Decolonizing (German) Journalism: Writing about postsocialist migration

Migrants from the space that in the 20th century became known as "the Eastern Bloc" have been arriving to Germany for centuries. From Polish labour migrants in the mid-19th century to “late repatriates” and “quota refugees” and refugees from Ukraine in the aftermath of the russian full-scale invasion in 2022, migration from the "East" has shaped contemporary German society.

During national socialism, "slavic" people were included into the Hitler's doctrine as one of the "subhuman races" that should be exterminated and "slavic-ness" was constructed as simultaneously racial, spatial and ideological category connected to communism and Bolshevism.

In the German (media) discourse today, multiple terms are applied to describe the identity and discrimination of migrants from the former Eastern Bloc – for instance, widely used are "postost" and "antislavism". Their interpretations vary depending on the background and the context of the speaker.

How do historical continuities affect this debate? What role does whiteness play in it? The second panel discussion in the “Decolonising Journalism” series will dive into the histories and politics behind these terms, and discuss the difficulties in addressing discrimination against (post)migrants from postsocialist contexts.

Juri Wasenmüller (they/them) works as a journalist and activist on queer feminist topics, post-Soviet migration, class issues and their intersection. Since November 2022, they are part of the board of Neue deutsche Medienmacher*innen (NdM). Currently Juri writes an MA thesis on the changing social positioning of so-called “Russian-Germans” between different imperial formations in the former USSR and Germany.

Masha Beketova is working on a doctoral thesis "Queer ‚postsoviet' Diaspora in Germany beyond (in)visibility and (self)exoticization'' in Slavonic cultural studies and Gender Studies at Humboldt University in Berlin and is holding a Rosa-Luxemburg scholarship. Masha's research interests include queer, feminist and diasporic literatures and activisms, critical migration studies, Ukrainian and diasporic queer-feminist resistance.

Vica Kravtsova (any pronoun) is a decolonial activist, researcher and NGO-worker born in Smolensk, Russia. Vica is managing “Feminist Translocalities” – a network of decolonial researchers, artists, activists and NGO-workers. They are also writing a PhD thesis “(Critical) whiteness in russia” at Humboldt University in Berlin.