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Our aims and claims

Racist aggression still represents everyday life in Germany for many people read as non-white, including at university. Despite the racist pogroms against asylum seekers and other people read as ‘foreigners’ in German cities in the 1990s, the NSU and NSU 2.0, Halle and Hanau and other criminal racist acts that have almost been forgotten or silenced, there is still no federal commissioner for combating racism in Germany, for example. Some political decision-makers prevent the necessary provision of resources for a critical examination of racism. In doing so, these mostly ultra-conservative and right-wing forces deliberately instrumentalize the issues of asylum and immigration in order to distract from social justice concerns and to win over (white) marginalized social groups for their right-wing agenda (cf. MIDEM Annual Report 2019). This tendency is increasingly noticeable at universities as well.

In order to give no space to right-wing ideologies and racism and instead proactively initiate a debate in a constructive direction based on the fundamental human rights of all people, we support the demands and statements of the autonomous BIPoC unit and campusgrün at the University of Cologne.

Building on and in cooperation with already existing initiatives (Partners in the Global South, Decolonize Cologne, Kopfwelten/Cologne Postcolonial, DOMiD, BiPoC-Referat of the UzK, campusgrün, GSSC) we want to change the university in a positive way. To this end, we work across status groups, with equal rights, sensitive to discrimination, and solution-oriented. We want to:

  • problematize (un)conscious racist behaviors and make them visible,
  • create spaces for criticism and discussion of problematic behavioral patterns,
  • carry plural and (colonialism-) critical knowledge into scientific discourses and society,
  • question the prevailing self-image of the university and scientific practice,
  • break open ‘compartmentalized’ knowledges i.e. relevant context and causality erasing perspectives and thus make central interconnections visible,
  • recognize, name, critically reflect and overcome colonial traces and continuities in the academic space,
  • critically examine our own patterns of perceptions, our use of language and our actions,
  • critically examine one-sided and tendentious historical images, narratives and ethically problematic assumptions anchored in the respective disciplines and correct them in a scientifically thorough manner,
  • make curricula and readings more diverse and more inclusive of non-white forms of knowledge in teaching and research,
  • make teaching, learning interactions, and access to study more inclusive, connected, and equitable,
  • build more comprehensive support structures based on student needs, better bundle existing services, and help them become more visible,
  • Establish inclusive, more open recruitment procedures that give equal opportunities to applicants from the Global South and less privileged persons than upper- and middle-class white people (which could at the same time better implement the UzK's internationalization strategy).