lies beyond the propagation of a newfound solidarity, as heartfelt but also possibly self-congratulatory as it might be? Is there an addressee for this vaunted charity besides the European conscience? How, for example, do we describe the new power relations that are emerging between migrants and German authorities and potential employers? On the left, one often hears that these relations are neo-colonial, and that there is even a missionarizing aspect to the propagation of German cultural values—decidedly Eurocentric Leitkultur. What are the consequences of considering integration courses as a hegemonial geopolitical practice, as KIEN NGHI HA suggested in 2007? He joins in conversation with Academy member MARK TERKESSIDIS and journalist and activist MILTIADIS OULIOS. Together they revisit the “integration debates” of the mid-2000s and ask what has changed under present conditions.

Kien Nghi Ha is a fellow of the Institute for Post-colonial and Transcultural studies at the University of Bremen and an independent curator. He has held research positions at New York University, the University of Heidelberg and the University of Tübingen. He has curated at the Haus der Kulturen der Weltat, the Hebbel am Ufer Theatre and the Federal Agency for Civic Education in Berlin. His research focuses on post-colonial criticism, migration and Asian diasporic studies. His latest monograph Unrein und vermischt (transcript, 2010) was awarded with the Augsburg Academic Prize for Intercultural Studies in 2011.

Miltiadis Oulios works as a journalist, moderator and lecturer in Cologne and Düsseldorf. The issues he focuses on include the immigration society and struggles for recognition and rights. He is an author for WDR radio and for daily newspapers; he also hosts the German-Greek magazine Radiopolis on the Funkhaus Europa radio station. In addition to this, he was active in the anti-racist network Kanak Attak. Since 2007, he has been researching the representation of migrant journalists in the German media. He is also a member of the network Neue Deutsche Medienmacher. His book Blackbox Abschiebung was published in 2015 by Suhrkamp.

Mark Terkessidis works as a publicist focusing on popular culture and migration. He has a doctorate in pedagogy and currently holds a position as lecturer at the University of St. Gallen. From 1992 to 1994, he was the editor ofsSpex magazine. Together with Tom Holert, he founded the Institute for Studies in Visual Culture in 2001. His two most recent monographs, Interkultur (2010) and Kollaboration (2015), were published by Suhrkamp. He has also worked for taz, the Tagesspiegel, Die Zeit, Jungle World and Literaturen as well as for radio, including Westdeutscher Rundfunk and Deutschlandfunk. Since its foundation, Terkessidis has been a member of the Academy of the Arts of the World. He lives and works in Berlin and Cologne.