The report for the Int. Conference „Anti-Asian Racism: History, Theory, Cultural Representations and Antiracist Movements“ at the University of Tübingen from July 7–8, 2023 was first published on the science portal H‑Soz-Kult on September 6th, 2023, Link: We thank the author Sander Diederich and HSozKult for the kind per­mission to repu­blish.

Initiated by the Tübingen con­fe­rences on Asian German Studies in 2022 and on anti-Asian racism in 2023 the anthology “Anti-Asian Racism in Transatlantic Perspectives: History, Theory, Cultural Representations and Social Movements“ (working title) is in pre­pa­ration for early 2025. Tune in here for updates.

Soon after the Covid-19 pan­demic began, reports of racism against (East) Asians, Chinese in par­ti­cular, erupted worldwide. The model minority abruptly trans­formed into the scapegoat for the fearful and angry masses seeking a simple expl­anation for their new­found reality. It seemed that Asians were expe­ri­encing unpre­ce­dented racism. They were not only being belittled, glo­rified, or exo­ti­cized, but also threa­tened and assaulted. For many, this ‘actual racism’ repre­sented a new phe­no­menon marking the emer­gence of ‘anti-Asian racism’ in the German main­stream discourse.

Not sur­pri­singly, anti-Asian racism has a deep history and colonial legacy. The con­fe­rence can be understood as an expression of the necessity and interest of the Asian German com­munity in the subject as well as a con­tri­bution to the decon­s­truction of Whiteness and colonial modernity by desta­bi­lizing and reinter­preting the boun­daries between Whiteness and Asianness. Perspective is crucial to cri­ti­cally under­stand what ‘Asian’ and ‘Asianness’ can or should signify in the face of racial ima­gi­naries and anti-Asian violence.

ROTEM KOWNER (Haifa) shed light on European Colonialism, race theories, and racism using examples from early modern and modern con­ti­nental Asia. Racism was essential for legi­ti­mizing colo­nization, streng­thening racial hier­ar­chization in Europe and its colonies. According to Kowner, China, the center of global com­merce, had long been more than an equal rival for the ‘most civi­lized’ society. He argued that the opening of the Suez Canal brought Asia closer, and steam­ships gua­ranteed European naval supe­riority in the Opium Wars. This revealed China’s vul­nerability and bols­tered European self-confidence. Thus, the nar­rative of China as the ‘country of wonders’ gra­dually gave way to ima­gi­naries of deceitfulness, dys­func­tion­ality, and ‘the yellow peril’. KIEN NGHI HA (Tübingen) noted that (East) Asians were usually ranked second after Europeans in the racial hier­archy. Kowner sug­gested this resulted from China being the last obs­tacle to European world domi­nation, the color choice yellow reflecting the (East) Asians‘ ‘almost Whiteness’ whereas South Asians were clearly depicted as brown.

LOK SIU (Berkeley) con­tinued the dis­cussion by tracing 240 years of Asian pre­sence in the United States, focusing on con­tested belonging, exclusion, and recurring waves of anti-Asianism by ana­lyzing dif­ferent phases of immi­gration and rest­riction through eco­nomic impe­ra­tives and poli­tical struc­tures. The Proclamation of Emancipation in 1863 marked the formal end of slavery and the beginning of mass (inden­tured) labor migration from Asia, notably China and India.

LUCAS POY (Amsterdam) depicted an Era of Mass Migration (1880–1930), high­lighting Chinese exclusion from labor orga­niza­tions and blame for harsh con­di­tions and lowered White working-class stan­dards. Chinese inden­tured labor migrants were blamed for the effects of the eco­nomic impe­ra­tives by which they them­selves were being sub­ju­gated. Their unfree labor status was natu­ra­lized and inscribed as racial cha­rac­te­ristics of pas­sivity. Poy deemed this an important com­ponent for the con­s­truction of Whiteness, as Asians were rele­gated to the second place in the racial taxonomy on the grounds that they posed a threat pre­cisely because they were diligent but lacked the capa­cities of the White subject to organize.

Siu described how the trinity of ima­gined cul­tural, eco­nomic, and bio­po­li­tical threats posed espe­cially by the Chinese dif­fused regio­nally in North America and the Caribbean, fueling scores of anti-Asian riots. This leads to incre­asingly rest­rictive Exclusion Laws sub­se­quently encom­passing not only Chinese but all Asians, labeling them as ‘per­petual for­eigners’ unable to inte­grate into society. These laws were repealed only in 1960 but by this time had already sparked orga­nized resis­tance and a sense of coll­ective Asian subjectivity.

Amid the civil rights movement, the nar­rative of the ‘model minority’ was spawned, splitting and pitting racial mino­rities against each other. According to Siu, in this context, debates on Whiteness can be better understood as gen­dered, classed, and racia­lized nego­tia­tions of belonging and citi­zenship. Today, she argued, the waters seem to be murkier, as there is a resur­gence of the ‘deserving model minority’ trope on the one hand, while on the other hand, it is being uti­lized to strengthen Whiteness by dele­gi­ti­mizing affir­mative action.

