Beginning the week of 10 October 2021, Survival International will conduct a series of discussions with Indigenous educators and others on the topic of colonialism and its on-going effects and mechanisms. Included in these discussions will be this documentary’s director, Red Haircrow, who is a psychologist, educator, and writer, who will join the host on 11 October.
Be sure to join Survival International’s social media accounts, such as Twitter and the German and English language Instagram profiles to learn more about the line-up. Also, visit their website and campaign description HERE.
Recently in Zeitwissen, a section within Die Zeit, one of the largest news sources in Germany, an article was published on the need of Indigenous knowledge in natural sciences to help salvage and repair the climate crisis, a large part of which nuevo European values and practices unleashed on our world. Myself and other Indigenous peoples were asked to comment on how Indigenous knowledge can be of use in natural sciences. Me being me, I came at it from a slightly different, but critically important angle.
“Like Indigenous cultures and peoples, Indigenous knowledge is often “primitized” and stereotyped in a Eurocentric way. Yet Indigenous knowledge and methodologies are based on equitable values beneficial to all life, and they have positive application for everything from psychology to astrophysics, education to engineering.”
“Wie indigene Kulturen und Gruppen wird auch indigenes Wissen oft “primitized” und stereotyp auf eurozentrische Weise dargestellt. Indigenes Wissen und indigene Methoden beruhen jedoch auf gerechten Werten, die allen Lebewesen zugute kommen, und haben positive Auswirkungen auf alle Bereiche von der Psychologie bis zur Astrophysik, von der Bildung bis zur Ingenieurwesen.”
Much of the time, the majority insists on minimizing, defending or ignoring such practices, and fail to see how such behaviors extend to all aspects of life, particularly industries and business world, too. Some completely disregard the obvious intersectionality of Indigenous racism, to other forms of normalized bigotry, prejudice and bias, and to sexism, ableism, Eurocentrism.
“Your credentials are quite nice, and yes, more psychologists are needed in Germany, but we don’t have any Native clients.”
What’s wrong with this statement? Yet I’ve heard it time and time again, from supposed educated and non-racist people. Simply being Native in Germany, unless you’re dancing (oh wait, it has to be “traditional in feathers!” or in a job considered not academic, often finds you unemployed, politely rejected, even gently rebuked by puzzled professionals who are mystified how you, a psychologist, educator, professional who happens to be Native (or some other “non-white”) practitioner could possibly help their almost exclusively white clients. As if you being Native (or non-white) you are only able to help persons like yourself, in the way many of those prejudiced limited and compartmentalize themselves, excluding “Others”.
As if simply being non-white makes you less professional, less relevant, less well-read or that your methods (as if you haven’t studied the same materials as they the same 10+ years) are primitive even dangerous! When in fact, IN ADDITION to that, you have the experiences, observations, knowledge and intellect beyond theirs. They also know many of their clients or patients, or even other staff who are white German are unapologetically prejudiced against “Others”. So there are also times where you might be hired, but your co-workers treat you abysmally with the flippant comment, “Well, what did you expect!” or your work and person are so underappreciated and criticized, the emotional burden takes it toll. They also do this to “their own” also who might also try to improve racist, sexist, ableist, Eurocentic situations. “To name is the problem is to become the problem.”
So in this, they are failing their clients, don’t really want the best or better for their clients. Think this stuff through. It matters. It really does, but especially in psychology where non-European peoples have suffered greatly at the hands of psychiatrists and psychologists, many of whom are entrenched or apologists of racial hierarchies and eugenics. A pattern and history Germany shares with the USA.
But not only that, the abuses, subtle and unsubtle derision, dismissal and minimization are also heaped upon their own peoples and demographic group. There are many, many reasons why so many people distrust and avoid psychologists unless at extremis. I’ve heard so many horror stories. And the German equivalent of the USA’s Psychological Association, literally says on their website, unless its white psychology methods or beliefs, its dangerous! Deep deep racism and Eurocentrism.
“I can’t help you. I don’t come from an immigrant background” is a phrase actually told an ethnic professional by their therapist, who had taken their experiences personally and become angry, as if the client’s speaking about the racism they daily experienced was attacking her, the psychologist. Too many “western” practitioners with egoism and value system of self-centeredness, competitive and skeptical retraumatize their own patients, whatever their background or heritage. (Reference.)
