Beginning the week of 10 October 2021, Survival International will conduct a series of discussions with Indigenous educators and others on the topic of colonialism and its on-going effects and mechanisms. Included in these discussions will be this documentary’s director, Red Haircrow, who is a psychologist, educator, and writer, who will join the host on 11 October.
Be sure to join Survival International’s social media accounts, such as Twitter and the German and English language Instagram profiles to learn more about the line-up. Also, visit their website and campaign description HERE.
Recently in Zeitwissen, a section within Die Zeit, one of the largest news sources in Germany, an article was published on the need of Indigenous knowledge in natural sciences to help salvage and repair the climate crisis, a large part of which nuevo European values and practices unleashed on our world. Myself and other Indigenous peoples were asked to comment on how Indigenous knowledge can be of use in natural sciences. Me being me, I came at it from a slightly different, but critically important angle.
“Like Indigenous cultures and peoples, Indigenous knowledge is often “primitized” and stereotyped in a Eurocentric way. Yet Indigenous knowledge and methodologies are based on equitable values beneficial to all life, and they have positive application for everything from psychology to astrophysics, education to engineering.”
“Wie indigene Kulturen und Gruppen wird auch indigenes Wissen oft “primitized” und stereotyp auf eurozentrische Weise dargestellt. Indigenes Wissen und indigene Methoden beruhen jedoch auf gerechten Werten, die allen Lebewesen zugute kommen, und haben positive Auswirkungen auf alle Bereiche von der Psychologie bis zur Astrophysik, von der Bildung bis zur Ingenieurwesen.”
Much of the time, the majority insists on minimizing, defending or ignoring such practices, and fail to see how such behaviors extend to all aspects of life, particularly industries and business world, too. Some completely disregard the obvious intersectionality of Indigenous racism, to other forms of normalized bigotry, prejudice and bias, and to sexism, ableism, Eurocentrism.
“Your credentials are quite nice, and yes, more psychologists are needed in Germany, but we don’t have any Native clients.”
What’s wrong with this statement? Yet I’ve heard it time and time again, from supposed educated and non-racist people. Simply being Native in Germany, unless you’re dancing (oh wait, it has to be “traditional in feathers!” or in a job considered not academic, often finds you unemployed, politely rejected, even gently rebuked by puzzled professionals who are mystified how you, a psychologist, educator, professional who happens to be Native (or some other “non-white”) practitioner could possibly help their almost exclusively white clients. As if you being Native (or non-white) you are only able to help persons like yourself, in the way many of those prejudiced limited and compartmentalize themselves, excluding “Others”.
As if simply being non-white makes you less professional, less relevant, less well-read or that your methods (as if you haven’t studied the same materials as they the same 10+ years) are primitive even dangerous! When in fact, IN ADDITION to that, you have the experiences, observations, knowledge and intellect beyond theirs. They also know many of their clients or patients, or even other staff who are white German are unapologetically prejudiced against “Others”. So there are also times where you might be hired, but your co-workers treat you abysmally with the flippant comment, “Well, what did you expect!” or your work and person are so underappreciated and criticized, the emotional burden takes it toll. They also do this to “their own” also who might also try to improve racist, sexist, ableist, Eurocentic situations. “To name is the problem is to become the problem.”
So in this, they are failing their clients, don’t really want the best or better for their clients. Think this stuff through. It matters. It really does, but especially in psychology where non-European peoples have suffered greatly at the hands of psychiatrists and psychologists, many of whom are entrenched or apologists of racial hierarchies and eugenics. A pattern and history Germany shares with the USA.
But not only that, the abuses, subtle and unsubtle derision, dismissal and minimization are also heaped upon their own peoples and demographic group. There are many, many reasons why so many people distrust and avoid psychologists unless at extremis. I’ve heard so many horror stories. And the German equivalent of the USA’s Psychological Association, literally says on their website, unless its white psychology methods or beliefs, its dangerous! Deep deep racism and Eurocentrism.