QUINNA SHEN (Bryn Mawr) traced the role of early German film in per­pe­tuating a variety of Asian racist ste­reo­types and found a clearly gen­dered notion of Asianness. According to Shen, Asian women were por­trayed as hel­p­lessly attracted to White men, who were ima­gined as sexually superior to Asian men. Asian men, in turn, were framed as tre­acherous, lurking, mur­derous rapists who used immoral means such as opium to attain their lowly revenge against the White heroes. Shen con­cluded that while some films did cri­tique British colonial rule, they simul­ta­neously por­trayed Asian libe­ration struggles as under­handed, cri­minal, and ignoble. Additionally, the films con­veyed the message that colonial romance leads to tragedy if not death, and as such, that ‘the other’ will always remain ‘the other’.

A second type of dis­cursive media ana­lysis was under­taken by ANNO DEDERICHS (Tübingen), who focused his research on the images of China por­trayed in the German poli­tical arena over the course of several decades. He found that the dif­ferent topoi of threat, rival and partner were repeated over time but were always embedded in their spe­cific his­toric context. Dominant themes for depic­tions seemed to be related to colonial (yellow) or com­munist (red) imagery. Dederichs showed great interest in the ease with which ideo­lo­gical dif­fe­rences were overcome with the pro­spect of eco­nomic prowess, and how the nature of the threat posed by China changed from ideo­lo­gical (com­munist), to moral (auto­cratic), to tech­no­lo­gical, geo­po­li­tical, and bio­po­li­tical threat (Covid-19). He con­cluded that the depic­tions of China tell us more about German needs and fears rather than the actual situation in China.

Another focus of the con­fe­rence was Asian dia­sporic com­mu­nities and their liveli­hoods, self-organization, and resis­tance. YOU JAE LEE (Tübingen) empha­sized the importance of inter­na­tional exchange on the issue of anti-Asian racism, espe­cially since Asian dia­sporas in Germany have failed to form a coll­ective sense of Asianness. They remain divided as ethnic or national mino­rities in their respective struggles instead of com­bining their efforts or fighting alongside each other. Using families of Korean labor migrants in Germany as an example, he depicted a shift occurring over the course of three gene­ra­tions, in which the expl­anatory value of meri­to­cracy dwindled, and expe­ri­ences of dis­cri­mi­nation are incre­asingly understood as con­se­quences of (anti-Asian) racism.

In con­trast, the situation in France was regarded as more hopeful by YA-HAN CHUANG (Paris). She depicted three his­toric phases of Asian com­munity orga­nizing, namely, the struggle for (1) ethnic soli­darity, (2) reco­gnition, and (3) ack­now­led­gement. Currently, she sees chances of cross-community soli­darity with Arab and African mino­rities by building coali­tions through nar­ra­tives of deco­lo­nization. Chuang comes to a similar con­clusion as You Jae Lee con­cerning the gene­ra­tional dif­fe­rences within the Asian dia­sporic com­mu­nities but did not regard dif­fering posi­tio­na­lities as a fun­da­mental hurdle for orga­nizing. Instead, she found potential for syn­ergies by uti­lizing these gene­ra­tional dif­fe­rences stra­te­gi­cally to intervene in the dominant discourse.

By focusing on the insti­tu­tional dimension of anti-Asian racism in Germany, Kien Nghi Ha explained how a dis­re­mem­bering of anti-Asian racism could occur despite the pogrom in Rostock-Lichtenhagen. Ha argued that German state insti­tu­tions coll­ec­tively failed to provide safety for the Vietnamese guest workers due to the ongoing poli­tical project of the state to revise laws on poli­tical asylum. According to Ha, the pogrom could only unfold due to the failure of the police and the judi­ciary and gains texture against the backdrop of natio­nalist revival fol­lowing German uni­fi­cation, as well as the high unem­ployment in East Germany at that time.

In oppo­sition to this, CUSO EHRICH (Gießen) follows an aboli­tionist per­spective as it enables thinking about necessary societal trans­for­ma­tions in the future. From this per­spective, the police would not be attri­buted failure but instead success according to the racist logic of the nation-state. Finding ori­en­tation in self-organized refugee groups or Women in Exile, Ehrich pro­poses to regard the logic of punishment as neither pre­venting crime nor rein­stating justice, as it does not meet the victims‘ needs. Additionally positing that inc­ar­ce­ration is classed and racia­lized, thus leading to the per­pe­tuation of struc­tural ine­qua­lities. Instead of these des­tructive prac­tices, they plead for life-affirming per­spec­tives and imple­menting aboli­tionism on the ground by bringing people tog­ether to find solu­tions outside of state logics while being aware of attempts of neo­li­beral take­overs. FENG-MEI HEBERER (New York) added that regarding politics of Asian self-representation through German grass­roots orga­niza­tions in limbo should not neces­s­arily be understood as failed. Instead, dis­ruption and slowness should be com­pre­hended as con­ti­nua­tions of self-organization.

SARA DJAHIM (Berlin) and TAE JUN KIM (Berlin) ques­tioned the utility of the terms ‘Asian’ and ‘anti-Asian racism’ altog­ether. In a similar manner to Rotem Kowner, they posited that racism is the grounds upon which the cate­gories of race, such as ‘Asian’, emerge and become salient, but that ‘Asianness’ itself is not essential to the over­ar­ching issue of racism. As the sub­jec­tivity of ‘Asianness’ is dependent on the con­ti­nuity of ‘anti-Asian racism’, they do not deem ‘Asian’ as a useful coll­ective identity category for a long-term anti-racist struggle. Their idea not being that there are no spe­cific con­se­quences for people marked as ‘Asians’, but rather that ‘anti-Asian’ sen­timent is not necessary for the mani­fes­tation of racist effects against them. If decon­s­tructed con­se­quently, they con­cluded, there are no ‘Asians’, only people per­ceived as ‘Asian’.

