chapter  2
24 Pages

Comparing Histories: The United Kingdom, Germany and Denmark

WithAnne Ring Petersen, Moritz Schramm, Frauke Wiegand

This chapter presents a comparative historical survey of three different historical and national contexts of the debates on the postmigrant condition: the United Kingdom, Germany and Denmark. Examining the struggles for recognition and visibility from the 1980s onwards, in particular the critique of exclusion, racism and structural discrimination in the cultural spheres and institutions, the authors contend that the recent debates are rooted in a history of minority ethnic struggles which are in effect transnational, despite significant differences between the ways in which immigration has been dealt with in the three countries. The chapter starts out by examining the UK, the country where influential debates on diversity, equality, difference, multiculturalism and conviviality first evolved and inspired institutional change, fuelled by diversity-sensitive cultural theory by Stuart Hall, Paul Gilroy, and others. Next, the authors examine the developments in Germany where theatre director Shermin Langhoff put the notion of postmigration into public circulation at the Ballhaus Naunynstraße theatre, which served as an institutional channel that promoted the concept and spurred its dissemination into academia. Lastly, they discuss developments in Denmark which differ somewhat from British and German developments, as postmigrant activities and debates are quite recent, and thus far understudied, phenomena.