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<nettime-ann> Remembering Gastarbeiters - webjournal and conference


The Gastarbeiter: In Search of an Afterlife
transversal web journal

It didn’t take long for the so-called "migrant crisis" to fully manifest its political impact on Europe. Not only are the forces of the status quo – which guaranteed the stability of the old continent for decades – rapidly losing popular support as they are seriously being challenged by growing right-wing movements today, the very survival of the EU is now at stake. And again, the issue of migration appears at the very heart of all this political turmoil – not because it is the cause of a crisis, which the political elites must resolve to save Europe, but because it is used by these same elites to conceal their own inability to cope with the historical crisis of neoliberal globalization which is demolishing the European dream today.

Therefore, what is euphemistically called a “migrant crisis” today is in fact a means of historical forgetting. Moreover, it is, at the same time, itself the result of a forgotten history; for migrants are by no means newcomers to Europe. There is no better reminder of that fact than the old figure of the gastarbeiter – the so-called "guest worker" from the South who moved and worked throughout the spaces of North/Western Europe at the historical peak of industrial modernity.

The texts in this issue attempt to reawaken the memories of gastarbeiters in order to historicize the current experience of migration and its dangerous political appropriations. They aim at revealing a hidden genealogy of domination, exploitation, and manipulation, as well as a struggle for justice and emancipation. Those who cannot historicize the conditions in which they live will never be able to politicize them.


Sandro Mezzadra / Davor Konjikušić: Humanitarianism Destroys Politicality
Serhat Karakayali: Lotta Continua in Frankfurt, Terror of Turks in Cologne
Jana Dolečki: “Home, Foreign Home” – commemorating the 50-year anniversary of the signing of the Agreement on Labor Migration between Austria and Yugoslavia
Margareta Kern: How to Speak Precarious Histories from a Precarious Position?
Katja Kobolt: How to Speak Precarious Histories from a Precarious Position?
Amir Hodžić: Fragments of Queer Mobility

They'll Never Walk Alone: Remembering Gastarbeiters in the Neoliberal Age
6-7 October 2017
Depot, Breitegasse 3, 1070 Vienna



Day 1: Friday, 6 October

10.00 – 10.30 Introduction and welcome
Boris Buden, Lina Dokuzović

Panel I: 10.30 – 13.30 An avant-garde figure or a role model? The relevance of Gastarbeiters today.
Boris Buden, Jana Dolečki, Jon Solomon, Manuela Bojadžijev

13.30 – 14.30 Lunch break

14.30 – 15.00 Screening GUESTures (GOSTIkulacije) 2011 (two-channel HD video, 33min) by Margareta Kern

Panel II: 15.00 – 17.30 Marginalized and invisible experiences – women Gastarbeiters and queer flight.
Katja Kobolt, Margareta Kern, Ana Hoffner, Amir Hodžić

17.30 – 17.45 Short break

17.45 – 18.30 Discussion

Day 2: Saturday, 7 October

Panel III: 14.00 – 16.30 Rethinking "guests" and "workers" in post-Fordist forms of labor mobility.
Lina Dokuzović, Monika Mokre, Stefan Nowotny, Keti Chukhrov

16.30 – 16.45 Short break

16.45 – 17.30 Discussion

17.30 – 19.30 Multilingual discussion and exchange of experiences, challenges, and knowledges of migration. Open to everyone.

19.30 Closing statement and performance by the choir HOR 29. Novembar, singing Gastarbeiter songs.

Join us for drinks and continue an informal discussion.

"The Gastarbeiter: In Search of an Afterlife" and "They'll Never Walk Alone: Remembering Gastarbeiters in the Neoliberal Age" are part of They were, those people, a kind of solution, a co-operation project by What, How & for Whom/WHW (Zagreb), Tensta konsthall (Stockholm), Centre for Peace Studies/CMS (Zagreb) and eipcp (Vienna).

They were, those people, a kind of solution is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. The eipcp's participation in this project is also supported by the Arts and Culture Division of the Federal Chancellery of Austria.

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