In regard to this issue Jee-Un Kim stressed the rela­tional utility of poli­tical labels such as ‘Asian’ or ‘Asian German’. According to her, it is pivotal to express the societal con­di­tions while decon­s­tructing them at the same time. Depending on who we are pitting our­selves against, certain com­mo­n­a­lities have to be under­lined, whereas some­times it is more pro­ductive to high­light par­ti­cular dif­fe­rences. Thus, the usage of ter­mi­nology such as ‘Asian’, ‘anti-Asian racism’, or ‘dia­sporic Asians’ must be situa­tional, stra­tegic, and always rela­tional. Kien Nghi Ha added that the term ‘Asian German’ is an offer to the com­munity that may be ignored or con­tested, as there is also no sin­gular way of under­standing it. Instead, it poses an oppor­tunity to deal with spe­ci­fi­cally German anti-Asian for­ma­tions in a playful manner.

In summary, the con­fe­rence encom­passed a diverse array of inquiries, spanning from fun­da­mental dis­course on ter­mi­nology to the exami­nation of theo­re­tical under­pin­nings and his­to­rical origins of the phe­no­menon. The pro­cee­dings also encom­passed empi­rical inves­ti­ga­tions into dis­course dynamics and the poli­tical ori­en­ta­tions of grass­roots move­ments. Moreover, You Jae Lee expressed concern over the absence of a dedi­cated aca­demic disci­pline focusing on Asian German Studies, while Lok Siu empha­sized the scho­larly duty to engender know­ledge that con­fronts societal con­cerns and fosters utopian perspectives.

Rotem Kowner observed that, con­tingent upon the chosen metrics, Asians con­stitute a demo­graphic per­centage ranging from eight to ten percent of the total German popu­lation, con­se­quently forming the most pro­minent racial minority. Kowner further asserted that mere sen­si­tization to anti-Asian racism is insuf­fi­cient; instead, a resolute and com­pre­hensive effort against racism as an over­ar­ching con­s­truct is imperative.

While marking the inception of the first-ever con­fe­rence on anti-Asian racism in Germany, the panels effec­tively addressed fun­da­mental ele­ments, thereby situating the phe­no­menon within the German aca­demic dis­course. Regrettably, the exten­si­veness of coverage was cons­trained by prac­tical limi­ta­tions, which led to the omission of deli­be­ration on the Asianness of Arabs, and spe­ci­fi­cally Turks and Kurds in Germany. Nonetheless, the signi­fi­cance of this subject to the Asian com­munity was made visible through the diversity of attendees, including young non-academics from various regions of Germany. This con­fluence faci­li­tated syn­er­gistic dis­cus­sions between scholars and cul­tural pro­ducers, both during and sub­se­quent to the con­fe­rence, paving the way for further exchange and dia­logue. Notably extending from the pre­vious year’s con­fe­rence, cen­tered on the fea­si­bility of a disci­pline in Asian German Studies, the incor­po­ration of an inter­na­tional deli­be­ration added nuance and con­trast to the dis­course. Ultimately, the impli­ca­tions and con­se­quences of anti-Asian racism persist as a con­ten­tious topic both within aca­demic spheres and on the ground.

Conference overview:


Kien Nghi Ha (Tübingen) / You Jae Lee (Tübingen)

Keynote History
Chair: Bernd-Stefan Grewe (Tübingen)

Lok Siu (Berkeley): Making Asians Foreign: Methods of Exclusion and Contingent Belonging

Panel History
Chair: Jee-Un Kim (Berlin)

You Jae Lee (Tübingen): Discrimination, Resistance, and Meritocracy. Korean Guest Workers in Germany

Kien Nghi Ha (Tübingen): The Pogrom in Rostock-Lichtenhagen as Institutional Racism

Keynote Theory
Chair: Antony Pattathu (Tübingen)

Rotem Kowner (Haifa): The Intersections between European Racial Constructions and Modern Colonialism: Theoretical Issues and the Place of Asia

Panel Theory
Chair: Bani Gill (Tübingen)

Lucas Poy (Amsterdam): Socialists and Anti-Asian Sentiment in the Era of Mass Migration (1880–1930)

Cuso Ehrich (Gießen): Abolitionist Perspectives on Demands of Asian-German Formations

Keynote Cultural Representations
Chair: Fei Huang (Tübingen)

Quinna Shen (Bryn Mawr): Racialized Screen in Early German Cinema: What Asian German Studies Can Address

Panel Cultural Representations
Chair: Zach Ramon Fitzpatrick (Madison)

Feng-Mei Heberer (New York): Anti-Asian Racism and the Politics of Asian Self-Representation in Germany: the Asian Film Festival Berlin

Anno Dederichs (Tübingen): Opportunity and Threat: Ambivalent Reporting on China in Der Spiegel, 1947–2023

