Blackness as a Universal Claim. Contradictions of Solidarity and Research Practices in Constellations of Noncitizenship

Prof. Damani J. Patridge (U Michigan)

06/21/2023 10:00 am 12:30 pm

U Bremen GRA 2 0030

As we navigate the complexities of society, systemic racism, nationalism, and global migration remain at the forefront of our conversations. Damani J. Partridge’s ethnography, “Blackness as a Universal Claim: Holocaust Heritage, Noncitizen Futures, and Black Power in Berlin” (2022), explores the intersection of race, history, memory, and contradictory systems of power in the aftermath of the Holocaust and the Cold War in Germany. Partridge investigates how Blackness is simultaneously claimed, denied, asserted while being shaped by historical traumas, political structures, and cultural practices. The methodology of “Blackness as a universal claim”, which we aim to better understand in this workshop, can be summarized as social research in the form of observational participation. Partridge examines Theater X in Berlin Moabit, a social, artistic and political space for noncitizens among others. He describes its significance as follows: “The theater not only takes on the questions of democracy, but also the questions of capitalism and living space. Inasmuch as it also involves the body, it does this not only in terms of abstract theoretical trajectories, but also as everyday practice” (Partridge, 2022, p. 28). This is a place to think about radical change, networks and to explore alternative narratives and aspirations for those marginalized by citizenship’s exclusions and restrictions. Together, we will discuss how to translate these methods and analytical perspectives into other research settings as well as talk about the difficulties of academically working within struggles for social liberation.

Register by Email: shk.grk2686@uni-bremen.de

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driver

“Contradictions are an important driver of scientific practice and knowledge.”

Norman Sieroka
every day

“Living in contradictions is what we experience every day. Why do we know so little about it?”

Gisela Febel
Afterlife of colonialism

“Contradiction comes in many different forms. None is so debilitating than when the coloniser transitions, textually not politically, to decoloniality without taking the responsibility for the afterlife of colonialism, which they continue to benefit from. Self-examination and self-interrogation of the relations of coloniality, a necessity, seem nearly impossible for the coloniser who continues to act as beneficiary, masked in the new-found language of White fragility, devoid of an ethical responsibility of the very system of White domination they claim to be against.” (Black Consciousness and the Politics of the Flesh)

Rozena Maart
Bhabha on enlightenment and coloniality

“Homi Bhabha says about the contradiction between the ideals of the enlightenment, claims to democracy and solidarity and simultaneous colonization and ongoing coloniality: ‘That ideological tension, visible in the history of the West as a despotic power, at the very moment of the birth of democracy and modernity, has not been adequately written in a contradictory and contrapuntal discourse of tradition.’”

Kerstin Knopf
name contradiction

“Contradiction becomes real where someone names contradiction.”

Ingo H. Warnke