HaFI 019: Natascha Sadr Haghighian: What I Do Not Recognize Yet, Now at This Very Moment

“We tried to get over this disturbance by learning to suppress the perception of racist structures. This in turn made it difficult to develop a commonality, a conversation about the experience of racism. Languages that were developed to articulate one’s own perception, literature, songs—at most they had street credibility in Germany, if they were registered at all. As foreigners, everyone was on their own inside the epistemic bubble of integration. Any form of gathering and assembly was considered a sign of failed integration.”

In her text “What I Do Not Recognize Yet, Now at This Very Moment,” Natascha Sadr Haghighian grapples with the dialectics of looking in German structural racism by returning to the how’s and why’s of “not seeing” the NSU (the neo-Nazi organization that was able to carry out racist murders in Germany from 2000 to 2011 without being “found”). The text charts modes of strategic ignorance and recognition that operate in structural racism. Sadr Haghighian’s interest in recognition goes back to a longer study on ways of seeing as political acts, in which she tried to detect or develop modes of seeing that make themselves unavailable to dominant or suggested views. “Looking Awry,” not looking straightforwardly, became one of these modes of seeing that allow us to pay attention to the fringes, to the events outside of the image that in fact constitute the image. Today, Sadr Haghighian understands these modes of seeing as an embattled negotiation of recognition and ignorance, both willful and conditioned. By attending to this negotiation, life beyond a racist reality might become conceivable.

Sat. December 16, at 5 p.m.
Presentation and discussion

With Natascha Sadr Haghighian
In conversation with Setareh Shahbazi

Venue: Hopscotch Events
Gerichtstraße 45 (backyard), 13347 Berlin
Free entry

HaFI 019Natascha Sadr Haghighian: Was ich noch nicht erkenne, jetzt in diesem Moment / What I Do Not Recognize Yet, Now at This Very Moment
Editor: Tom Holert
Author: Natascha Sadr Haghighian
Published by: Harun Farocki Institut
Language: Deutsch / English
Pages: 64
Format: 16,5 x 24 cm
Binding: Softcover
ISBN: 978-2-940672-47-9

HaFI 019 can be ordered from Bierke Verlag at a price of 10 euros.

December 10th, 2023 — Projects / Publication