Panel Antiracist Movements
Chair: Yewon Lee (Tübingen)

Sara Djahim (Berlin) / Tae Jun Kim (Berlin): “Take Off Your Masks“: The Invisibility and Visibility of Anti-Asian Racism in Germany

Ya-Han Chuang (Paris): Yellow is the new Black? Emergence and Development of Asian Antiracist Activism in France

Round Table: Challenging Anti-Asian Racism in Society and Academia
Chair: Kien Nghi Ha

Panelists: Quinna Shen, Lok Siu, Rotem Kowner, You Jae Lee

Sander Diederich is a socio­logist enrolled in the master’s program Diversity and Society at the University of Tübingen and is a member of UnKUT (Undisciplined Knowledge at the University of Tübingen). Their work has cen­tered around the moral dimen­sions of (tran­si­tional) justice, anti-Asian racism, and the inter­ac­tional dis­cri­mi­nation of trans­gender persons. Their inte­rests range from feminist epis­te­mo­logies to utopian per­spec­tives and the nor­mative aspects of (aca­demic) scho­larship. Currently, they are exploring notions of ‚the good life‘, with a spe­cific focus on under­standing the con­s­truction and effect of commonalities/differences using lenses such as com­mu­ni­ta­rianism, soli­darity, diversity, and belonging.


Asian New Yorkers protest in August 2021

Call for Paper – PDF download

Conference “Anti-Asian Racism: History, Theory and Case Studies”

Venue: Schloss Hohentübingen at the University of Tübingen, Germany
Date: 07.07. – 08.07.2023, hybrid con­fe­rence
Conveners: Dr. Kien Nghi Ha and Prof. Dr. You Jae Lee
Host Institution: Department of Korean Studies, Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies at the University of Tübingen

Thematic Focus and Issues

In the trans­na­tional Corona pan­demic, Asian-related racism became common head­lines in the media of many Western immi­gration societies. In the course of this deve­lo­pment, the term as well as the topic of “anti-Asian racism” became more pro­minent – in Germany for the very first time. Although anti-Asian pro­jec­tions and its accom­panying colonial-racist con­s­truc­tions have been a con­sti­tutive com­ponent of Western modernity, they have hardly been per­ceived as a relevant topic in many European nations. This is also the case in German-speaking countries and its poli­tical, cul­tural and edu­ca­tional insti­tu­tions. Thus, the aca­demic research on the history and com­ple­xities of Asian German Diaspora, the sub­jec­ti­vities and needs of Asian immi­grant com­mu­nities is still largely mar­gi­na­lized and mostly deemed as unim­portant. This is espe­cially true for aca­demic rese­arches that centers the rich history of anti-Asian dis­courses and ste­reo­types as well as related con­tem­porary prac­tices, immi­gration policies and move­ments in Germany and other European countries.

To tackles this, the workshop aims at streng­thening local coope­ration as well as trans­na­tional net­working. We like invite scholars from all aca­demic disci­plines to con­tribute. Inquiries from the Humanities including but not limited to Asian German Studies, Asian Diasporic Studies, Asian American Studies, Asian Studies, European Studies, German Studies, Anthropology, Media Studies, History and Social Sciences in general as well as other fields of expertise are welcome. Through the inclusion of multi-disciplinary exch­anges and insights we seek to broaden our per­spec­tives and under­standing. We encourage espe­cially scholars of Color and young aca­demics to apply, who aims to explore this field of research in the German context.

The conference is divided into three sections:

1) The section “History” dis­cusses his­to­rical back­grounds of the origin of Asian dia­sporas in Western societies. In addition to legal frame­works and poli­tical prac­tices, the atti­tudes and reac­tions of the White main­stream are also relevant. Travel routes, work, housing, lan­guage, and gender dif­fe­rences and other social and spatial dimen­sions are also of great importance for the structure of Asian dia­sporic com­mu­nities. Likewise, the modes of response to racism, self-organization, and com­munity building are also important for the arrival and sett­lement pro­cesses. In this context, a com­pa­rative per­spective allows for infe­rences not only about local, regional, and national, but also about trans­na­tional ana­logies and differences.

2) The section “Theory” deals with approaches that his­to­ri­cally recon­s­truct, define, and ana­ly­ti­cally classify anti-Asian racism and its various mani­fes­ta­tions. In addition to the func­tioning of struc­tural exclu­sions and insti­tu­tio­na­lized dis­cri­mi­na­tions, the con­s­truction and mea­nings of cul­tural ste­reo­types in popular culture or media can also be examined. Intersectional rela­tions to other forms of racism and social cate­gories such as class, gender and sexuality are also of great interest.

3) The section “Case Studies” narrows down the object of study and, with its inductive approach, allows for a change of per­spective that high­lights inte­resting aspects that are easily over­looked in the macro view. Possible formats include his­to­rical, poli­tical, cultura eventsl, but also indi­vidual cases, smaller-scale the­matic aspects, bio­gra­phical ana­lyses, exem­plary reception his­tories of cul­tural arti­facts, and so on, which are also signi­ficant through their detailed view.

Practical informations

Due to budget limits, we can only provide a limited travel reim­bur­sement (up to 200,- €), hotel acco­mo­dation for one night in Tübingen and meals, snacks and soft drinks for the sel­ected sub­mis­sions. Online pre­sen­tation is pos­sible in order to give overseas scholars the chance to participate. 

