SPOTS: Twenty video works on the TRIBUNAL Unraveling the NSU Complex and beyond

Up to twenty short artistic video clips – SPOTS – investigate various facets of the NSU Complex. In “And then… what happened afterwards?” inspector Gadget zooms into menacing cracks in the wall using a magnifying glass. The citizen survey “What would Nazis never do?” sheds light on vehicles of Neonazis and in “What does Andreas T. know?” scratching chalk outlines outrageous improbabilities. A young woman describes in “Because I live here.” her reaction to the arson attack in Mölln in the early 90ies and in “Where have you been on June 9, 2004?” a young man conjures up his memories of the nail bomb attack in Cologne. “Is this a shop or a memorial site?” examines the echoes of crime scenes like a stethoscope.

SPOTS mobilize for the Tribunal “Unraveling the NSU Complex” – and beyond. The tribunal that will take place in Cologne-Mülheim from May 17th to 21st 2017 is dedicated to the many open questions surrounding the NSU Complex, aiming at indicting institutional and everyday racism in Germany. Its prime focus is the situated knowledge gained from immigrant people targeted by Nazi terror. This knowledge must become visible and audible clearly and loudly.

The term “NSU Complex” seeks to describe the interdependence of Nazi terror, racism, and state involvement. Between 1999 and 2007 nine immigrants, all of them small businessmen, and one police officer were murdered in Germany. In three bomb attacks numerous people were seriously wounded. These cases remained unsolved until the so-called National Socialist Underground (NSU) exposed itself in 2011 and admitted the crimes. To this day the series of murders and attacks has not been completely clarified. There are still open questions related to, for instance, the right-wing radical environment around the NSU, as well as to the role of the German domestic secret service (the “Verfassungsschutz”), which had numerous informants in the perpetrators’ world. What has become clear, however, is how deeply racism is entrenched in German society. We see this very strongly in the willful ignorance of the police and security organs. For many years they have consistently investigated in wrong directions. Up to this day, they allegedly fail to recognize racism as a central motivation for the crimes.

SPOTS address the blind spots in the revision of the NSU Complex. They throw spotlights on the racist circumstances that enable right-wing networks and their crimes in the first place. Like Sebuah Dunia Yang Marah’s poem An Angry World, one of the inspirations for the SAVVY Contempororaty project How does the world breathe now?, SPOTS lament and accuse, channel bitterness, anger and grief. They reverse visibilities, represent gestures of resistance and formulate questions. SPOTS regard aesthetics as political action. These aesthetics counter the dominant visual politics and their fixation on the perpetrators. SPOTS ask “How does the world breathe now?”. And they won’t take “I can’t breathe” for an answer but as a point of departure: Towards a wider debate in society.