Postmigration: From Utopian Fantasy to Future Perspectives
This chapter examines the normative utopian dimensions in the contemporary debates on postmigration through the analysis of two plays, Black Water (Roland Schimmelpfenning, 2014) and Crazy Blood (Nurkan Erpulat and Jens Hillje, 2010). The authors identify two utopian visions embedded in postmigrant criticism of existing social hierarchizations and identity ascriptions which, they argue, are also at work in the plays: a longing for the recognition of a ‘banal human sameness’ beneath external identity ascriptions, and a vision of a ‘radical freedom of difference’ that liberates people to choose, assert and transform differences and identity positions in the social sphere. Both visions are shown in the plays to take form not as end-all mirrors of a perfect future society, but as limited and small-scale ‘microtopian’ interruptions of contemporary social orders and human interrelations – fleeting moments or glimpses of conviviality and equality that are not entirely outside the real. The chapter moves on to consider ways in which the ‘postmigrant theatre’, and art in a broader sense, is imagined to contribute to processes of changing social structures and how microtopias of sameness and difference in this regard work as catalysts in transforming ‘social patterns of perception’ and producing new ‘spaces of appearance’.