Issue 4

Dispossessions, Solidarities, De-integrations

Issue 4

Dispossessions, Solidarities, De-integrations

Editor’s Note

Red Thread emerged at a point in time when hopes were converging and thinking about geographies that could not – could not – have been related to each other for a long time due to the borders drawn by nationalism and the cold war paradigm. An optimism and zest that the web of interactions established in the 90s could be taken further, be deepened and somehow made permanent, giving rise to the project in 2009; The journal is published as a discussion platform coordinated from Istanbul, but is always conceived to move to nearby geographies.

Following our third issue, we took some time to select the topics we thought we should concentrate on. In the previous issues, there was always a feeling that something important remained unaddressed: we wanted to contribute to the analysis of the current educational system, to shed some light on today and yesterday of the Non-Aligned Movement … However, at one point, the whirlpool of history started to churn faster than the spool of our thread We were preparing any resonance. We have been working with the Republic of Armenia since the beginning of the 20th century. We have been working with the Republic of Armenia for the past two years. We wanted to investigate and understand the shared denominators of these movements. But we were pushed back by the incessant political ruptures, traumas, by the speed and scope of events that took away freedoms, lives, and all future; we kept on trying and failing, as the reality was always being faster than whatever response we could deliver. by the speed and scope of events that were kept taking away freedoms, lives, and all future; we kept on trying and failing, as the reality was always being faster than whatever response we could deliver. by the speed and scope of events that were kept taking away freedoms, lives, and all future; we kept on trying and failing, as the reality was always being faster than whatever response we could deliver.

We realized quite quickly that the rhythm of publishing we aimed for at the beginning is not possible in the times of the acceleration of the global production of art and culture and massive precarization of cultural labor. The limited time afforded by our various professional and life engagements, our particular geopolitical conditions and the efforts to produce the financial circumstances that would make the publishing even possible have resulted with the closed loop of postponing that challenged our desires, our readiness, our endurance and our commonality. The fact that this issue is in front of you shows that we have accepted slowness, irregularities, contingencies, breaks, and also persistence and new beginnings, as the conceptual response to the situation that otherwise may be seen as unattainable. Against the biennalization of theory – slow model of production!

For the occasion of this issue we focused on the notion of dispossession, suggested by a member of our editorial board, Meltem Ahıska. It was right around the time when Judith Butler and Athena Athanassiou had jointly published Dispossession: The Performative in the Political (2013), and we were excited by the possibility of expanding the notion to include the examination of body, identity, rights, and freedom within the framework of dispossession; this issue is made up of responses to this expanded framework.

What we couldn’t foresee or even imagine at the time was that the very cultural and intellectual field in which different social expressions of dispossession were discussed would itself be under the blockade. In truth, we never anticipated that the humorous word play in the title of our publication would be taken seriously and that the red thread would be encoded as a “red threat”. Today, the freedom of one of the founders of our publication, Osman Kavala, is held hostage. The “local and national” nature of this crass action makes possible the discussion of a “war of culture”, expressed by the highest authority of that mindset, discussing the use of war methods to establish a cultural hegemony. (It is with bitter irony to note that the concept is not so local and national: Bismarck is the founder of the notion of Kulturkampf.) This unilaterally launched war is the phenomena we are starting to encounter across the world, making more acute the need to share the experiences of those in the fields of culture, art, and activism and to develop the networks of solidarity. This is a topic to study for the future issues.

One of the most important arguments in this debate is that the moment of the realization of the experience of dispossession is also the moment of the initiation of political subjectivity. The consequence of the emergence of political subjectivity is the contact with those at a disadvantage, the dislocated: possible moments of activating networks of solidarity are pointed at, we believe, with a several texts that complement the Dispossession chapter.

In the previous issues of Red Thread we tried to stay within the circle drawn with the center point in the Eastern Mediterranean basin: the focus was conceived to be more on the non-Western geographies of Southeast Europe, Southern Caucasia, the Middle-East, Northern Africa. The traumatic developments of the last few years and the consequent demographic movements kept us from clearly distinguishing between the geographies we focused on and Europe understood as European Union. In this issue, we trace the official responses of EU countries on the migration wave, as well as the rise of the populist right. Through our collaboration with Maxim Gorki Theater and 3rd Berliner Herbstsalon, we feature texts on the historical infrastructure which provocatively foreground “de-integration” in the face of the “integration” narrative that has taken over the entire political scale. We hope that you can find striking examples that minor against the majoritarian positions can relate to.

While preparing the issue on dispossession, one from among us is being taken into arrest. This has left behind powerful emotional traces. Is there a new doubt? Could we continue this magazine into the future?

Until soon and here is to hoping it will not be too long of a break.

Erden Kosova, Zeyno Pekünlü, Vladimir Jerić Vlidi, Jelena Vesić, Banu Karaca
Proofreading in English: Kathryn Christine Thornton

In this issue

Rasha Salti

Be Still My Beating Heart

In what follows is an attempt at an impossible dialogue with an inanimate object that cannot answer me back. Namely, a book titled Maalesh, the Journal of a Theatrical Tour, by Jean Cocteau.

