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Tag: Racism

How do laws, case law, and historical power relations influence the potential for the emergence of new musical forms? According to the thesis of this essay from Mel Stanfill, the copyright dispute over the song “Blurred Lines” (2013) from Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams, and Clifford Harris Jr., which an American court found to be a plagiarism of the song “Got to Give It Up” from Marvin Gaye from 1977 demonstrates that: The legal position is one side; case law, determined by subjective factors as well as historical conditions, is another. To article...

Struggles for social justice have long since been waged in the technological sphere, above all in the Internet. In the process, the media theorist Sarah Sharma has identified an especially hostile protagonist: the Social Injustice Warrior. Often misogynistic, often male, he attempts to organize the social field according to his wishes with the aid of technology. In her essay Sharma reveals how best to combat him. To article...

The artist Ulrike Ottinger experienced Paris during the 1960s, in times of radical political, social, and cultural upheavals. Her current film Paris Calligrammes (2019) is devoted to this time in her life, looking back at personal encounters and utopias. Literary scholar Aleida Assmann introduces us to Ottinger’s showcase of historical archival material and her own film works from Paris. To article...

They were difficult times when Étienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein met in 1981. Shortly after the Front National won their first important election, the themes of “race”, “nation”, and “class” assumed a new urgency throughout France. The sociologist and the philosopher seized the opportunity to discuss all three social constructs and their interdependencies with their students in a long since legendary series of lectures. The later book Race, Nation, Class: Ambivalent Identities (1988, published in English in 1991) summarizes Balibar and Wallerstein’s research and reflects on the connection between racist structures and now newly established global class systems, both past and present. The Cultural studies scholar Manuela Bojadžijev spoke with both authors about the book and why it continues to be relevant. To article...

When Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities from Étienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein was published in German in 1990, the reviews were effusive. At the time, the book’s interdisciplinary engagement with society was perceived as ”without competition” and “forward-looking”, however this was largely restricted to a left-wing, academic public. Decades later the migration researcher and journalist Mark Terkessidis has taken a new look at the publication, concluding that the history of its reception proves particularly fascinating, especially against the background of the debates on the concept of racism in today’s Germany. To article...

The binary juxtaposition of race and technology is an extremely problematic component of the Western narrative of civilization. With the aid of historical examples and science fiction, the literary scholar Louis Chude-Sokei exposes its absurdities. To article...

Where does tolerance and Laissez-faire end? When do silence and omissions become violence? The writer Jessica Lauren Elizabeth Taylor summarizes positions by writer Taiye Selasi, cultural theorist Theo Goldberg and historian Achille Mbembe and sketches a range of social phenomena against the background of an increased potential for violence. To article...

In contemporary societies the production of fear often serves as a political strategy designed to legitimize and ultimately normalize states of emergency. The writer Sinan Antoon on the phenomenon “Flying while Muslim”, structural Islamophobia in the USA, and the global interconnections of fear, terror, and trauma. To article...

Men are power, children mean power. Taiye Selasi, celebrated author of Ghana Must Go, opens up glimpses into inescapable gender hierarchies. Through the eyes of an 11-year-old girl The Sex Lives of African Girls tells the story of a fateful day in a village in Accra, on which male dominance unfolds in all its harshness, the more so as it is supported by women. The girl Edem has no mother, her auntie Khadijeh can’t have children of her own, both don’t stand a chance: “In the peculiar hierarchy of African households the only rung lower than a motherless child is a childless mother.” An excerpt from this story accompanying the Violence edition of the Dictionary of Now. To article...

From “Freedom Now” to “White Zulu”: Writer Max Annas spent several years at the University of Fort Hare in East London, researching South African jazz. In this interview, he speaks about the political importance of jazz for the history of the country, from Freedom Now to White Zulu. To article in German...

The historian Cemil Aydin about the effects of breaking up multi-ethnic societies and the Ottoman Caliphate as a symbol for Cosmopolitanism. To article...

Class, race, and Pop: How a marketing professional in the USA invented the racial division between “black” and “white” music. The musician Dom Flemons, himself affected by this pigeonhole thinking, speaks about a little known aspect of American Folk music. To article...

The migration scholar Nanna Heidenreich talks about her three-part project “Soundtracks”. Discussing the works by Constanze Fischbeck, Philip Scheffer, and Julia Tieke that make up this project, Nanna Heidenreich illustrates how listening is politicized, which narratives and voices are perceived in and by today’s media landscape and which are not, and how to avoid victimization and exploitation of projects “about,” but not “made by” immigrants and refugees. To article...