Mini City

Elahe Haschemi Yekani

Named after a no-longer existent small Berlin shopping arcade that housed shops owned mainly by migrants directly next to the more well-known Europa Center, the book project Mini City engages with British, US and German (queer) diasporic literary texts, artworks, and films from the 1960s to now. Drawing on the conceptual and methodological framework of the overall Tales of the Diasporic Ordinary project, this book proposes a critical reflection of the modes of engaging with postcolonial and diasporic sources by interweaving the analysis of art with autotheoretical observations. A special focus will be on non-canonical literary texts, including life writing, journalistic and activist sources as well as experimental documentary film making which could be described as counter-archival in its aesthetic and affective bearing.

Against an understanding of migration as perpetually new and always linked to moments of crisis, I am interested in longer histories of diasporic life in Britain, the US, and Germany, which includes experiences of and resistance against racism that were often explicitly non-identitarian in nature and fuelled by historical turning points such as the Fall of the Berlin Wall, 9/11, and Brexit. To focus on the ordinary affects of the diaspora, counters the perpetual unacknowledgeability of social exclusion. While work by artists of the Iranian diaspora will play a prominent role in this project, a queer diasporic lens is not invested in authenticity or the often heteronormative constraints of the nation state. Queer diasporic life is shaped by everyday encounters in the city. Mini City will thus engage with the mundane affects of marginalisation as well as communal modes of being which rely on shared imaginaries.

2023-03-10 | Posted by Alexis Mertens