Panel: Identity before Politics

Friday, April 12th 2024, 6.30 pm

xart splitta, Hasenheide 73, 10967 Berlin

This event takes place in English spoken language with translation into German sign language

„Identity is embodied and rooted, not performed“

– Leanne Betasamosake Simson 

Schwarzer Hintergrund auf dem in blau und oragenem Schriftzug folgendes zu lesen ist: 'Panel: Identity before politics

The fact that “identity” is a central aspect of our communities is nothing new. In the face of marginalisation and othering through intersectional experiences of discrimination, it has become indispensable to name one’s own life realities and relationships to others.

Like everything else, this idea of a concept of “identity” is a discourse in flux. Much discussed, and depending on the context also differently filled and applied, we are moving from an empowering understanding of identity via ‘identity politics’ to ‘Oppression Olympics’.

Identity markers are becoming increasingly academic and conceptualised, not as a self-description of a life reality, but more often as a bargaining chip for which opinion is more correct, which identity has more value, or who has more right to space. Identity is then represented, performed, and becomes a gesture without embodiment – a buzzword.

However, identities are still undisputed factors. Despite the discursive disputes they raise, it should be fundamentally impossible to deny life realities. This can also be seen, for example, in the use of identity in the statement by the Combahee River Collective.

How did identity(ies) become countable, material, or negotiable? What approach do we need to practice a decolonial, anti-capitalist understanding of identity(ies)?

With these questions in mind, we invite you to our first panel in #CommunitisSolidarischDenken with this years focus on identity(ies). ‘Identities before politics‘ takes place with May Zeidani Yufanyi and Sinthujan Varatharajah, on Friday, April 12 at 6:30 pm in our space.


May Zeidani Yufanyi is a social scientist. Their work focuses on civil society networks against discrimination and on postcolonial migration societies in Europe, and on identity formation processes in the context of German migration society.
As a Fem of Color and migrant with Muslim and Jewish roots in Palestine and Europe, intersectional approaches play a central role in thier work.

they published works in ZAG, A&K and MIGRAZINE and poems in Mondoweis and the Sammellband HEIMATLOS: Gedichte and is a co-host of the radio shows “Talking Feminisms” and “The VOICES” on They are a member of “The VOICE Refugee Forum” since 2007, they sit on the board of xart splitta and the represent the Berlin Muslim Feminists on the board of neue deutsch organisationen .

சிந்துஜன் வரதராஜா (Sinthujan Varatharajah) is a political geographer, researcher and essayist based in Berlin. Sinthujan’s work explores statelessness, mobility and displacement with a focus on infrastructure, logistics and architecture. In 2017 – 2018, Sinthujan was a board member of the Asylum Advisory Board of the European Commission. In 2020, they were part of the 11th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art with the research and art installation “how to move an ark”.

Namarig Abkr is a Water and Environment Engineer, currently making forays into Data Analytics, apart from working as a Social Counsellor at a queer migrant non-profit. A Darfurian woman who embodies the spirit of Myarem (ميارم) in her fight for justice, liberation and freedom, Namarig’s work envisions and centers Darfurian resistance locally and in the diaspora as the path for solidarity among liberation movements around the world.

Information about registration:

Register via written or video at by Wednesday, April 10th 2024.

This event is intended for people with intersectional life realities. Therefore, please mention in your registration why you are interested in attending and how you position/situate yourself.

Please come to the event tested and stay home if you show symptoms.

The event takes place within the framework of the LADS funded project #CommunitiesSolidarischDenken.