A discussion between Isabelle Ståhl and Sabine Hark
In the night of New Year’s Eve 2015/16, an incredible number of cases of sexual assaults, including cases of rape occurred in the German city of Cologne, predominantly by offenders with a North-African background. Similar incidents were reported from other European cities, however, the incidents of Cologne were unparalleled in their concentration.
The city’s name “Cologne” has since then been connected with the occurrence of New Year’s Eve; in recent discourse about women’s rights and penal law, it has turned into a cipher. “Cologne” has strongly influenced public discourse. Feminist concerns and requests certainly gained attention and in the aftermath of “Cologne”, the dated penal law concerning sexual violence was not only debated but reformed. At the same time, feminism was used by opponents of migration to mark otherness and argue for unbreachable cultural differences.
Sabine Hark is a professor of sociology, and she heads the Center for Interdisciplinary Women- and Genderstudies at the Technical University in Berlin. In her recent essay Unterscheiden und Herrschen (2017, together with Paula-Irene Villa), she discusses the interconnections between feminism, racism and sexism in the present and how these show in public discourse following “Cologne”.
The following videos present an introductory lecture by Sabine Hark (Gerrman) followed by a discussion with Swedish writer Isabelle Ståhl (English). The event Unterscheiden und Herrschen: Verflechtungen zwischen Feminismus, Sexismus und Rassismus: Sabine Hark und Isabelle Ståhl im Gespräch took place at the Goethe-Institut in Stockholm on the 14 th November 2017.