New at #DeutscheWelle “Why Germany can’t quit its racist #NativeAmerican problem”

And despite claiming to be open-minded and non-racist, it is no surprise to us that except for one film festival solely dedicated to “immigrant” and refugee issues, not one German film festival, distributor or TV/Media source or outlet accepted or showed interest in our film. Yet many others around the world have done so, and we are pleased to have won the awards and received the screenings we did.

Overall, Germany refuses to face it’s deep and normalized racism. Check the comments sections anywhere this article is posted, and you’ll see Germans (even those claiming to be open-minded and non-racist) vehemently defending racism and racist practice.


Here’s an excerpt, please read the full article at Deutsche Welle: “Across the country, Germans spent the past week celebrating Carnival, known for its parades, drinking, and colorful costumes ahead of the Lenten fast. There is a pervasive attitude that for these five days, Germans can shed their rigid cultural norms and adopt an “anything goes” policy.

Every year, pictures of some of the more racist trappings of Carnival, such as the use of blackface or “Chinese” costumes complete with conical hat, tend to face backlash both from mainstream culture and the country’s growing Asian and Afro-German communities.

However, the same cannot be said of the abundance of “Native American” costumes, a wildly popular choice in a country that has had a robust infatuation with Native stereotypes since the 1800s, made more popular by the works of beloved writer Karl May and his Winnetou character, the archetypal ‘noble savage, ‘and the 20th-century films depicting the character….”

21 Nov. #Documentary #Screening & Discussion in #Berlin with Xart Splitta & Guest – Karin Louise Hermes

  • Where –  Xart Splitta, Hasanheide 73, 10967 Berlin
  • Time – 7pm-10pm
  • Language– German & English (film & discussion)
  • Cost – Donations accepted
  • Facebook Event page

November is Native American Heritage Month, a national holiday in the USA. But there and here in Germany, the dehumanization and objectification of Indigenous peoples, and the minimization or erasure of historical acts and issues continues. Colonial behaviors and practices that are connected to the most serious, even life threatening problems humanity now faces.

Germany is well known for its cultural appropriation and ideation of American Indians. Misinformation, stereotypes and Eurocentric narratives are widespread. “Playing Indian” as a costume or a lifestyle has been normalized for generations, largely with the help or excuse of Karl May’s work.

Whether one agrees with such practices or not, most don’t recognize it for what it is: #Colonialism2019 and Systemic Racism. Why are Native and Indigenous issues too often left out of conversations on racism in Germany? Why do so many people, even anti-racism or social justice activists continue to tokenize/primitize Indigenous peoples and/or leave them out of conversations on how to survive and create a better world for all peoples?

What truly is intersectional activism and why is it critically important for Indigenous peoples, the history of their treatment and contemporary reality to take stage alongside any and every other action on anti-colonialism, anti-racism and climate crisis? What can you do? What should you do? How can we work together?

We’re going to talk about it on 21 November!


Meet our guest:

Karin Louise Hermes is a Filipina-German academic based in Berlin, Germany. Karin has participated in, organized and reported on many inter-sectional political issues at climate crisis conferences, during direct actions and demonstrations and other endeavors on Indigenous self-representation, ending racism and colonialism. She holds a MA in Pacific Island Studies from the University of Hawai’i, and is a PhD candidate in American Studies at Humboldt-Universität Berlin. One of her articles, “Why I protest“.

“Victims vs. Perpetrators”- The Dehumanization Connection #Halle #Shooting #Antisemitism #Racism #Germany

Originally posted at redhaircrow.com.

A quote from our documentary, given by Dr. Hartmut Lutz, Professor Emeritus Griefswald University, who was a participant. It is critically relevant to the events at Halle, and the rising racism, violence & xenophobia in Germany…and western society in general. As with most things, somehow it becomes playing the victim yet again, even when doing horrific acts, minimizing or refusing to recognize/act against the obvious signs and rising racism & xenophobia. Dehumanization of others by whatever means, for whatever reason, has enormous consequences on a society. Stereotypes and stereotyping are not harmless.

“Victims vs. Perpetrators: as a German it is morally interesting to define oneself as victim”-Dr Harmut Lutz

“For Germans, dealing with Natives is quite a guilt-free space. They are not Hereros, they are not Jews, they are not Romnja and Sintezza, they are far far away. The German State never dealt with Natives, never colonized them. This is a rather comfortable space to enter. But cultural appropriation of Natives and hobbyism does not protect one from being racist. Not at all. Imagine the CULTURAL APPROPRIATION of Natives and ANTISEMITISM as two sides of the same coin.

Both have one thing in common: the process of Othering and the exclusion of fellow human beings. Through Othering one projects anything on someone else. And those projections and descriptions of others tell you much more about the person who projects and not about the “stranger”. These descriptions can be both positive and negative. Positive imaginations can be detached from realities that other societies are worshiped and adored in rather unreal ways.

On the other side, it can also be totally negative, they are dehumanized and constructed as subhuman objects. But both are ways of objectifying other people, either as objects of admiration and romanticizing or as objects of contempt…even killing. Through these extreme imaginations and projections, the actual people including oneself.”