Banu Cennetoğlu, Erden Kosova

The List

I encountered The List for the first time in Amsterdam in 2002. After downloading the pdf file I found on UNITED's website, I found myself to have made a very quick decision.

Massimo Perinelli

The Society of the Many is Irreversible (with an introduction of Tunçay Kulaoğlu)

Migration is happening. It is irreversible. Acknowledging this means wagering on a future in a democratic, cosmopolitan society based on the right to have rights.

Das Netwerk kritische Migrations-und Grenzregimeforschung

Democracy Not Integration

The Critical Network of Studies for Migration and Border Regimes initiated a counter-campaign and their manifesto was signed by 3800 intellectuals. Here, we are presenting that campaign text (2010) as it remains still one of the most striking challenges to the discourse of integration.


No a la Integración, right to a legal status, globalisation and anti-racism

One year ago, Kanak Attak, a coalition against racism, presented its work to a larger audience for the first time at the Volksbühne Berlin. With the OpelPitbullAutoput revue, panel discussions, films and conversations in the hallways, we turned our attention to the history of migrant resistance, a topic whose traces have been lost in libraries and personal archives.

Max Czollek, Corinne Kaszner, Leah Carola Czollek, Gudrun Perko

Radical Diversity and De-integration: Towards a Political and Artistic Project

The concept of "integration" is all the rage in public discourse. There's no party manifesto where it doesn't occupy a central position, and there's no discussion about migrants in the media where it isn't used as a shorthand for the problem of "people who aren't like us".

Natalie Bayer, Mark Terkessidis

Beyond Repair: An Anti-Racist Praxeology of Curating

The exhibition conceived in 2014 by House of the History of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bonn, on the topic of Germany as an immigration country, was titled Immer bunter, which translates as "ever more colourful".

Emina Bužinkić

What If Political Landscapes of Solidarity Were All We Cared For?

In this article, two examples of social experimentations are presented: one that intertwines concepts of culture(s) and public infrastructure, and the other one that meets concepts of food and socio-economic emancipation.

Alisa Lebow

Filming Revolution: a non-linear database project about filmmaking in Egypt since the Revolution

This interactive archive does not attempt to provide a history of the revolution, nor does it attempt to an exhaustive chronicle of filmmaking in Egypt since 2011. The focus is on documentary and independent filmmaking and creative approaches to leading the Egyptian culture and society after the events of the revolution.

Begüm Özden Fırat, Fırat Genç

The Commons, Class Recomposition and Strategy

The main thesis is the following: The global political topography of our time is being reshaped through uprisings that exhibit a global momentum and share the same moment - although they are independent of the specific social and political contexts of which they are emerge.

Damir Arsenijević

The Working Group `Jokes, War, and Genocide’ Emancipating the Modes of Commemoration

Bosnian society is presently locating, exhuming, identifying and re-burying its dead. After the war, there are still 10 000 missing persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina buried in hidden mass graves.

Ruben Arevshatyan

Disclaiming and Reclaiming the Public

Within these last 5-6 years, it has been possible to perceive an increasing wave of public activism in the capitals of former Soviet republics, supporting the protection of urban buildings and spaces which had public functions during the Soviet period.

Rastko Močnik, Jelena Vesić, Vladimir Jerić Vlidi

Interview with Rastko Močnik: There is No Theory Without the Practice of Confrontation

Dispossession is a complex term, and we would like to try to break it down to particular fields of operation and use cases. You are among the rare people we know able to simultaneously analyze in depth three of the most prominent domains of the operation of the term - political economy, sociology, and psychoanalysis.

Jelena Petrović

What Does Freedom Stand for Today?

Impossibility to change neoliberal systems which shape and oppress everyday life on all social levels, as well as the simultaneous and paradoxical act of playing and resisting dominant social structures, put us in the position to rethink what the politics of liberation or its revolutionary practices of today.

Marina Gržinić

What Freedom?

Freedom is coming with the adjective in global capitalism. It is exponentially doubled, given as a gift, naked, illegal, and therefore stays today for an emblematic point of analysis of capitalism, its history and present: sovereignty, citizenship, the subject, and humanity.

Vladimir Jerić Vlidi

Dispossession by numbers: 2017/10/70/100

Excerpts from a visual essay for Red Thread: for the multimedia version visit

Asena Günal

“Cultural Hegemony” by Means of the Police

This is a somewhat personal text. Osman Kavala is my employer, and also, since he personally works side by side with us in some projects, my colleague. I was not expecting what befell him.

Guillaume Paoli

Commonplaces and Peculiarities

Let us begin with this paradoxical statement: In a world which sets so much value on diversity, it has become virtually impossible to be different.

Red Thread Editorial Board

Issue 4 – Editor’s note

While preparing the issue on dispossession, one from among us is being taken into arrest. This has left behind powerful emotional traces. Is there a new doubt? Could we continue this magazine into the future?