Panel Discussion: Radical Diverse Europe? Plurality, (Des-)Integration and Alliances

Migration and diversity continue to occupy an outlier position in the mainstream social imagination, that often equates societal integrity to homogeneity. Questioning this perspective through the notion of radical diversity, the discussion will shed light on the way Europe has always been shaped by migration and intermingling of cultural differences, in order to explore the political implications that the recognition of this fact puts forward for the future of the continent.
A necessary step along this way consists in a critical appraisal of the dominant paradigm of integration that is deeply anchored in the concept of the nation state. Following Max Czollek, for example, it is worth asking who actually wants to integrate whom where and which ideas of social norm (-ality) are decisive in this process of integration. To what extent are the social roles of certain marginalized groups (e.g. migrants, people of colour, refugees, LGBTQ+), often perceived as homogeneous entities, imposed by the majority society and what would be methods of deconstructing these images, thus contributing to a more inclusive society society?
Last but not least, what kind of alliances between marginalised and non-marginalised groups can be formed?


Mohamed Amjahid was born as the son of so-called guest workers in Frankfurt am Main. He studied political science in Berlin and Cairo and conducted research on various anthropological projects in North Africa. During his studies, he worked as a journalist for taz, Frankfurter Rundschau and Deutschlandfunk. He has worked as a political reporter for the weekly newspaper Die Zeit and the Zeit Magazin. Anthropologically and journalistically, he focuses on human rights, equality and upheaval in the US, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Mohamed Amjahid is a 2020 Thomas Mann fellow. Together with the author Max Czollek and the Goethe Institut Washington he is conducting a series of events under the title “Radical Diversity”, which will engage a conversation with guests in the U.S. about strategies for a more open, diverse and just society in Germany and the U.S.

Prof. María do Mar Castro Varela is Professor of Education and Social Work with a focus on Gender and Queer Studies at the Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences in Berlin. She holds a degree in psychology, a diploma in education and a doctorate in political science. Her work and research focuses on critical migration research, postcolonial theory and critical education. Her “Critical Introduction to Postcolonial Theory” (together with Nikita Dhawan, 2005, 3rd edition 2020) is the standard text on the topic in Germany.

Dr. Vasyl Cherepanyn is Head of the Visual Culture Research Center (VCRC, Kyiv), he holds a PhD in philosophy (aesthetics) and has been lecturing at University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder), University of Helsinki, Free University of Berlin, Merz Akademie in Stuttgart, University of Vienna, Masaryk University in Brno, Institute for Advanced Studies of the “Political Critique” in Warsaw, Greifswald University. He was also a visiting fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. He recently co-edited Guidebook of The Kyiv International (Medusa Books, 2018) and ’68 NOW (Archive Books, 2019) and curated The European International (Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam) and Hybrid Peace (Stroom, The Hague) projects. VCRC is the organizer of The School of Kyiv – Kyiv Biennial 2015, The Kyiv International – Kyiv Biennial 2017, and Black Cloud – Kyiv Biennial 2019. VCRC has received the European Cultural Foundation’s Princess Margriet Award for Culture in 2015, and the Igor Zabel Award Grant for Culture and Theory 2018.