In our work at the Kolleg, we start from three basic forms of dis:connectivity that are of central importance in historical and contemporary globalization processes and allow us to work in a structured way and to promote interdisciplinary exchange among ourselves on the topic of dis:connectivity. These three basic forms of phenomena are absences, detours and interruptions. We want to focus on these forms in a first phase of work, but without pursuing a normative intention or even claiming completeness. Rather, these are initial exploratory and innovative avenues of research.
Absence marks processes of globalisation as much as presence, invisibility as much as visibility. As the connections that drive technological and economic globalisation become tighter and more diverse, they broaden the resulting gaps and marginalisations.
A detour is an undesired, often unintended, longer and usually more arduous route to a destination. Detours coincide with stagnation, delay and waiting. They come into sharp relief in the history of migration, which shows that detours and the impeded mobility they induce inhere in all migratory movements of the past and present.
Hardly any global connection is continuously, uniformly enduring. Most processes of integration are cyclical, sometimes gathering momentum rapidly, sometimes slowly, and sometimes losing momentum entirely. Connections might serve only a single purpose, but not others, or they can be utterly and radically terminated.