This article examines how the original production of Feridun Zaimoğlu and Günter Senkel's play Black Virgins (Schwarze Jungfrauen, 2006) contests stereotypes about Islamist women. Its main target is the self-representations authored by a group of female cultural brokers in Europe who advocate Muslim assimilation or exclusion to remedy women's oppression. The playwrights critique the cultural authority of these brokers, which they derive from self-referential, autobiographical speech, and their ethical dilemma of misrepresenting the women for whom they purport to speak. Black Virgins engages with the trope of female bodily display and sexual agency as the normative signs of democratic relations in Europe. The pitting of a liberated, democratic (European) sexuality against the sexually repressed, authoritarian (Muslim) family reactivates the antifascist rhetoric of the sexual revolution. To become politically productive, however, Black Virgins must also distinguish postnational antifascism (a dynamic of self-critique and transformation that aims at unbundling democratic commitments from the national ethnos) from transnational antifascism (which merely resurrects the previously national community of fate at the transnational, European level and seeks to defend that community against external threats). Zaimoğlu and Senkel's play constructs sexual freedom and gender equality as worthwhile goals whose pursuit can no longer be the sole prerogative of European feminists.
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Research Article| February 01 2010
Black Virgins: Sexuality and the Democratic Body in Europe
New German Critique (2010) 37 (1 (109)): 147–185.
Katrin Sieg; Black Virgins: Sexuality and the Democratic Body in Europe. New German Critique 1 February 2010; 37 (1 (109)): 147–185. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0094033X-2009-021
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