Please send pro­posals (approx. 300 words) and a short CV (up to 150 words) to the orga­nizers. Please pass this CfP along to anyone else who might be inte­rested. Thank you for your interest!

Submission CfP

Deadline: 15.03.2023 for abs­tract (approx. 300 words) and short CV (up to 150 words)
Result Notification: 31.03.2023
Contact: Dr. Kien Nghi Ha, Email:
More Information: Asian German Studies Tübingen


Conference pro­cee­dings planned for 2024 by an inter­na­tional aca­demic publisher

Supported by the Platform Global Encounters of the University of Tübingen.
Funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Ministry of Science Baden-Württemberg within the framework of the Excellence Strategy of the German Federal and State Governments.


Wir freuen uns darüber, in Kooperation mit dem Kino Central Berlin den preis­ge­krönten Asian-American Film MINARI (USA, 2020) von Lee Isaac Chung im Original mit deut­schen Untertiteln mit anschlie­ßendem Gespräch zu zeigen. 

WANN: 29. Juli 2021, 19:30 h Filmvorführung (inhouse) mit anschlie­ßendem Gespräch
WO: Kino Central Berlin, Rosenthaler Str. 39, 10178 Berlin (direkt Tram-Haltestelle Hackescher Markt)
TICKET-Link*: (direkt zur Vorstellung)
* Zur Klarstellung: Der Film läuft derzeit regulär im Kino und es gibt natürlich weitere Vorstellungen. Nur die hier ver­linkte Vorstellung wird aller­dings von kori­en­tation präsentiert.

Eine korea­nische Familie landet in den 1980er Jahren in Arkansas, mitten im ame­ri­ka­ni­schen Niemandsland, auf der Suche nach dem „American Dream“. MINARI ist ein Film über Generationskonflikte, die Suche nach Familienzusammenhalt und Beheimatungsprozesse in der Diaspora. Gibt es Parallelen und/oder Unterschiede zu/r asia­tisch deut­schen Migrationsgeschichte/n? Gibt es eine ver­gleichbare mediale Repräsentation zum Beheimatungsprozess asia­ti­scher (Post)migrant*innen in Deutschland?

korientation-Mitglieder Dr. Heike Berner (Amerikanistin und Autorin, Köln) und Dr. Sun-Ju Choi (Medienschaffende, Berlin) laden nach dem Screening zum Austausch und zur gemein­samen Diskussion ein. 

Sun-Ju Choi ist Autorin und Kultur- und Medienschaffende. Sie ist bei den Neuen deut­schen Medienmacher*innen e.V. als stell­ver­tre­tende Geschäftsführerin tätig. Sun-Ju stu­dierte Literatur an der Universität zu Köln und Drehbuch an der DFFB (Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin). 2017 erschien ihre Dissertation zu Familienkonzepten und Repräsentation von Familie im nord­ko­rea­ni­schen Film. Sie ist Gründungsmitglied und aktuell Vorstandsmitglied von kori­en­tation e.V. wie auch Vorstandsmitglied des Vereins neue deutsche orga­ni­sa­tionen e.V. Seit 2007 leitet sie gemeinsam mit Kimiko Suda das Asian Film Festival Berlin.

Heike Berner arbeitet an der Universität zu Köln mit geflüch­teten und gefähr­deten Wissenschaftler*innen. Im Rahmen ihrer wis­sen­schaft­lichen Arbeit beschäftigt sie sich mit korea­ni­scher Migrationsgeschichte in den USA und Deutschland. 2018 erschien ihr Buch Ise. Erzählungen von korea­ni­schen Deutschen der zweiten Generation bei Iudicium. Gemeinsam mit Sun-ju Choi und der Koreanischen Frauengruppe in Deutschland ist sie Herausgeberin von Zuhause. Erzählungen von deut­schen Koreanerinnen (Assoziation A, 2006). 2003 ver­öf­fent­lichte sie mit ihrer Dissertation Home is where the heart Is? Identity and belonging in Asian American lite­rature eine der ersten Arbeiten zu asiatisch-amerikanischer Literatur in Deutschland.

Zum Kino Central im Haus Schwarzenberg e.V.

Alternative Insel am Hackeschen Markt, Avantgardekino, Independent Kino in Berlin Mitte. Das Kino Central zeigt streitbare, groß­artige, wider­sprüch­liche, kon­tro­verse, kultige Filme immer in Originalsprache. Viele Filme sind auf Englisch, aber auch Spanisch, Französisch, Japanisch, Zulu oder Koreanisch. Deutsche Filme laufen fast immer mit eng­li­schen Untertiteln. Auf der Terrasse gibt es leckere Getränke für die ange­regten Diskussionen nach dem Film.

Das Kino ist im Haus Schwarzenberg ver­ortet, genauso wie unser korientation-Büro. Unterstützt das Kino und checkt das Programm – sehr schön auch die Open Air-Angebote im Sommer!