And, of course, this is across all industries in western society but particularly done in an often polite yet still inherently brutal Eurocentric way in Germany. Whether you’re trained as an artist, an engineer, or whatever, these fear based privileged practices that revel in stereotyping and (mis)labeling are a huge part of the continuing and actually rising normalized (and structual) racism, hate, xenophobia and selfishness especially in this time of Corona Pandemic.
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Simone Emmert, LL.M.Eur., who also teaches human rights in the Department of Christian Social Work at Friedensau Adventist University, will be the moderator. She will be in conversation with director D.S. Red Haircrow, BSc., MA, writer, educator, psychologist and filmmaker, as well as Manuel Ricardo Garcia, TransActivist, Photoartist and winner of the 2011 Pride Photo Award.
The event will take place online, mostly in English, on Tuesday, 3/23/2021 at 7pm on the Zoom platform. With the attached Zoom link you will get the access information.
After entering the waiting room you will be admitted.
You will need: PC/laptop/tablet or smartphone, stable internet connection, headset or alternatively headphones with microphone.
About the content:
“Forget Winnetou! Loving in the Wrong Way” (https://forgetwinnetou.com/) by Berlin-based director D.S. Red Haircrow, BSc., M.A. (https://redhaircrow.com/), (Writer, Psychologist, Educator & Filmmaker) is an award-winning documentary about racism, cultural appropriation and Eurocentrism from the perspective of Native Americans in Germany. In most films about Native Americans, European narratives or indigenous experiences in North America are rendered. This ignores the fact that Native Americans today also live in “Indian-crazy” Germany and are confronted with stereotypes based on Karl May’s Winnetou. The film will be made available as a vimeostream; participants admitted to the waiting room will be unlocked at the beginning of the screening.
Are you interested in hosting a screening for your organization, school or group? Vtape has a new pricing free for a one-time licensing fee. Please read more at their site, and read our FAQS page for helpful tips.
Vtape is our North American distributor offering us an open contract, we are still searching for a distributor specifically for Germany and Europe so more language options are possible for viewers. We are especially interested in DVD and Blu-ray distributors who offer options for individual buyers.
Red Haircrow, the director, is also available for lectures, discussions or panels on these are related topics. Read more about Mr. Haircrow’s professional background and research, which includes Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intergenerational Historical Trauma. Additionally, other participants in the film may also be available for events.
Our North American distributor, Vtape is an artist run, not-for-profit distributor committed to offering films to help create positive change and greater understanding between peoples. Why? Because the history and lives of Indigenous peoples have been misrepresented, misused and/or overlooked in western society, yet their treatment is indicative of the greatest injustice, inequity and inequality that is still being perpetuated not only against humans but against the earth itself.
“Forget Winnetou! Loving in the Wrong Way” is an award-winning documentary sharing the voices and perspectives of Natives and accurately informed persons who address these topics and more. Systemic racism, ableism, sexism, white supremacist ideology, Eurocentrism, cultural appropriation. These are all interconnected.
Our film is an honest and direct commentary not only of these issues, but the effects of apathy, minimization and ignoring how defending stereotyping or practices that harm, degrade and “other” continues the cycle of violence and erasure of marginalized and minoritized peoples and groups.
And how do we recreate, revive and renew our Earth, our spirits, our hearts, things that are critically necessary for our worlds survival? First, it is by recognizing, correcting and unlearning centuries of misinformation. Open your eyes. Open your hearts. Be a part of positive change that will benefit us all.
Watch trailers and extra scenes of the film at our Vimeo.
A huge thank you to Exil – Osnabrücker Zentrum für Flüchtlinge e.V. and the individuals who organized, moderated and provided technical support to our evening.
If you’re interested in organizing a screening and discussion for your group or organization, please check out our FAQs page & use our contact form.
A sample questions:
1. Is the film an analysis of Karl May’s work or the character of Winnetou?
No. As our film synopsis states, this film is on a) racism, white supremacist ideology and/or Eurocentrism in the misuse of Natives and other peoples and their cultures, well-intentioned or not, b) the effects of such behaviors and connection to other contemporary issues, and c) on correcting commonly believed stereotypes by providing accurate knowledge about Natives primarily from Natives.
