Dissident practices and sociabilities of the late GDR unfolded in a present that was largely detached from any utopian future. Their traces are alive in the memory of those involved in the cultural and political underground at the time and in numerous materials and documents held in archives and collections. This book is the result of a transdisciplinary research process that brought artists, researchers, writers, curators, archivists, activists, and multiple interlocutors together at the Archive of the GDR Opposition in Berlin. The materials gathered there draw a complex picture of individual and collective life worlds that deviated from repressive social norms and of the environmental, feminist, and grass-roots democratic practices and radical proposals that took shape in response to the promise and failures of state socialism.
wild recuperations. material from below follows a shared desire to bring these experiences and environments from below into a meaningful dialogue with the present. Drawing on current artistic and political forms of working with archives and memory, the book gathers a plurality of approaches from and across critical post-socialist, queer*feminist, Black, post-migrant, and intersectional perspectives. The positions from which histories are experienced, desired, and told – their situatedness in bodies, languages, and ecologies – are part of each story.
With contributions by Alex Gerbaulet + Mareike Bernien, Anna Zett, Elsa Westreicher, Elske Rosenfeld, Ernest Ah + Sabrina Saase + Lee Stevens of the Raumerweiterungshalle collective Ina Röder Sissoko + Suza Husse, Irena Kukutz, Nadia Tsulukidze, Peggy Piesche, Samirah Kenawi, Technosekte + Henrike Naumann and Katalin CsehVarga, Maria Josephina Bengan Making Rebecca Hernandez García Redi Koobak, Sebastian Pflugbeil, Tim Eisenlohr.
Published by District*School without center and Archive Books in collaboration with the Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft / Archive of the GDR Opposition
Design by Elsa Westreicher