24 August 2022 von David Baum – @STERN.DE: “Die Debatte um die Neuauflage des Winnetou-Stoffs geht weiter. Uschi Glas, die Karl May-Gesellschaft und Franz Josef Wagner haben sich geäußert. Im stern kommen die Betroffenen zu Wort: Red Haircrow ist Mitglied der Chiricahua Apache/Cherokee und kritisiert die Winnetou-Bücher und -Filme bereits seit Jahren – unter anderem in einem Dokumentarfilm.”
Der Titel und die Informationen über unseren Dokumentarfilm sind völlig unwahr, wie die Filmbeschreibung eindeutig besagt, und die Sie auf unserer FAQ-Seite nachlesen können.
Ist der Film eine Analyse von Karl Mays Werk oder der Figur des Winnetou?
NEIN. Wie unsere Filmsynopse besagt, geht es in diesem Film um:
a) Rassismus, weiße Vorherrschaftsideologie und/oder Eurozentrismus beim Missbrauch von Natives und anderen Gruppen und ihren Kulturen, ob gut gemeint oder nicht b) die Auswirkungen solcher Verhaltensweisen und die Verbindung zu anderen zeitgenössischen Themen, und c) die Korrektur weit verbreiteter Stereotypen durch die Vermittlung korrekter Kenntnisse über indigene Völker in erster Linie durch indigene Personen.
Und…. Wer ist noch der Meinung, dass man die Fotos der jungen Schauspieler nicht mehr zeigen sollte, sondern stattdessen den Regisseur, den Produzenten oder die Geldgeber des Films? Ich denke, das ist unfair gegenüber den Schauspielern. Sie haben den Film nicht geschrieben. Sie waren keine Redakteure beim Ravensburger Verlag.
Sharing a post extremely relevant to the recent avoidable controversy of a well-known publisher freezing delivery of a publication some deemed promoting racism and stereotypes of Native Americans. The same publisher (and others) were challenged and petitioned years ago to instead support fiction and non-fiction writing and translated material by actual Native Americans on Native Americans (sometimes working in collaboration/cooperation with non-Natives also). As you see, it was ignored despite Native American organizations, groups and individuals making it easier than ever before to work together in positive ways that do not perpetuate racist stereotypes, misrepresentation and appropriation.
Oh, and the people fearmongering, “They’re trying to take everything from us!” “It’s just fiction!” Absurd, easily debunked rationalizations. A few resources, Illuminative, Reclaiming Truth, American Psychological Association. Some of this research is decades old, how are so many under-informed, under-educated?
A recent social media post by Johnnie Jae, one of the outstanding Native protagonists in our documentary, “Forget Winnetou! Loving in the Wrong Way”really hit the “nail on the head” of what major, life threatening issues we see in western society that are centered on rising racism, xenophobia and intolerance of all kinds. Johnnie works in so many ways not just for Native peoples but all peoples, especially those minoritized or “othered” for being “different”. CLICK THE IMAGE FOR FULL-SIZE.
We definitely see this happening in #Germany, too. Stereotypes and the process/mechanism of “Othering” is a symptom of deep fear generated by racism and white supremacist ideology and beliefs. It is manipulated by leaders and politicians, businessmen and corporations. #45 still didn’t elect himself. The #AfD didn’t win more seats by electing itself. It was more and more “conservative” people who still falsely think themselves non-racist, and believe they are just protecting their own interests.
Red Haircrow’s response to OP: “I was just writing an essay about that the other day. Fear permeates America, cultivated and manipulated fear. And if you don’t have that kind of fear evidenced by your behavior, your being, your outlook, whether its due to knowing your culture, accepting of your sexuality, confident in your beliefs etc? You receive pure rage, jealousy, hatred or carefully covered envy from them in every interaction with you.”
So too, this hate, envy, rage are some of the responses we receive when we dare to call hobbyism and cultural appropriation, systemic racism. For example, when we dare to point out it is exploitation, theft and facilitators of the cycle of genocide, the refusal to repatriate human remains and sacred items and objects. We see hatred and resentment in the eyes and actions of those who willfully “redface” and steal other peoples cultures without care for the harm it does to all people. They cry, “It’s part of our culture. No one has the right to take it away!” So, RACISM is your culture? Seems about right.
We see hatred and resentment in those who demolished and had their own cultures and traditions twisted to Nazism, who are afraid to learn of their true ancient culture and ways, because they might find them self accused of being a sympathizer. Instead they appropriate, misrepresent and misuse other cultures and peoples, using white privilege and violently gained power they claim to reject.
We see hatred and resentment in those who cry, “We’ve suffered enough!” who believe they are not racist, when their beliefs and choices are based on racist, discriminatory stereotypes and practices. Alternatively, there are those who are openly racist and xenophobic, trying in a warped effort to re-create “their culture”, yet it is spoiled by white supremacist ideology. You do deserve to know your culture, but it wasn’t POC who took it away. It was YOUR OWN PEOPLE who screwed it up. Hate is NOT a culture. And if you know your culture, you don’t feel threatened by others.