Airing 13 February 2021 at 19:20, “Ich bin kein Kostüm!” a documentary by Karsen Gravert, ZDF and Tobias Winkler / Kobalt Productions. I was interviewed along with other educators and specialists on the topics of cultural appropriation, discrimination and the real effects of racism, privilege and apathy in Germany. Will it be a hardline based on our commentary or another apologist or “There’s good people on both sides” type of production? We’ll see.
“Sollten sich weiße Schauspieler das Gesicht schwarz schminken? Sollte man Dreadlocks tragen? Sollte man sich beim Fasching mit “Indianer”-Federn schmücken? Nein, sagen Vertreterinnen und Vertreter ethnischer Minderheiten. Karsten Gravert lässt in der 3satKulturdoku “Ich bin kein Kostüm! Die Debatte um kulturelle Aneignung”, am Samstag, 13. Februar 2021, 19.20 Uhr, in Erstausstrahlung in 3sat, alle Seiten dieser Diskussion zu Wort kommen.
Die deutsche Liebe zur Indianerverkleidung reproduziere rassistische Stereotype, sagt der Native American Dokumentarfilmer Red Haircrow. Auch wenn es aus Bewunderung heraus geschehe – ob bei den Karl-May-Spielen oder beim Karneval. Alexander Klaws meint: “Wenn sich mein Sohn als Indianer verkleidet, dann macht er das, weil er das toll findet. Ich möchte mich verkleiden, eine Feder tragen und diese Welt, diese Kultur damit ehren. Wie soll ich bitte meinem Sohn erklären, dass er das nicht darf?”
“Should white actors put black makeup on their faces? Should people wear dreadlocks? Should people adorn themselves with “Indian” feathers at carnival? No, say representatives of ethnic minorities. In the 3sat cultural documentary “Ich bin kein Kostüm! Die Debatte um kulturelle Aneignung”, on Saturday, February 13, 2021, 7:20 p.m., first broadcast on 3sat, all sides of this discussion have their say.
The German love of Indian dress reproduces racist stereotypes, says Native American documentary filmmaker Red Haircrow. Even if it’s out of admiration, he says – whether at the Karl May plays or at carnival. Alexander Klaws says, “When my son dresses up as an Indian, he does it because he thinks it’s great. I want to dress up, wear a feather and honor this world, this culture with it. How am I supposed to explain to my son that he’s not allowed to do that?”
DO YOUR JOB TO NOT PERPETUATE RACISM AND EUROCENTRISM, AND TEACH YOUR CHILDREN TO BE RESPECTFUL OF OTHER CULTURES AND PEOPLES! It’s NOT HARD.
Now available in German with some quotes in English, in cooperation with xart splitta. In these times more than ever we need empathy, and we all need to work together, those who wish a better world for all peoples. We must continue to educate and disperse vehement defenders of xenophobia and hate who work to divide and even destroy. DOWNLOAD HERE.
#CommunitiesSolidarischDenken Überlegungen zu nachhaltiger Community-Zusammenarbeit.
#CommunitiesThinkingInSolidarity Considerations for sustainable community cooperation.
“2020 ist das Jahr, in dem wir uns bei xart splitta schwerpunktmäßig mit dem Projekt #CommunitiesSolidarischDenken beschäftigt haben. Nicht nur geht es hier um einen Versuch, Community-übergreifend zu arbeiten, sondern auch bewusste Community-Verbindungen zu schaffen. Dazu gehört, Unterschiede und Gemeinsamkeiten in unseren Communities zu thematisieren, um dadurch Handlungsstrategien für Community-übergreifende Zusammenarbeit (weiter) zu entwickeln.”
“2020 is the year we at xart splitta focused on the #CommunitiesSolidarischDenken project. Not only is this about an attempt to work across communities, but also to create intentional community connections. This includes addressing differences and similarities in our communities in order to (further) develop action strategies for cross-community collaboration.”