The photo I took when I was in Halle in 2018 to discuss the film and its theme at the IDEENKONGRESS zu Kultur, Alltag und Politik auf dem Land. The violent, selfish, racist events of Oct 9, 2019 happened right outside the hotel where I’d stayed, at the döner shop I had visited. After the terrorist murders in Halle in Germany on Oct. 9th, where a white German gunner targeted a synagogue of members celebrating Yom Kippur.

It’s no surprise the admitted connection and inspiration by the murdering of innocents in Christchurch. Another young white male, entitled and privileged, full of hatred and angry, who feels “others” are threatening and taking away what is their right, their lands, their whatevers…. when the actual reverse has taken place across the world by that same demographic.

The connection is the accepted practice of DEHUMANIZE AND OBJECTIFICATION of “others”. Germans have done this to Native Americans for decades, passing along systemic racist practices and entitlement aka white supremacist ideology that it is okay to do so. This act of terrorist violence is another consequences of the willingness to use/categorize/label others. Flip sides of the same coin.

Tune in June 2nd to Our Interview on #WDR #Zeitzeichen’s Broadcast: “The Indian Citizenship Act”

 

In 1 week! On June 2nd, our interview by Claudia Friedrich will be part of the WDR Zeitzeichen broadcast on “The Indian Citizenship Act”. Make a note to listen in on topics of racism, white supremacist ideology and tokenism, all of which involves Germany’s problematic treatment of Native peoples and cultures today. All intersecting with and part of the rise of normalization of racism and nationalism BIPOC, German and foreign alike, are faced with daily…and which harms everyone. It continues systems of inequality, injustice and oppression.

Sentiments of, “Germany has suffered enough! (due to censure over the European Holocaust). How dare anyone criticize or take away our right to use Natives for self-gratification and teach these practices to our children!” ….Which harms other children. Go figure.

April 26th in #Osnabrueck, #Documentary Screening and Q&A at Museumsquartier-Akzisehaus

 

Opening on 26 January 2019, at the Museumsquartier Osnabrück, is an exhibition on Karl May and the myths and realities of his legacy.

We’ll be screening “Forget Winnetou! Loving in the Wrong Way” on Friday, the 26th of April 2019 (6 p.m.).

We’ll be providing a critical approach on how the fantasies, myths and racist, colonial behaviors in history and today, have an effect on Native Americans and ALL peoples, as it teaches its okay to be culturally abusive for one’s own amusement…among many other harmful behaviors. Stereotypes: which have been and are the basis of every kind of discrimination, prejudice, oppression and genocide.

Facebook event page and their website link  https://www.museumsquartier-osnabrueck.de/ausstellung/blutsbrueder/.

“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.

When a #Kindergarten in #Germany says “No Indian Costumes” there’s a fuss, but Natives were ignored for years…

During this time of heightened interest and yelling about challenges to #Indianer costumes and Cultural Appropriation of #NativeAmericans in #Germany. Here are a few links to my past articles, interviews and/or commentary on these and related topics. INSTAGRAM post.

Photos are ones I took from the print version article I received from stern for my contribution to the article, “Im Wilden Osten” (2015). Original photos by Jen Osborne.

More links and articles are listed at my website https://redhaircrow.com/articles/.

“Native Hobbyism is Modern-Day Colonialism”-Our Latest article at CBC, Jan.26th

Red Haircrow was recently invited to write a counter-point essay for CBC, following my participant in the CBC.Docs documentary that premiered Jan.28th on Canadian television. Last July in Berlin, Red sat down with indigenous writer Drew Hayden Taylor on his search to understand why so many Germans choose to appropriate native cultures and/or dressing up and pretending to be “Indians”. The article was published on January 26th, ‘Native Hobbyism’ is Modern Day Colonialism. and specifically discusses how the effects of such practices, especially on Natives living in Germany, are overlooked by both non-natives and natives, which we explore in our own documentary.

“Indigenous North Americans who live abroad often deal with rejection from relatives who only support or recognize those who choose to live in North America. They report negative experiences such as abandonment, disrespect of their heritage and lack of cultural support. This trauma leads to depression, anxiety and frustration because Indigenous living in Europe can’t simply be themselves.”

Red Haircrow’s Interview for #Documentary “Searching for Winnetou” Debuts Jan. 28th

Director Red Haircrow appears in the trailer and documentary debuting on Jan. 28th on CBC Docs. It follows Drew Hayden Taylor’s “search” in Germany on the “why” of hobbyism. He was also invited to write a counter-point essay that will be published next week at CBC.

Our film, which is the “flip side”, on natives living Germany, the repercussions and realities of how appropriation and Native stereotypes heavily affects their life, etc. very different from occasional visitors or contract performers, debuts on Feb. 11th. Forget Winnetou- A Documentary Film at the Delphi Theater in Berlin.

“That’s a Wrap!” Photos from Sept. 30th Finale Scene Shoot in #Berlin


A sincere thank you to everyone who came out to participate and help with filming great scenes that will be included in our film and production extras for the DVD! It was a beautiful and sunny afternoon in Germany, beside the picturesque Tegelsee in Berlin. As I am almost exclusively “behind the camera”, it was nice to finally see myself in photos, which were taken by Viveka Frost and Haven Smith, who are part of our team.