It’s no wonder some do try to escape through hobbyism or appropriation, but that’s loving in the wrong way. Germany doesn’t know how to save itself. Even those trying to keep from sinking into full neo-Nazism and white supremacy don’t know how because they continue to look to leaders and politicians to make the changes. In Indigenous ways, the power is in the PEOPLE. Change in the US, in Germany, anywhere will only happen when the PEOPLE stand up against intolerance, elitism, racism, xenophobia and hatred, whatever their background, ethnicity, sexuality, gender or anything else, when they stand TOGETHER against hatred and harmful self-interest of any kind.
Another major problem in Germany, too, is that so many groups work just for themselves, one of the main ones being white feminists, who have gained more power but use it to oppress and discriminate against others (aka, “We have it harder than you!” they say to WOC/POC who have all that AND racism to contend with). They do not know how to work together, and they’ve never known how to fight. Most don’t have the courage to make the hard choices, in that yes, Indigenous peoples have the clear advantage. Basically, we’ve had to because of you, the Europeans, the colonizers.
THAT is what white people get threatened by, that is what they’re afraid of, but they can’t admit to themselves, so they just strike out violently or want segregation. In many ways, most Europeans today are the survivors who capitulated and accepted forced conversion. Most Originals fought to the death. It’s no wonder some seeking “originality” in the far right, more often seek warrior traditions. Yet they direct their violence to the wrong group, and they must do it in a pack, mobs of hate-filled, angry scared people. Or the political and wealth elitists who don’t give a damn for any of us really.
Most of them can’t stand to even SEE a person of color, because deep down they know we have survived and will survive despite them, and they do not have any advantage except the racist structural power they gained through horrific violence. They want to go back to violence (if necessary they say, we see it especially in the USA) but it is easy to kill, to be violent. It takes wisdom and courage to be around others, to listen, to learn, it have humility and an open heart. They cannot understand how even just ONE of us will stand up against a hundred of them, guns, conditioned dogs, tear gas or whatever. It is our beliefs, our cultures, our peoples and traditions that make us strong in that way. They are terrified, jealous and envious of that, and too entitled, proud and lacking in humility, in true self, to understand how and why we are that way, and how they too can become that way.
Please read the words of Wanbli Gleska Tohake, who was also heard in our documentary. CLICK TO SEE FULL-SIZE.
When people say the world is doomed, if they are talking about people and groups like that, I would agree. People like that are willing to let the whole world burn, just so they can feel they are right. Otherwise, NO, I am not letting people like that destroy the future for my son or any children, who all deserve better than this self-centered, selfish, immature bullshit of Europeans and colonizers who are entitled and privileged yet still maladjusted, needy and arrogant.
PEOPLE, how do we work together to make a better future for all children? It will not be by following Eurocentric, Eurocentrized compartmentalized, ethically, morally and culturally weak ways that has gotten western society to the hot mess it is today through historical amnesia, self-delusion and violence.
Aus dem Jahr 2017, mein der Freitag Interview mit Matthias Dell über unseren Dokumentarfilm und die Stereotypen der indigenen Gruppen. Aber…es geht nicht darum, dass es langweilig ist. Außerdem wird in diesem Film eine scheinbar queere Figur als etwas Böses dargestellt. Dies ist ein weiteres schädliches Stereotyp und eine Troupe einer marginalisierten oder minorisierten Gruppe. Deutschland fördert weiterhin schamlos die Stereotypen der indigenen Gruppen. Rassismus und Stereotypen.
Deutsche wie diese indoktrinieren Kinder weiterhin mit rassistischen, kolonialen Praktiken. Praktiken und Verhaltensweisen, die in der Ideologie der weißen Vorherrschaft und des Eurozentrismus wurzeln.
Sie lehren auch Vergewaltigungskultur und -mentalität. Das bedeutet, zu ignorieren, wenn jemand sagt: “Nein, bitte hör auf, du tust mir/uns weh”.
Und man bringt ihnen bei, mit “Ja, das werde ich/wir! Weil es sich für mich gut anfühlt.”
Was für eine schreckliche Sache, die man Kindern beibringt! Und wie wir in der Welt um uns herum sehen, sind die Stereotypen von Geschlecht, sexueller Orientierung, ethnischer Zugehörigkeit usw. All das ist schädlich und unnötig, aber Regisseure und Autoren wie diese werden weiterhin finanziert. Wer finanziert solchen Rassismus?
