Final Day (August 11th)

Aleida Assmann’s morning session on August 11, 2016 began with watching and discussing the documentary “Football under cover,” directed by Ayat Najafi and David Assmann. The documentary captures a unique event, namely the first and (so far) only meeting of two women soccer teams – one from Berlin, one from Tehran – in a stadium in Tehran in 2006. The documentary touches upon a number of dignity issues the fellows have been debating throughout the course of the Academia, such as how "dignity," when tightly linked to honor, can be questioned and undermined by asserting "dignity" through acts of self-determination or autonomy: "I do what I want even in the face of guards demanding decent behavior in the name of dignity" is one of the key statements by a young Iranian soccer player who was eventually not allowed to take part in the tournament.

Aleida Assmann’s final session turned attention to what has been termed the “spectral turn," a turn in the perception of gross violations of human dignity that has been introduced by “Aftermath Studies”. Aftermath Studies reflects, for instance, on practices ensuring that human remains found in mass graves many decades after the killings eventually receive a proper burial. These practices may be interpreted, so Aleida, as acts aimed at restoring the human dignity of the dead. Stolpersteine (stumbling stones) would also match that aim, as the ritual of placing those stumbling stones at particular spots in sidewalks brings something from the past to rest in the present.

Good bye to Bielefeld. To be continued in phase 3...