Trailer zu MINARI (2020), DIRECTOR: Lee Isaac Chung CAST: Steven Yeun, Yeri Han, Alan Kim, Noël Kate Cho, and Yuh-Jung Youn
Film „Minari“ (USA, 2020) – Official Featurette

Eine Veranstaltung von kori­en­tation e.V. in Kooperation mit dem Kino Central Berlin im Rahmen des Projektes MEGA – Media Empowerment for German Asians. MEGA wird durch das BMFSFJ im Rahmen des Bundesprogramms „Demokratie leben!“ und durch die Senatsverwaltung für Integration, Arbeit und Soziales von Berlin im Rahmen des Partizipations- und Integrationsprogramms gefördert.


13.05.2021 | Solidaripod (Podcast)
#53 – „Asiatische Perspektiven sichtbar machen“, mit Gästin Sandy-Julia von korientation 

11.05.2021 | wdr 5 – Morgenecho (Radio)
Antiasiatischer Rassismus in Deutschland- Interview mit Kimiko Suda

11.05.2021 | Tagesschau (TV)
Antidiskriminierungsstelle: Zahl der Anfragen stark gestiegen – Interview mit Kimiko Suda (01:25 min)

11.05.2021 | neue deutsche orga­ni­sa­tionen BLOG
Die Corona-Pandemie und anti-asiatischer Rassismus: „[…] es fand ein bewusster Rückzug aus dem öffent­lichen Raum statt“ – Im Gespräch mit Kimiko Suda 

30.04.2021 | Stand Up Gegen Rassismus e.V. (@stand_up_gegen_rassismus / IG)
Insta-Live-Interview zu anti-asiatischem Rassismus mit Sina Schindler

08.04.2021 | Der Tagesspiegel
Patrick Volknant. Corona ver­schärft den Rassismus gegen asia­tisch gelesene Menschen - Interview mit Jee-Un Kim, Thị Minh Huyền Nguyễn von, Toan Nguyen, Jieun Park von GepGemi e.V.

27.03.2021 | Phoenix TV (chi­ne­sisch)
德國專家籲亞裔受歧視要多發聲-鳳凰秀 – Interview mit Kimiko Suda 

25.03.2021 Marie Illner, Behandlung ver­weigert, Bewerbung abge­lehnt: Das Problem des anti-asiatischen Rassismus in Deutschland, Interview mit Jee-Un Kim 

23.03.2021 Nina Dreher, Maria Kotsev, Der Tagesspiegel. „Anti-asiatischer Rassismus sollte Thema der Mehrheitsgesellschaft sein“, Interview mit Kimiko Suda, Thủy-Tiên Nguyễn von kori­en­tation und Thị Minh Huyền Nguyễn von

21.03.2021 Jenifer Gierke, „Schon vor Corona ein Problem. So werden Asiaten hier­zu­lande dis­kri­mi­niert“, Interview mit Kimiko Suda und Thủy-Tiên Nguyễn von kori­en­tation sowie poli­tische Neurowissenschaftlerin Liya Yu

18.03.2021 Alisha Mendgen, Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland: Antiasiatischer Rassismus: Wie die Pandemie den Hass sichtbar macht – Interview mit Sina Schindler

18.03.2021 Anja Backhaus, Radio WDR 5 „Neugier genügt“: Unsere wis­sen­schaft­liche Referentin Kimiko Suda hat am ein Radiointerview zum Thema „Ich bin kein Virus – Anti-asiatischer Rassismus“ gegeben. Dabei spricht Kimiko über die wis­sen­schaft­liche Forschung zum Thema anti-asiatischer Rassismus in Deutschland, die derzeit erst in ihren Anfängen steht und stellt die ersten Ergebnisse einer Pilotstudie zu Anti-asiatischem Rassismus in der Corona-Pandemie vor. Gleichzeitig wird die gesell­schaft­liche Bedeutung und Relevanz, anti-asiatischen Rassismus zu ver­stehen und zu bekämpfen, nicht nur mit dem Blick auf die jüngsten Ereignisse in den USA deutlich, in denen ein weisser Mann in Atlanta acht Menschen getötet hat, dar­unter sechs asia­tische Frauen. Auch in Deutschland exis­tiert anti-asiatischer Rassismus nicht erst seit der Corona-Pandemie, und auch nicht erst seit den Pogromen in Hoyerswerda und Rostock-Lichtenhagen in den 1990ern. Es ist daher über­fällig, dass sich die Politik und Personen des öffent­lichen Lebens sichtbar gegen anti-asiatischen Rassismus und andere Formen ras­sis­ti­scher Diskriminierung posi­tio­nieren und deutlich dagegen aussprechen.

Siehe auch: Pressespiegel aus dem Jahr 2020


Statement kori­en­tation Demo 28.03.2021, Foto Victoria Kure-Wu

Wir sind traurig.

Wir sind wütend.

Acht Menschen, davon sechs Frauen mit asia­ti­scher Einwanderungsgeschichte wurden am 16. März in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, ermordet. Als Frauen, als Migrantinnen, waren sie an einem stig­ma­ti­sierten Arbeitsort beschäftigt, in einer niedrig zuge­ord­neten sozialen Position. Diese sechs ermor­deten asia­ti­schen Frauen in Atlanta waren im Alltagsleben poten­tiell von inter­sek­tio­naler Diskriminierung betroffen.