Kürzlich habe ich den Film PREY rezensiert, der sich positiv auf die Arbeit mit indigenen Nationen und Völkern bezieht und ihre Kulturen und Geschichten auf nicht rassistische Weise darstellt. Natürlich PREY nicht für Kinder geeignet, aber meine pädagogische Rezension enthält viele Informationen, die jedem helfen, sich gegen hartnäckige, vorsätzlich rassistische Filme zu informieren.
#FORGETWINNETOU! LOVING IN THE WRONG WAY
Zusammenfassung unseres Doku-Film: “Dieselbe Haltung, die das Recht indigener Völker auf Selbstdarstellung ignoriert, ist es auch, die GLBTIIQ-Menschen, Frauen, Behinderte oder wirtschaftlich Benachteiligte, insbesondere People of Color, stereotypisiert und gaslighted, d.h. ihnen die Realität ihrer Erfahrungen abspricht, nur weil sie sich Veränderungen und Gleichberechtigung wünschen. Im Grunde heißt das: “Meine Freiheit und meine Bedürfnisse sind wichtiger als deine Würde, deine Rechte oder sogar dein Leben.” Es ist eine sich überschneidende Unterdrückung.
Die meisten Filme über Native Americans konzentrieren sich auf europäische Erzählungen oder indigene Erfahrungen in Nordamerika, aber es gibt auch Native Americans im Ausland, und im “indianerverrückten” Deutschland – “auf die falsche Art geliebt” zu werden, hat viele Formen. Deutschland ist ein Mikrokosmos der Kämpfe, die überall auf der Welt stattfinden, sowohl gegen als auch für die Dekolonialisierung; für die Überwindung der weißen Vorherrschaft und des Imperialismus, die unsere Welt gespalten und zerstört haben.
Wir erforschen die Wurzeln von Rassismus, Kolonialismus und Kultureller Aneignung in Deutschland aus einer selten beachteten Perspektive: dem Stereotyp der indigenen Amerikaner, die sie zu verehren vorgeben.
Warum diese ” Charaktere ” so rassistisch und schädlich sind
Von der APA:
“Solche Aussagen wurden nach Forschungen über Maskottchen, Karikaturen und Vorurteile zum Thema Natives im Rahmen einer Resolution der American Psychological Association aus dem Jahr 2005 bestätigt. Die Organisation forderte ein sofortiges Ende solcher Darstellungen auf Grund der negativen Auswirkungen, die diese nicht nur auf die Natives, sondern auf alle Menschen und insbesondere auf Kinder haben.
Die Forschung hat gezeigt, dass die fortgesetzte Nutzung von amerikanisch-indianischen Maskottchen, Symbolen, Bildern und Persönlichkeiten auf Grund folgender Punkte nicht nur eine negative Auswirkung auf die Schüler amerikanisch-indianischer Wurzeln, sondern auf alle Schüler hat:
• Sie untergräbt die Bildungserfahrung aller Gemeinschaften – insbesondere bei solchen, die wenig oder gar keinen Kontakt zu indigenen Völkern hatten. • Sie lehrt Kinder nicht-indianischer Herkunft, dass es in Ordnung ist, an kulturell missbräuchlichem Verhalten teilzuhaben und Ungenauigkeiten über die Kultur der Indianer Amerikas zu verbreiten. • Sie bestätigt negative Bilder/Vorurteile, die durch den Mainstream befördert werden • Sie vermindert die Fähigkeit der indianischen Nationen Amerikas, akkurate und respektvolle Bilder ihrer Kultur, ihrer Spiritualität und ihrer Traditionen zu vermitteln. Viele Indianer Amerikas beschreiben die Vorurteile als respektlos und als Beleidigung gegenüber ihren spirituellen Überzeugungen. • Stereotype Wahrnehmungen von Natives sind ein zeitgenössisches Beispiel für Vorurteile und eine Form der Diskriminierung einer ethnischen Minderheit durch eine herrschende Kultur.”
This is a post from 2017 or so from redhaircrow.com, but is more relevant than ever before (unfortunately). Despite all educational efforts by their more enlightened peers and us, Germans willfully persistent in fetishization, erasure/replacement and stereotyping behaviors. There’s a willful insistence in ignoring this is a component of racism, related to colonialism and Eurocentrism AND/OR also accompanied by refusal to acknowledge the connection of accepted Native American stereotypes and misuse of Native cultures and peoples to the hatred, intolerance, conflicts and wars escalating or being fomented around the world.
From childhood, this creates and nurtures the mindset and practice that certain peoples, groups or individuals rights to life, safety and self-representation can be ignored, dismissed or even mocked if they object. Adherence to white supremacy ideology and structural racism is what allows this demographic to widely continue, and even defend, such practices. Good to know, we and others of their peers will continue to promote respect for all peoples, whatever their ethnicity, sexuality, gender, etc. and not their “rape culture”. That is: ignoring when someone says, “No, don’t do this to me/us”, and they say, “Yes, we will because we want to. We don’t care if it harms you or We don’t believe it hurts you.” What a terrible thing to teach a child.
