Dangerous Conjunctures – Perspectives between Theory and Practice

2018, Sat, Mar 17

How can the insights from the symposium discussion be translated into current practice? What scope of action do we have at present? How can it be improved? Representatives of cultural, political, and social organizations working at the interface of theory and practice discuss current challenges in their fields.

Participants: Vanessa Barth, IG Metal, Wenzel Michalski, Human Rights Watch, Bianca Klose, Mobile Beratung gegen Rechtsextremismus, Eberhard Seidel, Schule gegen Rassismus, Orkan Kösemen, Bertelsmann Stiftung, Natalie Bayer, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg Museum, Carsten Ilius, attorney in the NSU trial, Massimo Perinelli, Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, migration officer, Asiye Öztürk, Federal Agency for Civic Education.

Moderated by Georg Diez (journalist, author) and Amel Ouaissa (Deanery Assistant of Barenboim-Said Akademie)

Vanessa Barth has been head of the functional division for target group work and gender equality on the board of IG Metall since January 2014. She studied sociology at Goethe University Frankfurt with a focus on gender research and social movements. She has worked at IG Metall since 2002. Her responsibilities include immigration and participation, employees, women’s and equality policies and youth. The mission of her four areas of responsibility is to open IG Metall to new employee groups and their issues.

Natalie Bayer has been the director of the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg Museum in Berlin since 2018. Previously, she was a research assistant for immigration, new methods and formats at the Munich City Museum. She is a member of kritnet - Netzwerk für kritische Migrations- und Grenzregimeforschung as adviser and consultant for cultural projects. She studied European ethnology, art history and ethnology at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich and will soon be submitting her dissertation Migration on Display. Eine wissensanthropologische Studie zum kulturpolitischen Migrationsdiskurs im Museum at the University of Göttingen.

Georg Diez is an author and a columnist for Spiegel and Spiegel Online. He studied history and philosophy in Munich, Hamburg, Paris and Berlin and worked for the arts pages of the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung and Zeit. Most recently he published the book Martin Luther, mein Vater und ich. Diez is a co-founder of the digital journalism platform 60pages and the political initiative Disrupt Democracy. In 2016-2017 he spent the year as a fellow at Harvard University.

Carsten Ilius is an attorney based in Berlin. His work focuses on residence law, criminal law, school law and anti-discrimination law. For the NSU trial, Ilius is representing Elif Kubasik, the widow of Mehmet Kubasik, who was murdered in Dortmund on April 4, 2006.

Bianca Klose is managing director of the Verein für demokratische Kultur in Berlin e.V. In 2001 she founded Mobile Beratung gegen Rechtsextremismus Berlin (MBR), which she still heads today. She advises and trains political parties, administrations, religious communities, cultural workers, associations, companies and trade unions as well as committed groups and individuals to deal with right-wing extremism, racism and right-wing populism. In 2012 she was awarded the Order of Merit of the State of Berlin for her many years of commitment as a representative of the work of the MBR.

Orkan Kösemen works as a project manager for integration and education at the Bertelsmann Stiftung where he also supervises the Vielfaltsmonitor project. His topics include immigration and integration, immigrant organizations, participation, right-wing extremism, reform strategies, institutional change and leadership. He completed his studies in political science at the University of Münster, Charles University in Prague and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Wenzel Michalski has been director of the German office of Human Rights Watch in Berlin since 2010. In this role, he is primarily responsible for the organization’s political work with the Federal Government and for media work in German-speaking regions. Previously, he worked as a journalist for 20 years. Michalski began his journalism career at NDR. In 1997 he moved to Sat1, from 1999 to 2003 he worked as studio manager for Sat1 and N24 in London. He began hosting the reportage magazine Zoom at N24 in October 2004. Michalski studied political science and history at the University of Hamburg.

Amel Ouaissa is assistant to the dean of the Barenboim-Said Akademie. She completed her studies of sociology at the Freie Universität Berlin with a master’s degree and is mainly concerned with sociology of education, post-colonial and decolonial theories, feminist theory and social and political transformation processes in the MENA region. She is a PhD student in education management and lectures regularly on this topic. She is also a member of the working group on anti-racism and intercultural matters in the Berlin State Advisory Council on Migration and Integration.

Asiye Öztürk has been head of the Principles department of the Federal Agency for Civic Education since 2014. One of the core tasks of the department is to observe and analyze change processes in politics, economy and society that are relevant for political education. The department also supports the implementation of the principles of diversity management within the Agency. Previously Öztürk worked as an editor of the journal Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte (APuZ).

Massimo Perinelli is a historian working as a migration officer at the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. He is a longtime member of Kanak Attak, co-founder of the Initiative Keupstraße ist überall and co-initiated the Tribunal NSU-Komplex auflösen of May 2017. He previously researched, taught and published for many years on gender and sexual history as well as on racism and immigrant struggles at the University of Cologne.

Eberhard Seidel is managing director of Schule ohne Rassismus - Schule mit Courage. He is a sociologist and journalist and worked as a freelance journalist for numerous newspapers and radio stations. From 1990 he published numerous books and essays on the topics of right-wing extremism, Islamism, immigration and youth subcultures. From 1997 to 2002 he was editor of the taz, first in the op-ed office, then as head of the domestic news department.