Ein weißer Pastorensohn sah sich sym­bo­lisch legi­ti­miert, ihnen das Leben zu nehmen. In einem gesell­schaft­lichen und medialen Umfeld, in dem eine Abwertung von asia­ti­schen Frauen als Norm gesehen wird, lautet die Reaktion auf die Ermordung von acht Menschen: – „He just had a bad day“ – .

Wir sagen laut und klar: Dazu hatte er kein Recht.

Weiße ras­sis­tische Terroristen sind Terroristen. Weiße ras­sis­tische Terroristen sind keine bedau­erns­werten Männer mit indi­vi­du­ellen Problemen, die das Ermorden von Migrant*innen recht­fer­tigen. Weiße ras­sis­tische Terroristen sollten mit dem vollen Strafmaß für Mord bedacht werden, ohne Strafmilderung auf­grund von „psy­cho­lo­gi­schen Beeinträchtigungen“.

Wer waren die ermor­deten asia­ti­schen Frauen? Sie waren sechs starke Frauen aus China und Korea. Sie haben zum Teil auch noch in hohem Alter sehr hart gear­beitet, nicht nur für sich, sondern darüber hinaus, um ihre Familie zu unter­stützen. Ihre Geschichte ist in vie­lerlei Hinsicht uni­versal. In vielen Ländern dieser Erde, auch in Deutschland, arbeiten Migrantinnen aus asia­ti­schen Ländern, um ihre Familien zu unter­stützen. Sie arbeiten dabei zum Teil unter sehr pre­kären Bedingungen. Sie ver­dienen unsere Anerkennung und unseren Respekt.

Rest in Power. Wir werden euch nicht vergessen.

Der Jahrestag von Hanau ist noch nicht lange her. Es lassen sich nicht alle Aspekte mit den Ereignissen in Atlanta ver­gleichen. Dennoch sind einige Parallelen im insti­tu­tio­nellen Umgang mit ras­sis­ti­scher Gewalt sichtbar. An beiden Orten wurde viel zu spät, wenn über­haupt, auf Anrufe reagiert. Gegebenenfalls hätten noch mehr Menschen vor dem Tod bewahrt werden können, hätte die Polizei den Täter nach den ersten Schüssen am ersten Tatort fest­ge­setzt. Sind ras­si­fi­zierte Orte, also Orte, an denen sich Migrant*innen auf­halten, den kon­se­quenten Schutz durch den deut­schen Staat nicht wert?

Nicht nur Donald Trump sprach und spricht vom „China-Virus“, wenn er Covid-19 meint. Auch in Deutschland haben wir eine ras­sis­tische Berichterstattung über die Corona-Pandemie. Der Virus wird ras­si­fi­ziert und kul­tu­ra­li­siert. Der Virus wird China und asia­ti­schen Körpern her­kunfts­über­greifend zuge­schrieben. Es werden in den deut­schen Medien immer wieder Meldungen und Artikel mit Bildern von asia­ti­schen Gesichtern mit Masken illus­triert, auch wenn es sich um Infektionsherde in Ischgl handelt. Es wurde ein Sündenbock-Narrativ geschaffen, mit post­ko­lo­nialen Anleihen – wie bei­spiels­weise die Reproduktion des Begriffs „gelbe Gefahr“, ver­mischt mit einer Prise Verschwörungstheorien. Mit diesem Medialen Framing wird eine sym­bo­lische Legitimation für Angriffe auf und Diskriminierung von asia­ti­schen und Asiatisch-Deutschen Menschen geschaffen. Und die Anzahl der Angriffe und Diskriminierungsfälle, ins­be­sondere im öffent­lichen Raum, ist seit dem Beginn dieser Berichterstattung nach­weislich hochgegangen.

Anti-asiatischer Rassismus besteht natürlich nicht erst seit dem Beginn der Corona-Pandemie und seit den Morden von Atlanta. In unserem kol­lek­tiven Gedächtnis befinden sich die deutsche Kolonialpolitik in China, die „Chinesenaktion“ von 1944, die Pogrome von Hoyerswerda und Rostock-Lichtenhagen, um nur einige his­to­ri­schen Ereignisse zu nennen. Es gibt eine unvoll­ständige Liste von indi­vi­du­ellen ras­sis­ti­schen Morden an asia­ti­schen Menschen, dazu gehören Đỗ Anh Lân und Nguyễn Ngọc Châu (1980 in Hamburg), Phan Văn Toản (1997) oder Lie Yangjie (2016).

Mit Atlanta und Hanau als aktuelle und krasse Höhepunkte ras­sis­ti­scher Gewalt vor Augen müssen wir uns alle dafür ein­setzen, dass diese Morde nicht im nor­ma­tiven Alltagsgeschehen unter­gehen und ver­gessen werden. Wir zeigen Solidarität mit den Opfern dieser Anschläge und ihren Freund*innen und Familien.

Das bedeutet für uns gleich­zeitig, auch für unsere eigene Zukunft, unsere eigene Sicherheit und Gleichberechtigung in diesem Land zu kämpfen!

Die Demokratie in der wir leben, muss struk­turell von Grund auf dis­kri­mi­nie­rungs­ärmer gestaltet werden. Es muss ein gesell­schaft­liches Klima geschaffen werden, in dem Rassist*innen keine Legitimation mehr finden, auf keiner Ebene.


