Skip to main content
Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles

Conference / Uncivil Society

Conference on racist violence and right-wing terror in Europe
Goethe-Institut Brüssel

27.11.2021 · 14:30

Keynote lecture: “Violence et passion, de la fascination pour le fascisme” by Didier Eribon

This year, 2021, marks the tenth anniversary of the videotaped confessions by the German neo-Nazi terrorist group “National Socialist Underground” (NSU) as well as the massacre on the Norwegian island of Utøya. This string of right-wing extremist murders has continued ever since, and investigative research gives us a rough idea of how vast and far-reaching these tentacular networks are. Against the backdrop of ongoing right-wing violence and terror in countries all over Europe, the conference addresses the Europe-wide scourge of right-wing terror.

It brings together people working in research, culture and the arts, and politics to discuss their contributions to the fight against right-wing terror and racist violence. The object is to develop collective approaches to this ongoing struggle to ward off the emergence and spread of right-wing extremist structures and shore up European civil society in the process. The conference will explore the multi-layered complexity of racist practices, the ongoing history of racist violence, and the networking of right-wing structures in Europe and beyond.

It thus forms synergies with the play EXTREME / MALECANE by Paola Pisciottano, which will be performed at the Théâtre National after the conference and which poses similar questions.


Host and moderator of the conference: Matthias Dell (Journalist, Berlin)

Welcome words and introduction to the conference: Johannes Ebert (Secretary general, Goethe-Institut), via video

14:45 – 15:15
Violence et passion, de la fascination pour le fascisme : Didier Eribon (Dartsmouth College)

15:15 – 15:30

15:30 – 17:00
Panel 1 : Scientific perspectives on right-wing violence and terrorism in Europe
- Volker Weiß (Autor und Publizist, Hamburg)
- Tore Bjørgo (Centre for Research on Extremism, Oslo)
- Manuela Caiani (Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa)

17:00 – 17: 15 Break

17:15 – 18:00
Serpil Temiz Unvar & Judith Lechner: The work of the Educational Initiative Ferhat Unvar

Closing Words:
Elke Kaschl-Mohni (Goethe-Institut Brussel)

End of the conference



La conférence s'intègre au projet Unzivilgesellschaft / Uncivil society des Goethe-Instituts de Bruxelles, Budapest, Milan et Oslo. Au travers de formes artistiques, de rencontres et d'un travaille avec des partenaires locaux, ce projet aborde les phénomènes européens de la violence raciste et du terrorisme d'extrême droite. Plus d'informations.



  • - 14:30



Simultaneous interpretation > FR & EN


Matthias Dell is a freelance film, media and theatre critic for Deutschlandradio, Zeit-Online, Cargo, epd Film, and FAS. His published books to date are “Herrlich inkorrekt”. Die Thiel-Boerne-Tatorte (2012), Über Thomas Heise (2014), Duisburg Düsterburg. Werner Ruzicka im Gespräch (2018).

Didier Eribon
French author, journalist, sociologist and philosopher, taught as a professor at the University of Amiens from 2009 - 2017. Eribon writes regularly on socially relevant topics in the weekly magazine Le Nouvel Observateur. He has published numerous books. In his autobiographical work Return to Reims, published in 2009, he analyses his own path from working-class child to intellectual and explains the success of the French far-right.

Serpil Temiz Unvar
Mother of Ferhat Unvar and founder of the educational initiative named after her son who was murdered in the racist attack in Hanau, which campaigns against every day and institutional racism.

Volker Weiß
The historian Dr. Volker Weiß researches mainly on the history and present of the extreme right in Germany. His work has been translated into several languages, and the study “Die Autoritäre Revolte. Die Neue Rechte und der Untergang des Abendlande“ (The authoritarian revolt. The New Right and the Decline of the Occident) was nominated for the 2017 Leipzig Book Fair Non-Fiction Prize. In 2019, he commented on the first publication of Theodor W. Adorno's lecture "Aspects of the New Right-Wing Radicalism." Weiß is a fellow at the Center for Research on Antisemitism at the Technical University of Berlin, a member of the Working Group on Antisemitism Research in the German Sociological Association (DGS), and of the Villigster Research Forum on National Socialism, Racism, and Antisemitism. In 2021, he was a visiting professor at the Institute of Contemporary History at the University of Innsbruck.

Tore Bjørgo
Professor at the University of Oslo and Director of the « Center for Research on Extremism: Right-Wing Extremism, Hate Crime and Political Violence (C REX) ». Extremism and terrorism expert with a special focus on right-wing extremism and its prevention.

Manuela Caiana
Professor of Political Science at the « Scuola Normale Superiore » in Pisa. Her research interests lie in qualitative network analyses of nationalist parties, movements and radical right-wing politics.

Anna Mirga-Kruszelnicka
Anthropologist, Roma activist and co-founder of many Roma youth organisations. She is currently a member of ternYpe (International Roma Youth Network) and the « Alliance for the European Roma Institute (ERI) », as well as Deputy Executive Director of the « European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC) » in Berlin.

Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana
MEP and Co-President of the European Parliament's Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup (ARDI). Until 2019, she was a board member of DaMigra, the umbrella organisation of migrant women's organisations in Germany and still is a member of the « Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FENM) ». In 2009, she received the Helene-Weber-Award for her commitment to combating violence against women and for more integration.

Elke Kaschl-Mohni
has been director of the Goethe-Institut Brussels and the Southwest Europe region of the Goethe-Instituts since 2019. Previously, she was director of the Goethe-Institut Cairo for five years and also regional director for the North Africa/Middle East region.

Protestfotografie Frankfurt
Le Rideau de saison, Maak & Transmettre · photos : Lucile Dizier, 2024