Much has been said and written about the events in Charlottesville. The documentary “Charlottesville: Race and Terror” (Vice) has left the biggest impression on me. The journalist Elle Reeve was able to interview some neo-Nazis and demonstrate their ridiculous way of thinking. It was shocking to see so many neo-Nazi symbols, and people marching with torches and screaming: “Jews will not replace us.” I really thought that this is something that belongs to the past. Moreover, the demonstrators were allowed to carry heavy weapons. In the end of the video, one neo-Nazi even said that the demonstration was a big success, even though one woman was killed. Continue reading “Behind Charlottesville: Identity and Material Politics”
Some days ago I attended a summer school in peace & conflict studies in the North of Italy. On my way back home, I had to cross the border between Italy and Austria. While I was waiting for my train in Verona’s main station, I noticed two Italian police men. They stood on my track and observed everyone around them. Continue reading “Borders, Refugees, and Africa”
Some days ago, the police in Innsbruck, Austria, started to give away free pocket alarms to women and girls. The media reported about the campaign and focused on the safety of women and girls in public places.
The campaign is not bad, but the way it is advertised gives the impression that women are more vulnerable than men and need more protection. Although the news about crime in Innsbruck show that men are victims of robberies and violent crimes, too.
This example demonstrates how stereotypes about men and women influence our daily lives. And that’s exactly why we still need Feminism.
Some days ago, I saw a very interesting theater play: “Sophie and me”, written by the Austrian author Ursula Kohlerts. The story is about a fictional friendship between the two German women Sophie School and Traudl Junge. Both of them have lived under the Nazi regime, but had never met each other in reality. The play brings them together to ask the audience the important question: What would you do?
The women get to know each other as young girls at a “Bund deutscher Mädchen” (League of the German girls) camp and become best friends. The following scenes show how both characters will develop in very different ways.
I got very scared yesterday evening. As I was walking home, a drunk man walked past me. His face turned red and he repeatedly shouted: “Shit Migrants!”
Luckily, he only looked at me briefly. I guess my light skin colour protected me.
However, I am a migrant. One month ago, I moved from Germany to Austria.
During my time in Prague, I had the chance to visit the Franz Kafka Museum. Kafka’s life demonstrates that multicultural societies are nothing new in Europe. Kafka was a Jew. His mother tongue was German. He was born in the Czech Republic. He died in Austria. Despite the lame rhetoric of racist and populist politicians, Europe was always home to people with fluid identities.
In the beginning of September, I was one out of 100 participants from 50 countries selected for the IOM Summer School on Migration Studies in Prague, Czech Republic. IOM, established in 1951, is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration and has more than 100 offices worldwide. IOM joined the United Nations on September 19, 2016. The IOM Summer School was a great opportunity for me to gain more knowledge about migration theories and policies. I could discuss the root causes of racism and xenophobia with scientists and share interesting stories with people who work in NGOs, refugee camps and detention centers worldwide.