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Author:Felix Hoffmann (Technische Universität Chemnitz)
Paper short abstract:
Based on fieldwork in Chemnitz, it will be reflected upon methodological approaches, practical limitations, as well as conditions and possibilities of alteritarian movements in identitarian times.
Paper long abstract:
In 2018, the violent excesses against People of Colour and journalists in the Saxonian City of Chemnitz benchmarked incrementally blurry boundaries between right-wing-populism and -radicalism in Germany: 'Anxious citizens' had no reservations walking side by side with a whole range of organized neo-Nazis anymore, corroborating the increasing normalization of political violence in Europe.
Empirically exemplified by my ongoing field-research in Chemnitz, I will reflect upon my analytical approach: Aggressive Identitarianism can always be practiced one-sidedly, by boundary-drawing and fighting against difference and diversity. Defensively emancipative and thus practically necessary identity-politics can always be practiced one-sidedly as well, by boundary-drawing and fighting against privilege - but then structurally competing with other identifications for socio-cultural recognition and public visibility. Alterity-politics by contrast is practically based in mutual responsibility, ethical commitment and dialogue with conflicting identifications, where solidarity beyond identity arises: It requires a voluntary questioning of socio-cultural identifications and privileges. It is the process of debordering, creating new common ground, creating new, open and 'hybrid' alterities beyond the conventional logics of identity-related boundary-maintenance. Alterity-politics is the other mode of the political in diametric opposition to the practically one-sided logics of identity-politics in general, with the fundamental weakness in practice, that it cannot be practiced least enforced one-sidedly, but only accomplished in mutual agreement.
Elaborating logics of practice in conflict from my previous studies with regard to relational conflict-dynamics between identitarianism, identity-politics and alterity-politics, methodological approaches, practical limitations, as well as conditions and possibilities of alteritarian movements in identitarian times will be outlined.