Documents from Berlin: Corona Denial / Dokumenti iz Berlina: Zanikanje korone

Conspiracy theories challenge the boundaries of truth. Facts enter into fiction and fiction enters into fact. The pandemic has made this startlingly clear: a virus invisible to the human eye has spread globally, defying local borders and laws, forcing politicians to appear weak and panicked, placing entire cities under lockdown and forcing economic activity to screech to a halt. In a world suddenly shown to be very unfamiliar, fear, anger, and anxiety urge people toward new narratives which can offer a reassuring sense of meaning. A desperation is building for clear explanations to the difficult, complex, and suddenly strange and confounding conditions people struggle everyday with to survive, and the Right is perfectly prepared to seize the opportunity to provide a strong direction.

In Germany, we are seeing a troublesome alliance between right-wing, self-described leftist and self-described “apolitical” groups, a coalition dubbed the “Querfront”, who are organising “hygiene demonstrations” against COVID-19 measures. From our group, Bruno, Can and several colleagues have been present with their cameras at the Hygiene-demos in Berlin since they started, and will present and discuss some of their documentation at Grounded.

History has shown that fringe movements, however abstruse they might seem, are very well able, especially in a crisis, to find leeway and agency in political and economic decision-making. Conspiracy theories might seem at first laughable and naive, but in their racist, sexist, criminal and violent consequences they become serious objects of concern. Behind their subtexts, which often dehumanise marginalised groups  and the propagation of these, there are powerful actors with reactionary agendas.

Teorije zarote premikajo meje resnice. Dejstva vstopajo v fikcijo in fikcija vstopa v dejstva. To se je še bolj jasno izrazilo v pandemiji: človeškemu očesu neviden virus se širi po celem svetu, kljubuje lokalnim mejam in zakonom, politike sili v šibkost in paniko, zaustavlja celotna mesta in gospodarsko dejavnost. V svetu, ki se je nenadoma izkazal kot zelo neznan, strah, jeza in tesnoba ljudi spodbujajo k sledenju novim narativom, ki lahko ponudijo pomirjujoč občutek pomena. Naraščajoč obup kaže na potrebo po jasnih razlagah težkih, zapletenih in nenadoma čudnih ter nejasnih razmer, s katerimi se ljudje vsak dan spopadajo, da bi preživeli. Desnica je pripravljena izkoristiti priložnost, da bi zagotovila močno usmeritev.

V Nemčiji opažamo problematično zavezništvo med desničarskimi, samodeklariranimi levičarskimi in samodeklariranimi “apolitičnimi” skupinami, koalicijo, imenovano “Querfront”, ki organizira “higienske demonstracije” proti ukrepom za zajezitev COVID-19. Bruno, Can in ostali kolegi so s svojimi kamerami prisotni na berlinskih higienskih demonstracijah od vsega začetka, na Grounded pa bodo predstavili del svoje dokumentacije. 

Zgodovina je pokazala, da so obrobna gibanja, pa še toliko obskurna, zelo sposobna, zlasti v krizi, najti prostor in zmožnosti za politično in gospodarsko odločanje. Teorije zarote se morda sprva zdijo smešne in naivne, vendar se v svojih rasističnih, seksističnih, kriminalnih in nasilnih posledicah pretvorijo v resne probleme. Za njihovimi podtoni, ki pogosto dehumanizirajo marginalizirane skupine, stojijo močni akterji z reakcionarnimi agendami.

in English, online

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