DAMN* READER 1.0
Topic: Community & Accountability
Date Published: May 2021
This reader is an accompaniment for the upcoming DAMN* open discussion meetups dedicated to topics surrounding political community organizing. Each topic has its own reader.
For a very long time there has been an urgency to dive deeper into issues and dissect what these huge terms such as community, representation, activism, solidarity actually mean in theory as well as in action. Beyond algorithms, fast-paced information consumption, call outs, likes & shares. All in regards to - what we will bluntly call - Asian diasporic organising in Germany. This is collective groundwork that can be revisited over and over again.
The aim is to create spaces to reflect on and engage with recurring conflicts within Asian diasporic organizing/groups/initiatives and take time to discuss and learn about international liberation movements, anti-Blackness, imperialism, abolition and how these relate to, and influence current agendas of Asian organizing in Germany.
There needs to be nuanced discussions on what this political Asian movement entails in the German context. Continuously asking ourselves about how, for what reasons & in what constellations are “we” coming together and where do “we” diverge, considering various factors and forms of oppressions.
There also needs to be nuanced discussions about and engagement with topics other than what “Asian”, “German Asian” identity entails.
The first reader is a collection of texts on the topic of accountability in organising spaces. What does accountability mean in community and political organising?
We must acknowledge that we all move and live in the systems and structures of the world, which means that we cannot extract ourselves from it. We cannot extract ourselves from the harm we receive, nor from the complicity of oppressing others. Be it structurally, or personally. Hence, conflict is inevitable. How can we practice accountability but also practice to demand it?
This is not only about leadership, but also the community itself; how must each person hold themselves accountable especially when relating with each other?
Litchi Ly Friedrich & Thao Ho
Upcoming Topics, Working Titles:
#1: On Reponsibility
#2: What is Activism? - Radicality, Honesty and Finding our Position in the Revolution
#3: Community - Cancel Culture, Woke Competition, Love & Rage Beyond Identities?
#4: The Quest of a Unifying Identity - What is so political about "German Asian?", "Anti-Strategic Essentialism", the right to not be identified
#5: Diasporas - Acknowledging the different experiences of (South/South East/East) Asian diasporas within different interectionalities.
#6: Healing - Internalized Racism, Anti-Asian Racism
#7: Model Minority & other forms of divisions - 7.1. Model Minority, 7.2. anti-Blackness, 7.3. generational conflicts & 7.4. classism
#8: Adapting/Co-Opting/ Experimenting - BIPOC, LGBTQI*, working class liberation movements in the US
#9: Adapting/Co-Opting/ Experimenting - Liberation movements in South/Southeast/East Asia
#10: Adapting/Co-Opting/ Experimenting - Liberation movements in Germany
#11: To Be Seen (by them) - Mainstream visibility in film and & the cultural landscape
#12: To Be Seen (by us) - Personality Cult, Social Media, Empowerment, Credits & Mistrust
#13: New Structures, New Archives, New...? - Intertwining Realities, Presents, Futures, Agendas
#14: Moving on Together Alone: how, when, and why "we" come together and part ways again
#15: Activism of Care - Life "Beyond", Intertwined and dedicated to Activism
Topics developed through conversations and actions with Akiko, Chi, Esra, Han, Hany, Huyen, Jesse, Lien, Litchi Ly, Nam, Promona, Ragil, Rosalia, Vanessa, Vicky, Sarnt, Sina, Sophya, ThaoN, Trang