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Guest worker literature

German literature written by non-native speakers and migrants in the 1970s and 1980s was called "guest worker literature". The term derived from the labour migrants who came to West Germany in the 1950s to the 1970s, who were commonly referred to as “guest workers”. While, on the one hand, the term was used as a devaluating description of literature written by migrants, an article published by writers Rafik Schami and Franco Biondi, with the support of Jusuf Naoum and Suleman Taufiq in 1981 claimed the term guest worker literature as a positive and empowered self-description for literature written about the lives of labour migrants written by those affected. Since the term “guest worker” is problematic (s. “guest worker”), literature written by migrants in Germany has been called “migrant literature”, or “intercultural literature”. However, the division between literature by migrants or literature by non-migrants is often problematic in itself as it is potentially essentialising the writers and their work.