We are the UmGäng, a collective working on concepts of transformative justice (TG) and community accountability, both practically and theoretically. Concepts of Transformative Justice are based on alternative conflict resolution strategies of indigenous communities such as Restorative Justice and have been developed under this name by Queers and Feminists of Color in North America since the 1980s. They aim to address interpersonal violence within one’s own community without exposing oneself to the racist and patriarchal violence and marginalization of mainstream society and the state.
We see ourselves as a collective of editors and as a self-organization that was founded to publish a handbook on the topic, to create space for exchange and to strengthen networking.
We ourselves have experienced patriarchal violence and oppression, such as sexism, homophobia, transphobia, queerphobia, sexualized violence and rape. We all have experiences in the German-speaking and European left scene and anti-authoritarian contexts. Some of us are less abled than others. We are all white, some academic, some precariously living and working. This means that we lack various important access points to TG. However, we see great urgency in developing practical ways of dealing with interpersonal violence. Therefore, we as UmGäng do not see ourselves as authors, but only as a collective of editors, who of course also contribute to the content of the handbook, but mainly want to bring together different voices, perspectives and experiences.
We would like to invite you to describe your experiences with interpersonal violence, to talk about them and to contribute these to the book. Please send us tips on what should be in the book or what might still be missing, and also ideas for texts that you would like to write yourself. You can also get in touch if you are still unsure about what exactly you want to do or if you can imagine becoming a part of the UmGäng. We would be happy to hear from you and to think together about how we can work together.