Why do you think German identity is so complex?



Sarah Naqvi, Community Wellness Organizer (IG @shehzadisaqvi), she breaks down the problematic nature of German identity, #whiteness and othering. ⁠ ⁠


What are your thoughts on German identity? Let us know in the comments.

Transcript


So you were asking why the German identity is so complex and I don’t think it’s complex, I think it’s problematic because the problem we are facing in the white dominant German society and culture is that to be German is being understood as being white and that’s something no one is really talking about but it’s a subtle feeling you will always get when you’re in a German society and besides Berlin, Germany is white dominated . In Berlin you find some diversity, so to say but in the rest of Germany you’re always confronted with whiteness and most people showing you that only being white is German.


That means, in the end that, it doesn’t matter what you achieved, how good your German is, if you were born in Germany, you will still be asked where you’re from if you don’t have white skin colour and white features so that means that German identity is always connected to othering. The white dominant society will always other you and let you know that you’re not part of Germany even though you have a German passport and I think with that comes a lot of alienation, because of the othering you will be alienated to your own body your own culture, if you consider yourself as German and will slowly alienate from this whole identity and I think that makes many people question themselves and causes trauma or reactivates the trauma they already experienced.


So I’m asking for a discourse change that people start recognizing how whiteness is being reinforced in every situation and how they invisibly let the people, black people and people of colour know that they are not a part of Germany and never will be. And I think it has a lot to do with the history and the colonial history of Germany, there was never a discourse about it, it’s slowly starting and it’s because of historical reasons that being German means being white.


Credits


Presented by Black Brown Berlin

Director & Producer by - Chanel Knight

Assistant Director - Ibra Wane

Videographer & Sound - Ibra Wane

Editor - Jasco Ocsaj


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I do, it’s a sensitive point, I think it’s difficult, I don’t think a lot of work has happened in the past seventy years since those events, you know, holocaust and I think often when people hear race