“The Socially Critical #Documentary #Film #ForgetWinnetou! by Red Haircrow”

At MOPO, the Hamburger Morgenpost, “Indianer-Kostüm-Verbot Das sagen die Nachfahren amerikanischer Ureinwohner dazu“… the article on recent controversy where a German kindergarten forbid the usage of “Indianer” or American Indian costumes. The decision by the school has sparked debate across the country on cultural appropriation, “innocent” appreciation and colonial practice equaling racism.

It is ironic that Natives and allies have said so all along, with educational campaigns such as #NotYourMascot and #NotYourCostume, but were largely ignored and minimized. However, when a white European person or group dares to actually behave responsibly and stop culturally abusive practices, there is outrage.

Over a decade ago, exactly as our documentary shared, the American Psychological Association (APA) stated:

“Research has shown that the continued use of American Indian mascots, symbols, images and personalities has a negative effect on not only American Indian students but all students by:

  • Undermining the educational experiences of members of all communities-especially those who have had little or no contact with indigenous peoples. The symbols, images and mascots teach non-Indian children that it’s acceptable to participate in culturally abusive behavior and perpetuate inaccurate misconceptions about American Indian culture.
  • Establishes an unwelcome and often times hostile learning environment for American Indian students that affirms negative images/stereotypes that are promoted in mainstream society.

According to Stephanie Fryberg, PhD, University of Arizona, this appears to have a negative impact on the self-esteem of American Indian children, “American Indian mascots are harmful not only because they are often negative, but because they remind American Indians of the limited ways in which others see them. This in turn restricts the number of ways American Indians can see themselves.”

  • Undermines the ability of American Indian Nations to portray accurate and respectful images of their culture, spirituality and traditions. Many American Indians report that they find today’s typical portrayal of American Indian culture disrespectful and offensive to their spiritual beliefs.
  • Presents stereotypical images of American Indians. Such mascots are a contemporary example of prejudice by the dominant culture against racial and ethnic minority groups.
  • Is a form of discrimination against American Indian Nations that can lead to negative relations between groups.”

Side note: It’s noteworthy that the writer Mike Schlink placed my name in quotation marks, which he did to no other European style name in the article. It was auto-assumed my name was fake or a “nickname” because it was different than the Eurocentric mindset, assumption and judge/jury practice we commonly see when white people come across ethnic or other names. Rather disrespectful and subtly racist, when he could have asked or just treated it as any other name.

Film Premiere on 11 February 2018 at the Historic Delphi Theater in Berlin!

Through hardship and a directing experience Red Haircrow had to complete alone, on 11 February 2018 Forget Winnetou! Going Beyond Native Stereotypes in Germany makes it screen debut at the historic Delphi Theater in Berlin. Advanced tickets are now available through the Delphi’s website, and we would love to see you there! Deutsch version is below, and you can read more about film details at its IMDb page.

PROGRAM

16:00-16:30 Welcome & short live performance
16:30-17:00 Introduction to panelists and a Q& A
17:00-17:30 A short Documentary
17:30-18:00 Pause with Music by Johnny Clyde, Photography by Viveka Frost
18:00-19:30 Feature documentary
19:30-20:00+ Meet the team & special visitor

 

“What does a world look like that respects indigenous peoples, that’s working to end racism and colonialism on a global scale?” A part of that is stopping stereotyping, and Native stereotypes are some of the most pervasive and recognized, but most don’t know their origins or the real harm they do.

“Winnetou”, the still popular American Indian character created by German author Karl May in the 19th century is a symbol of Native stereotypes, of lingering racism & colonialism: the self-bestowed privilege of taking and using whatever you want, even living peoples, for self-gratification. Intentional or not, these attitudes and behaviors continue the cycle of genocide, and can be harmful to everyone, no matter their ethnicity.

Most films on similar topics concentrate only on Native experiences in North America, but through discussions with Natives living in or having visited Germany, the correction of Eurocentricized history & insight on German society, we’ll present why these stereotypes and practices must end: in Germany and worldwide. While some may minimize the effect or harm of stereotypes, they are evidence of much deeper societal issues of injustice, inequality and inequity many countries now face.

Germany is a microcosm of struggles taking place across the world both against and for decolonization, for correcting white privilege and supremacy that’s divided and helped destroy our world. Stereotypes were created to keep themselves in power…and others under their control.

The documentary will utilize live-action scenes, interviews and animated sequences illustrating the theme, and provide an unforgettable, educational experience. Native speaking for themselves, representing themselves, and showing the world their variety, complexity and indomitable spirit.

Deutsch

“Wie könnte eine Welt aussehen, die indigene Völker respektiert, die daran arbeitet, Rassismus in einem globalen Rahmen zu ende? Es müsste damit beginnen, die stereotype Wahrnehmung indigener Völker zu beenden; diese ist weit verbreitet und anerkannt, wie kaum eine andere, aber die meisten Menschen kennen weder deren Ursprünge, noch den tatsächlichen Schaden, der durch sie angerichtet wird.”

Karl Mays beliebter Pseudo-Indianer 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 willkommen, jedoch eigentlich nur, wenn sie die Klischees erfüllen.

Auch in Nordamerika sind sich viele Menschen indigener Herkunft nicht bewusst, dass die Stilisierung als Maskottchen in Deutschland lediglich die Kehrseite tiefgreifender Probleme ist, die sich als systematischer Rassismus, Polizeigewalt und Ungerechtigkeit gegenüber Minderheiten darstellen, selbst wenn indigene Bilder, Kulturen und sogar Knochen den Europäern als Genugtuung dienen.

Deutschland repräsentiert als Mikrokosmos all die Kämpfe die weltweit sowohl gegen die Dekolonisierung als auch zu ihren Gunsten stattfinden, zu Gunsten einer Abschaffung der Privilegien und der Vormachtstellung der Weißen, die unsere Welt in Lager gespalten und dabei geholfen hat, sie zu zerstören. Stereotype wurden erfunden um den Weißen die Erhalt ihrer Macht zu sichern….und andere unter Kontrolle zu halten.
Es befindet sich derzeit in der Postproduktion und wird Live-Action-Szenen, Interviews und Newsclips mit kurzen animierten Sequenzen kombinieren.