Mittwoch, 13. November 2013, 18:30 - 20:00 iCal

Wednesday Seminar - Felix Ringel

Vordiskussion zum AAA Vortrag “Once Hope Dies, Here Will be Its Grave.” – Post-Industrial Affect in Germany’s Fastest Shrinking City

HS-C, Institut für Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie (NIG)
Universitätsstraße 7, 4. Stock, 1010 Wien


Since German reunification, Hoyerswerda, a former East German socialist model city, has lost more than half of its population. Especially the young and well-educated continue to leave the city in search for jobs in prosperous Western Germany. Their leaving is rendered problematic by those staying behind, who are most existentially affected by the subsequent social, economic and demographic changes. This paper explores some of the ways in which these older Hoyerswerdians try to stop their children's outmigration. It focuses on three youth projects: “Youth has Visions”, “The Future Laboratory” and a literary project. All of them try to impose a sense of hope upon the young participants. I extrapolate the projects' embeddedness in local politics, scrutinize their actual efficacy and analyse the often uncanny resemblance of the affective pedagogies implemented in them and the city government's professional marketing and advertisement strategies. Since the organisers' hope (i.e. that, once bestowed with the right affective relations to the local future, young Hoyerswerdians will decide to stay) is usually disappointed, what does the failure of such affective strategies elicit about hope and its role in human life, practice and experience more generally? By approaching hope as an important, socially produced, disseminated and contested aspect of local economies of knowledge, I hope to contribute to the growing literature on post-industrial affect, exploring urban affect and its relationship to the future in this thoroughly declining city.

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Institut für Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie


Marie-Therese Filip
Institut für Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie
+43-1-42 77 495 02