  • Wir fordern von der deut­schen Regierung und Gesellschaft eine kon­se­quente und trans­pa­rente straf­recht­liche Verfolgung von ras­sis­ti­schen Morden und Straftaten.
  • Wir fordern eine klare und deut­liche Verurteilung von Rassismus und ras­sis­tisch moti­vierten Gewalttaten durch Politiker:innen, Behörden, Schulen, Polizei und Verwaltung sowie Personen des öffent­lichen Lebens aus allen Bereichen der Gesellschaft.
  • Wir fordern Sensibilisierungsmaßnahmen zu anti-asiatischem Rassismus für alle Angestellten im öffent­lichen Dienst, dazu gehört auch die Polizei.
  • Wir fordern die Anerkennung von anti-asiatischem Rassismus im Nationalen Aktionsplan gegen Rassismus.
  • Wir fordern die Einführung einer migran­tische Quote von 30% im öffent­lichen Dienst.
  • Wir fordern die Aufnahme der deut­schen Kolonialgeschichte sowie von Asiatisch-Deutschen Migrationsgeschichte(n) in das reguläre Curriculum von Insitutionen mit Bildungsauftrag.
  • Wir fordern eine soli­da­rische Parteilichkeit mit von Rassismus Betroffenen.

Photo: Maryline Waldy – Unsplash

„Where are you really from?“
„What does dog meat taste like?“
„Would you bring me some tea?“

In Germany, I am con­stantly reminded of how people see me as an Asian ste­reotype. I’m fre­quently asked where I’m „really from“ after telling a German person that I’m American. When I met my German mother-in-law for the first time, she did not ask me about my inte­rests, my upbringing, or whether I wanted a glass of water. The first question she asked me was how I liked the taste of dog meat. At spas and restau­rants, people often assume that I am an employee. On one of my first nights out in Berlin, a group of guys repea­tedly shouted „koni­chiwa“ at me and mockingly made kung-fu poses as I walked past.

When I tell German friends about these encounters, the reaction I get is usually one of dis­missive sur­prise. „Oh, those guys were just drunk,“ I’m told. Or, „she’s from a small village.“ „Germans wouldn’t say that to you, I bet they were Arab.“ These responses imply that racism isn’t a struc­tural issue in Germany, but rather just the problem of “a few bad apples.” They also make clear the real problem: there is little interest among certain Germans in under­standing how someone who looks Asian may expe­rience Germany dif­fer­ently than someone who looks white.

„Germans simply have many rules,“ is another common response I hear when I bring up my expe­ri­ences of racial micro-aggressions in Germany. But there is a dif­fe­rence between enforcing rules and racial pro­filing. At a grocery store during my first week living in Berlin, a fellow cus­tomer helped me bag my gro­ceries. He said I was too slow and was holding up the line. I respect this kind of cul­tural enforcement — it’s based on out­comes, and it applies to everyone.

Racial pro­filing, on the other hand, looks and feels very dif­ferent. When I am alone at a German grocery store, I no longer bother trying to buy fresh fish because I’ve had so many expe­ri­ences of being ignored or skipped in line. „But, I doubt that’s because you look Asian. Did you stand in the right place? Did you say some­thing to upset the employee?“ I walk home from the grocery replaying the scene over and over again, won­dering what I did wrong. I leave without fresh fish, full of self-doubt. These kinds of expe­ri­ences don’t happen to me when I am with a white friend, even if that friend doesn’t speak German.

After one relaxing afternoon at Vabali Spa, I was sitting in the lounge at the ent­rance quietly waiting for my friend. There were 3 white cus­tomers waiting as well. A security guard came over to me – just me – and told me to go wait outside. Later that evening, I wrote an e‑mail to Vabali sharing my dis­comfort with this expe­rience. They e‑mailed me back asking, „Could it be that you came by with a bigger group of people and not just only you personally?“

There is an eagerness to find alter­native expl­ana­tions, to dodge the pos­si­bility that racism con­tinues to affect how people treat one another in Germany. There is an eagerness to believe that Germans have con­quered the plight of racism. After all, German police do not commit daily, violent murders against black people and other racia­lized mino­rities in the way we see in the US. After all, Germans have taken respon­si­bility for the atro­cities of National Socialism and begun dis­cus­sions with Namibia regarding colonial crimes.

„OK fine, you’ve been racially pro­filed in Germany, but this isn’t as bad as American police officers vio­lently killing black people.“ This response deflects respon­si­bility, demons­t­rating an unwil­lingness to ack­now­ledge how white Germans are still com­plicit in other forms of racial oppression. „Others are worse,“ is a dif­ferent response from „I see where we could be better.“

This is why I felt so uncom­for­table with the ways in which my German friends responded to recent pro­tests in the US fol­lowing the murder of George Floyd. „Time to come back to Germany, don’t you think?“, one friend texted. „Maybe you shouldn’t have left Germany.“ These responses reveal how little some of my German friends under­stand the ongoing racism expe­ri­enced by people of color in Germany.

Though pre­valent in the daily expe­ri­ences of people who look Asian in Germany, anti-Asian racism con­tinues to hide behind a myriad of alter­native excuses.

Allister Chang was a Robert Bosch Stiftung Fellow 2019–2020. He was born and raised in the US, and curr­ently lives in Washington, D.C.