Portraitfoto Hanna Schwamborn

Hanna Schwamborn

Experimenting with Collaboration – Between Transformation and Transformism

This research project focuses on collaborative work as a contradictory practice/practice in contradictory contexts. The tensions between hopes for the transformation of hegemonic/exclusive/colonial/discriminatory spaces and structures through collaborative forms of working together and an instrumental practice that accompanies the institutionalization of collaboration, create a contradiction and tension. However, these contradictions often remain invisible and therefore non-negotiable within collaborative practice. This doctoral project raises questions about how projects at the intersections of cultural work, art, activism, and science navigate and negotiate collaborative work and research, as well as the inherent contradictions of this practice, in the context of normative processes, discourses of hope, and power structures. The aim is to bring different fields of application of collaborative practice into dialogue, apply experimental and collaborative ethnographic methods, and co-develop spaces for negotiation.

Research interests
  • Public Anthropology
  • Collaborative Ethnography
  • Critical Diversity Studies
  • Postcolonial Theory
  • Decoloniality and Intersectionality
  • 2022-2023
    Social Justice and Diversity Training at the Potsdam University of Applied Sciences to qualify as a social justice and diversity trainer.
  • 2018-2021
    M.A. Transcultural Studies at the University of Bremen.
  • 2020-2021
    Research Assistant at the Museum Treptow-Köpenick for developing a dossier preparatory for the new conception of the exhibition zurückGESCHAUT on German colonial history.
  • 2020
    Participation in the virtual Feminist No Borders Summer School of the Feminist Autonomous Centre for Research (FAC Research), Athens.
  • in the working group on Feminist Methodologies without Borders.
  • 2019/20
    Implementation of the tutorial Introduction to Qualitative Methods of Cultural Research and Ethnology in the B.A. Cultural Studies at the University of Bremen.
  • 2019
    Organization of a study trip to Berlin on the topic of Decolonization of Cultural Institutions.
  • 2013 – 2018
    B.A. cultural work at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam.

“At first I thought contradiction was always a relational thing; but the more I ponder it, the more I think contradiction creates relation.”

Ingo H. Warnke
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
prison of difference

“‘Contradiction is the prison of difference‘ writes the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze. Worlds of Contradiction asks: how can we explain and describe the world without making it more coherent and systematic than it is?”

Michi Knecht
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

“Contradictions need to be articulated in order to exist.”

Martin Nonhoff