#rp22 Speaker Hasnain Kazim: In Times of Division

06.04.2022 - Freelance author, journalist and political scientist Hasnain Kazim speaks at re:publica on the topic of language and how it shapes our relations with each other in difficult times.
Porträtfoto von #rp22-Speaker Hasnain Kazim
Photo Credit
Peter Rigaud

Hasnain Kazim grew up in Hamburg and in Karachi in Pakistan. He lives in Vienna and writes for ZEIT ONLINE and Deutschlandfunk, as well as other outlets. An author of six books so far, Kazim has received the “CNN Journalist Award” and spent most of his journalistic career as a foreign correspondent in Islamabad, Istanbul and Vienna.

Being an expert on hate speech and online hate, he dealt with personal reactions to hate mail he received in his 2018 Spiegel bestseller "Post von Karlheinz" (Mail from Karlheinz). In his book "Auf sie mit Gebrüll ...und mit guten Argumenten" (At them with a roar ...and with good arguments), published two years ago, he gives practical tips and many examples of how to argue intelligently in order to put a stop to dull hatred and empty slogans.
Last year he published his first fictional book "Mein Kalifat" (My Caliphate), a satirical response to people's permanent fears of an "Islamisation of the Occident".

For the latest news on Hasnain Kazim, visit his website, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

3 Questions for… Hasnain Kazim

Since Hasnain Kazim was already scheduled for #rp20, which was cancelled due to the pandemic, we are especially happy to welcome him on stage at #rp22!

What topics or projects are you working on at the moment? 
I am working on my long-standing question: "How do we deal with each other in times of division? By "times of division" I mean times when issues such as migration and refugees, climate change, Corona seem to tear open unbridgeable divides. I am concerned with the question of how language shapes our relationships with one another, how it divides or unites—and why it is good to build bridges, but sometimes trenches or walls, in short: borders, are also necessary. This is what I would also like to talk about at #rp22.

What have you missed out on in the past two years and think is in urgent need of a reboot?  
What has been neglected in the past two years is that we spend time with each other in an actual, analogue, face-to-face way. Video calls, online conferences, home offices are great here and there and do indeed replace unnecessary long journeys—but they never replace being together. I very much hope that in the future we will be able to spend more time together again, celebrate, live, work. I like some of the things that the pandemic has changed—for example, the fact that Venice has banned cruise ships from the historic centre. Here and there it has become clear what is really important. I hope this remains in our consciousness. However, I doubt that this is the case.

The motto of #rp22 refers to the last line of the Queen song "Bohemian Rhapsody". Which song do you think should definitely be included in a karaoke session at #rp22 and why? 
Singing? Do we have to? I really enjoyed the “Jerusalema Challenge” during the pandemic, with some really great videos. Even the local council of the small community of Hollern-Twielenfleth, where I come from, joined in—check it out here. Why don't we dance to that instead?