“I can’t help you. I don’t come from an immigrant background” is a phrase actually told an ethnic professional by their therapist, who had taken their experiences personally and become angry, as if the client’s speaking about the racism they daily experienced was attacking her, the psychologist. Too many “western” practitioners with egoism and value system of self-centeredness, competitive and skeptical retraumatize their own patients, whatever their background or heritage. (Reference.)
And, of course, this is across all industries in western society but particularly done in an often polite yet still inherently brutal Eurocentric way in Germany. Whether you’re trained as an artist, an engineer, or whatever, these fear based privileged practices that revel in stereotyping and (mis)labeling are a huge part of the continuing and actually rising normalized (and structual) racism, hate, xenophobia and selfishness especially in this time of Corona Pandemic.
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Simone Emmert, LL.M.Eur., who also teaches human rights in the Department of Christian Social Work at Friedensau Adventist University, will be the moderator. She will be in conversation with director D.S. Red Haircrow, BSc., MA, writer, educator, psychologist and filmmaker, as well as Manuel Ricardo Garcia, TransActivist, Photoartist and winner of the 2011 Pride Photo Award.
The event will take place online, mostly in English, on Tuesday, 3/23/2021 at 7pm on the Zoom platform. With the attached Zoom link you will get the access information.
After entering the waiting room you will be admitted.
You will need: PC/laptop/tablet or smartphone, stable internet connection, headset or alternatively headphones with microphone.
About the content:
“Forget Winnetou! Loving in the Wrong Way” (https://forgetwinnetou.com/) by Berlin-based director D.S. Red Haircrow, BSc., M.A. (https://redhaircrow.com/), (Writer, Psychologist, Educator & Filmmaker) is an award-winning documentary about racism, cultural appropriation and Eurocentrism from the perspective of Native Americans in Germany. In most films about Native Americans, European narratives or indigenous experiences in North America are rendered. This ignores the fact that Native Americans today also live in “Indian-crazy” Germany and are confronted with stereotypes based on Karl May’s Winnetou. The film will be made available as a vimeostream; participants admitted to the waiting room will be unlocked at the beginning of the screening.
Are you interested in hosting a screening for your organization, school or group? Vtape has a new pricing free for a one-time licensing fee. Please read more at their site, and read our FAQS page for helpful tips.
Vtape is our North American distributor offering us an open contract, we are still searching for a distributor specifically for Germany and Europe so more language options are possible for viewers. We are especially interested in DVD and Blu-ray distributors who offer options for individual buyers.
Red Haircrow, the director, is also available for lectures, discussions or panels on these are related topics. Read more about Mr. Haircrow’s professional background and research, which includes Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intergenerational Historical Trauma. Additionally, other participants in the film may also be available for events.
Our North American distributor, Vtape is an artist run, not-for-profit distributor committed to offering films to help create positive change and greater understanding between peoples. Why? Because the history and lives of Indigenous peoples have been misrepresented, misused and/or overlooked in western society, yet their treatment is indicative of the greatest injustice, inequity and inequality that is still being perpetuated not only against humans but against the earth itself.
“Forget Winnetou! Loving in the Wrong Way” is an award-winning documentary sharing the voices and perspectives of Natives and accurately informed persons who address these topics and more. Systemic racism, ableism, sexism, white supremacist ideology, Eurocentrism, cultural appropriation. These are all interconnected.
Our film is an honest and direct commentary not only of these issues, but the effects of apathy, minimization and ignoring how defending stereotyping or practices that harm, degrade and “other” continues the cycle of violence and erasure of marginalized and minoritized peoples and groups.
And how do we recreate, revive and renew our Earth, our spirits, our hearts, things that are critically necessary for our worlds survival? First, it is by recognizing, correcting and unlearning centuries of misinformation. Open your eyes. Open your hearts. Be a part of positive change that will benefit us all.
Watch trailers and extra scenes of the film at our Vimeo.
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.
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.
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….”
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….”
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“.