What is the German (self-) image of whiteness? To analyse this image, whiteness is framed as ‘white normality’ according to the theory of normalism (Lingenauber; Link) in the tradition of Foucault’s concept of normalisation. Taken as an instrument of discourse analysis, this theory implies that the legitimation of white supremacy can be found in the self-image of whiteness. The method is a Grounded Theory Analysis of an ethnographic transcript. The hypothesis generated by this qualitative data analysis is: The German image of whiteness is an image of en-light-ened skin. The most interesting implication of this hypothesis for further research is the conceptualisation of whiteness as a habitus (Bourdieu), which enables us to elaborate a framework for research on the performance of whiteness.
With his Paradise-Trilogy Ulrich Seidl has developed a triptychon along the trias of ‘faith, love and hope’ to examine human sexuality in its most desperate and vulnerable forms. All of the three films are centered on white women and each takes a different additional axis of intersectionality into account: Paradise Love with its colonial gaze in Kenia (white tourism and relative wealth), Paradise Faith with its orientalist construction of the Muslim (white Christianity), Paradise Hope with its questioning of lookism and adultism (white fat kids).We will analyze these films in order of appearance from two perspectives. First we will provide an analysis of the specific construction of whiteness in each of them. Second, we will take a psychoanalytic look at the object of white desire presented in the movies. The main theories of reference therefore are Frantz Fanon, especially his work on The Man of Color and the White Women for Paradise Love, Edward Said with his opus Orientalism for Paradise Faith, Michel Foucault on disciplining bodies for Paradise Hope and (Lacanian) psychoanalysis of desire for the question of sexuality and sexualization/fetishization of power.