Shared: Because many “others” “foreigners” specific ethnicities, and in this case “Indianer” or Native American Indians are only presented in shows, as entertainment, as costumed figures who are there to entertain Germans in some way…stereotypes abound here, and are expected and even demanded. Often you see the same rapt look and desire: “Teach us! Show us! Make us laugh with wonder! Cry with excitement, shudder with amazement, dread, outrage (as to native treatment of the past)” but whatever it is, they want what they want.
For Native Americans they expect, with very clear stereotype guidelines, how you should look, speak, engage, too. If you don’t look, act or perform as they expect, they are disappointed, dejected and dissatisfied. You must meet their expectations or you are not “real”, you are not “authentic.” The children cry and wail while parents comfort or ignore them, but seldom is there any factual, contexual (age appropriate, of course) information provided. Even in textbooks or other educational materials, having learn this propensity from the US and Canada, most “information” is stereotypical in nature and content, and from non-native sources or Europeanized (a.k.a. colonized) mindsets tailored to keep non-natives comfortably within established, if fabricated, parameters.
And they are actively, dismissively resistant to calls for historical accuracy, cause and effect, contemporary realities or even simple truths, especially if conflicting with German or Euro-American perspective. I designate “Euro-American” primarily because just American suggests white American, whether its white Americans or Germans saying it. Here, if they know you are from America and you’re black, you’re just black, but they’ll also say black German, black American, and so on, but whites from the USA are just American. That should tell you something…if you’re honest.
In the intro image, a week long children’s workshop about Brazil is taking place in Berlin, which doubtless (unlike smaller towns) will have actual Brazilian people involved to “demonstrate” Brazilian “rituals”. The programme was created and written by the well meaning but Euro-heavy Labyrinth team, to provide free entertainment for children, particularly refugees. If they are so open-minded why are not minority educators on the team, as there are many well educated ethnic professionals across Berlin. Wouldn’t fit the paradigm?
There’s a strong component of “silencing” or speaking for POC, when white people take it upon themselves to speak and decide for others, in particular minorities, with little or no input from those minorities. It’s a form of patting themselves on the backs and receiving praise from European peers on how good and progressive they are, being the saviors for poor (predominantly POC), without understanding why this model is deeply problematic and smacks of what called “The White Savior” syndrome. Historical context, power dynamics, objectification and racist structures.
Mexican restaurants are supposed to have Mexican music playing, immediately recognizable “Mexican” music, and stereotypical Mexican persons speaking Spanish (a European language, while the country itself has over 60 indigenous languages being spoken, more than all of Europe!). Black Americans should be called “Bro!”, know hip-hop and rap music references and offered “fist bumps” so they can feel cool and hip when they are returned. Eastern Asians, be they Korean, Japanese or Chinese, should be agreeable at all times, rather shy and apologetic, naivé but intelligent. That’s allowed, it’s non-threatening.
Asians might be mentally allowed to be engineers, even doctors, while Mexicans should likely be working at restaurants, central or South Americans must always funny and cheerful, and Native Americans are dancers in western theme parks or visiting for a show. Even if you wear a business suit, if you’re African, you may be a drug dealer. Higher education? Why would minorities do that? It’s not like you’ll get anywhere in German society besides working strictly in a capacity where your ethnicity is why you are there in the first place.
Managers, police officers, working in social services or on company boards or even playing them on TV or in film? Highly unlikely. Comments like “but you’re (supply ethnicity)” abound, which is the incredulous sometimes confused equivalent of “No”, when they don’t want to actually say “no” because of what that would strongly indicate about their self, their company or society. If you give any criticism they will blow a “How dare you?!” gasket.
Above all, whatever you are as non-Germans, you should be ready and willing to supply whatever emotional boost they need, satisfy and answer their every query, while being careful to self-deprecatingly keep them in their comfort zone (no challenges or return questions!) while they lay layer after layer of stereotypes on you. Or alternatively (or strategically interspersed) they know all about you because they read it in a book or so-and-so has a ______friend, and they will argue until doomsday they are right because_________.
So their children learn objectification, stereotypes, and attitudes and behaviors that can lead to cultural appropriation and dehumanization, and which continue the cycle of imbalance of racism, power and perception. It all starts in childhood.
So why do minorities stay in Germany, with the widespread “them vs. others, normal vs. others” mentality? What is the appeal, the attraction, the thrill? For those I talked to, it isn’t because Europe or Europeans are so great. It is often more attributable to the communities of color that form in support and protection of each other, a response to being stereotyped, misrepresented and discriminated against so widely in society. In the case of Natives or other POC, you receive it in your “home” country, too, because white people there are immigrant/invaders living on stolen ground. Where can you ever be treated equally, respectfully, humanly?
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.
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.
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….”
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“.
You must be logged in to post a comment.