This event is part of a series by Exil – Osnabrücker Zentrum für Flüchtlinge e.V., titled “Schwartz ist der Ozean”. It starts 15 February and lasts through 6 March 2021. The intersectional themes range from anti-colonialism, decolonization, racism & immigration, with the main goals of increasing knowledge, understanding and desire for people’s of all backgrounds to work together to end hatred, intolerance and apathy worldwide.
The binary of white/black is often the sole focus in Germany, and Natives are too often left out of discussions on racism, repatriation & erasure. This ignores how stereotypes, discrimination & Eurocentrism heavily effect Indigenous peoples, too, especially those who don’t look like the Euro-created stereotype.
Saturday, February 27, 2021 at 7 PM UTC+01 – 9 PM UTC+01
Price: Free · Duration: 2 hr
Public · Anyone on or off Facebook
Eine Filmvorführung mit anschließendem Gespräch mit dem Regisseur des Films Red Haircrow
Karl Mays beliebter Pseudo-Indianer Winnetou hat die tatsächliche indigene Bevölkerung jahrzehntelang falsch dargestellt und damit einer weit verbreiteten Aneignung und Ausbeutung indigener Kulturen den Weg bereitet. Menschen indigener Herkunft sind in Deutschland willkommen, jedoch nur, wenn sie die von „Winnetou“ geprägten Klischees erfüllen. Der Film „Forget Winnetou! Loving in the Wrong Way“ behandelt die Wurzeln von Rassismus, Kolonialismus und kultureller Aneignung in Deutschland von einer selten beachteten Perspektive: die der Native Americans, die von den Deutschen angeblich so geliebt werden.
Red Haircrow ist Schriftsteller, Pädagoge, Filmemacher und Psychologe von Chiricahua-Apache, Cherokee und afroamerikanischer Herkunft. Er hat einen Bachelor in Psychologie und einen Master in Native American Studies von der Montana State University Bozeman.
In cooperation with the Center for German and European Studies at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, USA, we’ll do an online film screening and discussion with viewers and students on Monday, 30 November 2020.
“Most Americans don’t know who Karl May is, and Germans no longer read his “American Indian” fiction that once inspired generations. Fewer still connect its legacy to persistent “acceptable” racism in all facets of German society, despite research clearly linking the stereotyping of “Others” to the rise of Eurocentrism, normalized intolerance and white supremacist ideology in western society.”
Learn more about the university, this department and its missions and goals at their website.
6 years after I was contacted by an American shocked by the fact the Karl May Museum was displaying human remains. Beginning in 2014, I wrote several articles on the situation published at Indian Country Today, the largest Native news outlet in the USA. The work goes on, and some progress is being made but apathy is a constant.
And don’t dare say, “You have to be patient, these things take time”. Why? Because that is solely based on White time and privilege. They don’t need any praise for this either, many treated the topic and Natives shamefully. This is only a first step as there are 1000’s of human remains in German museums that need to be returned, not merely discussed, decided or rationalized by those not from other cultures.
There are multiple 1000’s of important cultural items that were stolen and coerced, often taken from massacre sites that deserve to be with or controlled by those to who they are most important. And YES, there are Native scientists, archaeologists and specialists trained for just these things like anyone else. Native North Americans are often left out of serious conversations on repatriation in Germany, just like they are wrongly left out of conversations on racism.
The continued minimization of stereotypes and hobbyism (by some Natives, too), and the objectification and dehumanization of Native peoples, cultures and histories that is common and accepted in Germany is was what facilitated and kept these human remains away from their ancestral lands and family for so long. There’s apathy but also resentment and outrage that anyone dare challenge German culture (!!) of….racism, which is what appropriation, caricatures, and misrepresentation of Natives and “others” is classified under.
I am very glad the Native nation and families finally will have their relative repatriated, but the length of time and the fact a human scalp had been on display and no one thought about anything about it but “Wow!” until someone finally questioned. A visiting American, who contacted me searching for wider coverage and Native contact on the issue.
Please check out the article at DEUTSCHE WELLE, and the video from 2014 where my interview begins around 3:00. It goes to show how little the topic of racism, Eurocentrism and imperialism are seriously discussed relating to (mis)use of Native peoples, cultures and histories in Germany.