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Chancengleichheit in der Krise

Interview of Shirin Assa,Universität Bayreuth

You are a member of the "Future Migration" network. How does Corona affect migration to Europe?

Well… there are many things that we do not know about Corona and its aftermaths, one of them is of course how it may affect the future of migration. That said, if we regard migration (primarily) as crossing borders, then we clearly see the impact that Corona has on migration. I am referring to all the changes, in fact recent and radical changes which are made in the haste of corona in terms of all policies and policing of the borders. This does not exclude Europe. For now, I can say this much that Corona most probably has long lasting effects on migration and politics of borders.

You co-organised the last BIGSAS literature festival about crises and responsibility and discussed how knowledge, art and activism can overcome crises. What is your advice for the current situation?

In that festival one of the main projects was to get a clearer understanding of what a crisis is and how there is always a chain of crises not one single crisis. And often times we assume that the crisis that we are going through has priority over others since we are caught up in the heat of the moment and so easily, we lose sight of a bigger picture and we fail to see the crises in relation to one another. This way we do not feel responsible towards others suffering and the crisis they are going through.

Now let’s take a look at what Covid-19 as a crisis brought to our attention; domestic violence was quite widespread and global poverty was exposed again, etc. Covid-19 is not the only pandemic of our time, the virus of racism is found at any corner of the world. Essential workers, their roles vis a vis the devastating working conditions and the lack of social and economic immunity for them is even more alarming. People are being killed not only by virus but by the unjust social structures. You see, it is so easy to get caught in one’s own critical situation when there are a series of crises that must be tackled.  

 You are doing research on the intersectional resistance of MENA women - what can resistance look like in times of Corona?

The topic that I am working on, intersectional resistance is a new paradigm for rethinking about resistance in general. A pandemic such as that of COVID-19 with which we are struggling shed an even brighter light on different aspects of structural discriminations and injustices. We see clearly how this situation has introduced extra hardship for those already in an underprivileged position. This suggests how a proper understanding of a critical situation such as a pandemic and its after-effects requires a thorough and an intersectional perspective.

Verantwortlich für die Redaktion: Silke Reimann

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