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The Camp: Disruptions of Space and Time in Labour and Refugee Camps

Conference organized by: Research Area „Labour and Migration“ (Global South Studies Center): Ulrike Lindner, Sabine Damir-Geilsdorf, Oliver Tappe and Gesine Müller.

When labour compounds or refugee camps close their gates, inhabitants often experience dramatic changes of their perception of space and time. Mobility gets restricted and regulated. As a result new time regimes that range from forms of ‘time pass’ to ‘extreme waiting’ restructure the rhythm of everyday life. This workshop focuses on exploring the specific transformative capacity of such camps and the consequences for (temporary) labourers and refugees who are subjected to new spatial and temporal configurations.

Investigating the spatiality and temporality of the camp connects two aspects of a specific state of exception. From a spatial viewpoint, the camp marks a strong break with previous lifeworlds, radical displacement, as well as an abrupt stop of (sometimes involuntary) mobility. Sudden immobilization goes along with other forms of spatial constraints. A new organization of space and time through technologies of discipline (from fences to clock) affect the inmates’ working or waiting bodies. Moving on to the temporalities of labour and refugee camps, we investigate new time regimes that correspond with capitalist labour management. Yet we also consider the impact of extreme deceleration of time when inmates are waiting months and years for something to happen.

This workshop revisits the barracones of the slave trade, the plantation coolie camps, and the camps of colonial workforces, and juxtaposes such historical examples of the camp with present-day workers’ compounds in the Gulf States, camps on Europe’s industrial farms, and the refugee camps lining the Mediterranean.

Black Germany 1880-1914 2017

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Exhibition organized by Robbie Aitken & Ulrike Lindner

Exhibition: 30 November - 18 December 2017

opening & reception: 30 November 2017, 19.30,  Philosophikum, Atrium

Anhand ausgewählter Biographien, illustriert durch Fotos und bisher wenig beachtetes Archivmaterial, rekonstruiert die Ausstellung „Black Germany“ die Entwicklung der Schwarzen Diaspora in Deutschland zwischen 1880 und 1945. Damit ermöglicht die Ausstellung tiefere Einblicke in die Beweggründe, Umstände und Reiserouten, die Schwarze Männer und Frauen aus den einst deutschen Kolonien ins Kaiserreich führten. Es wird aufgezeigt unter welchen Bedingungen sie in der Weimarer Republik lebten und arbeiteten und welches Schicksal sie und ihre in Deutschland geborenen Kinder im Nationalsozialismus erfuhren.

Eröffnet wird die Ausstellung mit einer Podiumsdiskussion, die unter dem Titel „Erinnern/Vergessen: Die marginalisierte Geschichte Schwarzer Deutscher“ verschiedene Ansätze aufgreift, wie dieser bisher wenig beachteten Teil der deutschen Geschichte in die dominanten Geschichtsnarrative und die Erinnerungskultur wieder eingeschrieben werden kann.

GRAINES Summer School 2016

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Workshop: Europe and its Colonial Legacy

GSSC Public Lecture: Catherine Hall

Slavery and Freedom re-visited: or What is a Man?

Lecture by Catherine Hall within the

Public Lecture Series of the GSSC:

Date: October 28th, 2015

Conference: Gender and Empire

Exploring Comparative Perspectives and Intersectional Approaches

Organized by: Ulrike Lindner (University of Cologne)/Dörte Lerp (University of Cologne)

Date: 23-26 September 2015


Workshop: The changing margins of Europe

Frontiers and demarcations of a continent from the 18th to the 20th century

Workshop in the project “Europe: une histoire globale. XVIII°-XX° siècles” financed with the support of CIERA, Paris

Organized by: Ulrike Lindner (University of Cologne)/Jakob Vogel (Sciences Po, Paris)

Date: 5-6 December 2014


Workshop: Forms of bonded labour

Conceptual approaches towards a new comparative research framework

Organized by: Ulrike Lindner/Sabine Damir-Geilsdorf/Gesine Müller/Michael Zeuske

Date: 23-24 June 2014