saturday 17:15 – 18:45
Homes in Making:
Queering migrant spaces in Berlin and Istanbul
Most people have their own narratives of migration: some move towards an imagined home; while others move away from the home they know; and others remain in a perpetual sense of in-betweenness. Migration is usually understood as a search for a better home and a safe haven, but it is also an urge to realize other ways of being and relating that are far more complex. Migrant bodies carry fractured belongings and shifting temporalities in such processes of place-making. Berlin and Istanbul have always been on the map as “geographies of desire” for different groups of migrants, including LGBTI+ communities, as they attract internal and transnational migration. However, academic and activist works on migration and diaspora rarely attend to the diverse politics of sexualities and desires of migrant bodies. The relationship between Berlin and Istanbul is not a one way street, but a complex one as these cities are messy spaces that cannot be captured in coherent categories of destination/departure, pleasure/pain, old/new, and belonging/mobility. The forum aims to understand how queer migrant bodies (re)construct their identities, belongings, and diverse networks of solidarity and resistance in Berlin and Istanbul. How do the activist interventions to these cities shift in time and also learn from each other?