Over the last decades, survivors of right-wing terror in Germany and families of victims have fought to reclaim their right to remembrance in the public sphere.
These fights have been for street names, schools, parks, and monuments as well as space within politics and education. These fights have been for the right to be heard, to be seen, and to activate change in government, in justice and law enforcement systems, and in civil society. These fights have been for a better future.
Wir Sind Hier (We Are Here), a digital cartography project by media artist Talya Feldman (*1990) in close collaboration with initiatives and individuals combating racism and antisemitism across Germany invites users to imagine how remembrance, from city streets to monuments, could and should look like today as an active form of resistance and change. In cities like Berlin, Hanau, Halle, Hamburg, Mölln, Essen, Erlangen, and Munich, the project claims spaces of remembrance through the voices and demands of families, initiatives, and those affected by right-wing terror and police brutality who are all too often pushed to the background.
By scrolling over the names of victims, users of the platform can view maps of their cities and the spaces claimed or being claimed by families and initiatives today, and are given an overview of right-wing extremist attacks and police brutality in Germany within the last 40 years, including cases of violence that have not yet been properly investigated or recognised as hate crimes by state and local authorities.
With the names, users are also invited to listen to the cities, and to the voices of those building and fighting for justice, accountability, and investigation through the remembrance of those they have lost to racism and antisemitism. The platform asks users to imagine an alternative reality, by listening to the voices of those affected, by recognizing their right for space within their cities and within commemoration politics. These voices ask us to imagine an alternative future, by actively listening to their demands for remembrance and change. How can what exists in the digital world influence the real?
Wir Sind Hier offers a digital space for individual and collective mourning and resistance. It claims We Are Here -- the names of those who must remain in our cities, who are here and never to be forgotten, and it claims We Are Here -- the voices of those who actively remember them -- who are here, fighting, no longer to be silenced.
This platform is designed by Talya Feldman and Tuan Quoc Pham in close collaboration with families of victims and survivors of right-wing terror and police violence, and initiatives across Germany whose input will be continuously added or updated in accordance with their time and demands.