Interviewed for “Ich bin kein Kostum!” #CulturalAppropriation #Racism & #Discrimination in #Germany – Airing 13 Feb on #3Sat

Karnevalsverein -De Poller Böschräuber. No copyright infringement intended, please visit the main website accessed from the link in the post.

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?”


ENGLISH

“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.

READ MORE ABOUT THE PRODUCTION HERE.

Now Available in cooperation with #XartSplitta – Communities Thinking InSolidarity – #CommunitiesSolidarischDenken Überlegungen zu nachhaltiger Community-Zusammenarbeit


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.”
Read more at the XART SPLITTA website.

Beyond the White/Black Binary of #Racism: #Documentary screening/Q&A on “Forget Winnetou!” -Feb.27th

Join me and a special guest on 27 February 2021, for an online screening & discussion of the documentary, “Forget Winnetou! Loving in the Wrong Way”. View trailers and other videos at VIMEO.

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.

This event will take place in cooperation with Volkshochschule der Stadt Osnabrück as Corona restrictions allow. Entry is FREE. Register online at FACEBOOK or by phone through the VHS.


Details

Online Event
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.

Repatriation, the #KarlMayMuseum & #Racism in #Germany – Why I had to complete this #documentary #ForgetWinnetou!

6yrs later.

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.

This and other situations somewhat set the stage for me to pursue to completion this documentary FORGET WINNETOU! LOVING IN THE WRONG WAY (2018).


My past articles and appearances on the topic of these human remains:

Karl May Museum Reneges on Agreement to Return #NativeAmerican Scalps

 

 

 

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.