#rp24 speaker Carolin Emcke: Queer life – the freedom that we mean

29.01.2024 - The situation of queer people is worsening worldwide – but who is doing something about it, who cares? A keynote speech by publicist Carolin Emcke.
Carolin Emcke trägt eine grüne Jacke und kurze Haare. Sie steht vor einer Wand.
Photo Credit
Andreas Labes

We are currently experiencing a backlash: the number of attacks and violence against queer people has been on the rise for several years. They are experiencing marginalisation, discrimination and stigmatisation worldwide. In her book "Wie wir begehren" (How we desire), published in 2012, Carolin Emcke talks about coming out as a homosexual, but also about the social marginalisation of those who live and love outside of social norms. She knows what this means from her own experience - after all, the text, which is as personal as it is analytical, is about searching for and gradually discovering one's own, somewhat different desires.

The public discourse surrounding queers is becoming increasingly toxic due to a targeted campaign by globally networked players. According to a report by the European Digital Media Observatory, LGBTQIA+* are one of the groups most affected by misinformation and disinformation. If society fails to show solidarity with the queer community, haters will continue to feel encouraged. Being queer is not a choice - being anti-queer is. With her speech at re:publica 24, the publicist does not want to leave this development unanswered and counter the extreme hostility and violation of human rights. Because it affects us all when the freedom to live and love outside of social norms is attacked!

Carolin studied philosophy and wrote her doctoral thesis on the concept of "collective identities". From 1999 to 2014, she worked as an international reporter focussing on human rights and crisis regions and reported from Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Gaza, Colombia and Haiti, among others. She has been working as a freelance journalist since 2014. In her books, essays, columns and artistic interventions, she deals with the topics of violence and trauma, anti-democracy and racism, sexuality and desire. Her books have been published worldwide in over 10 languages, including "Gegen den Hass" and "Weil es sagbar ist". Carolin Emcke has curated and moderated the "Streitraum" at the Schaubühne Berlin for 20 years and the podcast "In aller Ruhe" since 2023. In her new book "Was wahr ist", which will be published at the end of February, Carolin Emcke explores the relationship between violence and climate and the ethics of storytelling. It is a plea for thinking in utopias. She has been honoured with the "Peace Prize of the German Book Trade", the "Johann Heinrich Merck Prize" for essay writing, the "Soul of Stonewall Prize" and the "Carl von Ossietzky Prize for Contemporary History and Politics", among others.

Carolin opened #rp17 with a reflection on love and empathy. At #rp22, she discussed the challenges of our time and how we can tackle them with climate economist Ottmar Edenhofer. In her session at #rp24, Carolin will discuss the question: "Who cares about LGBTQIA+?" A discussion about her new book is also planned. We are delighted that Carolin will be back!

* LGBTQIA+ is a collective term for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex and asexual people.

Queer Leben - Eine Intervention

Carolin Emcke

Die Freiheit, selbstbestimmt zu lieben und zu begehren, die Freiheit, sich als Persönlichkeit entfalten zu dürfen, müssen wir mutiger, leidenschaftlicher, konsequenter verteidigen. Nicht nur nach außen, sondern auch nach innen. 
Civil Society
Stage 5
Live Übersetzung