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….”

“When I Think About #America” – New Article at Medium – A Personal & Societal Perspective on #Equality #USHistory #Immigration

FULL ARTICLE AT MEDIUM:
“When I think about America, I think of the multi-millions of Indigenous peoples who were killed, who were raped, who had their children ripped from their arms or who died from diseases deliberately introduced. I think of the African peoples torn from their lands, their cultures, their professions and histories, drowning in the ocean, suffocating in a press of bodies, beaten bloody beneath a burning sun, being sold and treated worse than animals. These are my ancestors.

When I think about America, I think of the incoming immigrants, the settlers, the European peoples who were abused, misused, demeaned and struggling in their own homelands, who heard the promise of land and a better life and came. Away from structural oppression and violent conversion that created desperate, vicious souls willing to do anything for wealth and power. I think of the Europeans who incorporated and founded an institution that decided what type of life and which lives were worthy and good, and which others were not. They recreated the systems and structures of elitism, oppression and bigotry they had fled….”

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“.

#Documentary Screening and Q&A -Why are Native/Indigenous issues too often left out of #racism discussions in #Germany?

Artwork by Natasha John

In cooperation with xart splitta, a screening and discussion at their location in Berlin. Facebook event page.

  • Where: Hasenheide 73, 10967 Berlin, Germany
  • When: 21 November 2019
  • Time: 7pm-10pm

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 inter-sectional 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. Guests: TBA.


More about xart splitta: “xart splitta was founded in 2012 and is a non-profit association working in the field of intersectionality, antidiscrimination and (historical) political education. We work interdisciplinary and our formats and offers range from workshops and consultations, art & cultural productions to public discussions, conferences and symposia.”

Our #Interview on #WDR’s “ZeitZeichen” is now Available Online: “Indian Citizenship Act”

In German and some English, the interview conducted by Claudia Friedrich introduced or continued discussion about today’s ramifications of the Indian Citizenship Act. While many Germans and Americans downplay the relevance of this history, and choose to ignore the implications today, Eurocentric attitudes and behaviors continue to be emulated. Obviously. More people may simply be ignorant on the entire situation, because these details are ignored even as they appropriate Native cultural customs and traditions for self-gratification. We have to look deeper at the effects of such behavior, on both Natives and non-Natives, and what is the root cause. LISTEN HERE.

An article by host, Claudia Friedrich can be found at her website here

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.

“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.

Our Film Excerpt in Deutsches Hygiene Museum’s New Exhibition on Race – May 19, 2018 to Jan. 6, 2019

Pleased to announce our small part in the upcoming new exhibition on race at the Deutsches Hygiene Museum in Dresden, Germany. Some of our film footage will be part of a critically needed discussion on the origins of the race myth, and the subsequent creation and uses of stereotypes within the white supremacist power structures and institutional racism that is standard operating procedure for European run countries, (descendants or directly) wherever they are in the world. Facebook event.

The exhibition will be available to the public, 19 May 2018- 6 January 2019.