Shutdown Program #12

Frank Reuter, The Selective Gaze
Wednesday, February 10, 2021, 7 pm
With Frank Reuter, Robert Gabris and Ülkü Süngün
Language: Deutsch
Platform: Zoom
Registration / Link

in the course of the event series
On Local and Global Structures of Antiziganism

curated and moderated by Ülkü Süngün

Historical photos of the Sint*izze and Rom*nja minorities usually reflect the majority society's perspective: it is a foreign-determined view. Nevertheless, such images are often used in exhibitions, media or educational projects without sufficient reflection on the context–such as the conditions of creation and the effects on today's viewers. They also stand in striking contrast to the surviving photographic self-testimonies of Sint*izze and Rom*nja. The social and media construct of the "Gypsy" can be separated in principle from the heterogeneous reality of life of the real Sint*izze and Rom*nja.

This profound difference between self-perception and perception of others raises fundamental questions about social practices of using images and the underlying power relations. Visual media, especially photography, has played and continue to play a key role in the shaping and dissemination of stereotypical images of Sint*izze and Rom*nja. The images are inextricably linked to (sometimes romantic, but mostly pejorative) notions and projections. They lay themselves like a grid over our contemporary perceptions, usually without our being aware of it. But they made the capture, persecution and extermination of the Sint*izze and Rom*nja possible and even today they are still effective in media discourses, for example on asylum policy and labor migration, as well as in everyday language.

Bringing these images to consciousness and analyzing them is a first step in their deconstruction. The monograph Der Bann des Fremden. Die fotografische Konstruktion des "Zigeuners" (The Spell of the Stranger. The Photographic Construction of the "Gypsy") by historian Dr. Frank Reuters of the University of Heidelberg is considered a standard work on historical image analysis as well as media studies of antiziganism. In his online lecture at the Württembergischer Kunstverein, he will use selected image examples to explain central mechanisms of antiziganist image production.

Frank Reuter
The historian Dr. Frank Reuter is scientific director of the Antiziganism Research Center at the University of Heidelberg. As a research associate at the Documentation and Cultural Center of German Sinti and Roma, he built up an archive from 1993 to 2017, conducted numerous eyewitness interviews with genocide survivors, and curated exhibitions. His work and research focuses on antiziganist images in visual media, especially in photography, on historical image and stereotype research, the genocide of the Sint*izze and Rom*nja under National Socialism, and their discrimination after 1945. Since March 2019, Reuter has been a member of the Independent Commission on Antiziganism at the Federal Ministry of the Interior. He was also appointed to the advisory board of the Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.

Robert Gabris
Robert Gabris, participating artist in the exhibition Actually, the Dead Are Not Dead: Una forma de ser is a furter interlocutor of the online event "The Selective Gaze". He is represented with his work "You Will Never Belong Into My Space (Replica of My Father's House. Model 1:20)" in the show and will talk about its creation process and context.

Ülkü Süngün
Ülkü Süngun is a visual artist from Stuttgart. In her work, she critically engages with identity and migration politics through various media, such as sculpture, installation or lecture performances, and conducts artistic research with her process-open and collaborative approach.

On the event series

The online conversation The Selective Gaze is the third part of the four-part event series curated by Ülkü Süngün, On Local and Global Structures of Antiziganism, which explores questions raised by the current–unfortunately currently closed - WKV exhibition Actually, the Dead Are Not Dead: Una forma de ser in depth and contextualized locally. The focus is on an examination of the emancipation of the Rom*nja and Sinti*zze in the face of the current forms and practices of their discrimination.

In the current WKV exhibition Actually, the Dead Are Not Dead. Una forma de ser, curated by María García and Pedro G. Romero, artistic-political articulations, especially of the Sinti*zze and Rom*nja living in Spain, are variously addressed, alongside works about their resistant practices and emancipation. Central to this is the festival, flamenco and the kris–a political form of assembly. Based on and inspired by the artistic works in the exhibition, I would like to address some of the exhibition's questions regarding housing, criminalization, and persecution and extermination with the four-part program series On Local and Global Structures of Antiziganism. In particular, resistant practices within civil rights work will be addressed and these will be brought into a context with local events.
In Germany, resentment and prejudice against Sinti*zze and Rom*nja are often projected into the Nazi era and thus externalized, although antiziganism has a long history and has continued to have an unbroken effect even after the end of the war due to a lack of reappraisal. Even today, it can be found in competing policies of remembrance of those persecuted and murdered by the Nazi regime. It can be found in forms of ongoing criminalization and extensive police registration as well as in connection with migration and flight, especially from the Balkans.
- Ülkü Süngün

All dates of the event series On Local and Global Structures of Antiziganism

Radu Ciourniciuc, filmmaker
Acasa, My Home
7–10 December 2020
Monday, 7 December 2020, 7 pm
With Radu Ciorniciuc, Lina Vdovil, Ümit Uludag and Ülkü Süngün  

Verena Lehmann, co-founder of the Sinti-Roma-Pride initiative
#dasdenkmalbleibt (The Memorial Remains)
Friday, January 29, 2021, 7 pm
With Verena Lehman and Ülkü Süngün

Frank Reuter, Research Center Antiziganism, Heidelberg
The Selective Gaze
Language: German
Wednesday, February 10, 2021, 7 pm

Mehmet Daimagüler, lawyer (among others NSU victim advocate)
About the arson attack on a Romn*ja family in Erbach-Dellmensingen
Language: German
Wednesday, March 17, 2021, 7 pm

Schlossplatz 2
D-70173 Stuttgart
Fon: +49 (0)711 - 22 33 70
Fax: +49 (0)711-22 33 791
Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart