Intervention rather than Integration.
Queer/feminist Critique of European Politics and Globalisation
Hamburg, 25-27 September 2003
With the working languages English, German and Spanish, 26 participants from 9 countries took part in this workshop at the University of Hamburg. Participants' postcards with a short expose and focal questions instead of abstracts or papers were made available on the web before the conference. This gave participants an opportunity to prepare their input in relation to what others would be bringing along. The postcard as a genre has proved creative and challenging at the same time. Research discussion about East-West differences has allowed for a fruitful ooperation which will live on and grow in an international network.
Employing multimedia technology not only for the preparatory phase but also during the sessions made a big difference for the productivity of discussions. In this fashion, a combination of various discourses was made possible (Culture, Cultural theory, Social and Political Sciences). Visual presentation also helped to reach one of the main goals: foregrounding knowledge arising from cultural practice, knowledge which has not yet been sedimented or addressed been addressed in research discourses. Last but not least, the visualization techniques enhanced intercultural communication by showing what are the conditions for understanding.
The incoming postcards were arranged in three topical clusters:
legal aspects, migrations issues and economic perspectives.
The Anti-discriminantion laws in the new EU countries were seen unanimously as a political gain. This success was discussed with view to the fact that anti-discrmination laws are still missing in the hosting country, Germany. It is the beginning representation of and participation by minorities which counts as one of the advantages to be expected from putting the new legal
requirements into action. However, social hierarchies among the minorities remain a setback which is likely to prove that in practise, the scope of the new regulations will remain limited and that burning issues will by far not be solved this way. Thus, for social and political partcipation as well as economic net production, gender and sexuality have so far turned out to be a preventive factor.
Migration and Economy:
One of the most important workshop results is that migration and economy cannot be dealt with separately but have to be considered as being very closely intertwined. There is no doubt that individual economic independence as well as socio-economic basic provision (health,
education...) are necessary common goods, and here also, daily practice proves to be detrimental with view to gender and sexuality, which effectively amounts to direct discriminatory results. It became evident that issues of migration and economy being so closelyintertwined is particulary relevant for the debate about border regimes and, in the service sector, about public (de-)regulation and individual practices of sexual services. But the (German type of) Green Card politics, also, was an interesting example for discussing the
controversial facets of the most convoluted fields of migration and economy. It was here that the discrimination on the grounds of gender and sexuality became most evident.
The workshop's discursive resources proved to be very fruitful: transdisciplinarity as well as consideration for vast differences in gendered culture and politics between Spain and Poland, Greece and Finland, helped pave the way for new insights. Analytical tools were used to be
attentive towards the tacitly present or officially documented common ground of discrimination on the grounds of gender and sexuality which evidently and fundamentally underlies most of international politics and economic regimes to date.
Antke Engel and Claudia Koltzenburg
Hamburg, December 2003