Tag Archives: colonial present

New: The fairy tale of eye level

We are pleased to announce our new brochure: The fairy tale of eye level. Power and Solidarity in North-South Partnerships

maerchenbroschuere_title page-216x300Eye level and partnership are phrases that are often used in North-South, solidarity or ‘development cooperation’. They are meant to signal progressiveness and demonstrate equality. But do the terms extend beyond rhetoric? What are the patterns of thinking and structures in North-South partnerships? What are the perspectives of the so-called southern partners on cooperation?
In the publication “Das Märchen von der Augenhöhe” (“The Fairy Tale of Eye Level”), glokal e.V. has brought together ten activists, committed people and NGO workers from the Global South and North to shed light on different aspects of NGO structures, school partnerships, voluntary services and solidarity work. A theoretical introduction makes the historical-political framework tangible, and a reflection and practice guide supports the analysis and transformation of the reader’s own engagement.

The brochure can be
be ordered from us.

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On the International Day for Reparations

October 12 has many meanings: Columbus Day, Día de la Raza, Indigenous Resistance Day, or International Day for Reparations. For this purpose, we want to point out a few events in short message format:

In Berlin, the Bundestag committees discussing the genocide of Herereo and Nama kept their doors closed to a group of genocide researchers from the Herero community from the USA, as did the Berlin Society for Anthropology, Ethnology and Prehistory (BGAEU). The press release of the campaign alliance Völkermord verjährt nicht can be found here.

In Caracas/Venezuela, the statue of Christopher Columbus was replaced with an anti-colonial statue , and in the U.S., work continues on Transforming Columbus Day. There is a recent article at Latino Rebels.

In Berlin, the blog “Rassismus_Verlernen: Kämpfe um Reparationen für Kolonialismus und Versklavungshandel” went online with first contributions. Recent posts by ColonialismReparation can be found here.


Tribunal instead of canonization

Tribunal Junipero Serra 091215The canonization of the missionary Junípero Serra by Pope Francis this week has once again brought the discussion about the connection between mission and colonialism into the world public. Already in advance there was a lot of protest from Native American organizations and activists. The American Indian Movement (AIM) in California held a tribunal for Serra in Los Angeles in which he was convicted of enslavement, torture, and participation in genocide, among other crimes. The Walk of Anchestors proclaimed a Day of Mourning on the day of canonization after a 650-mile pilgrimage in memory of the victims of missionization. An initiative around Norma Flores tried to prevent the canonization by petition. An interview with Flores can be found here.

For those interested in the connection between mission and colonialism, the film The Colonial Misunderstanding by Jean-Marie Teno is recommended.

Addendum: And here is the reference to a detailed background article by Indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.

1. International Day for Reparations Related to Colonialism / Journée internationale pour les réparations liées à la Colonisation

On October 12, 1492 Christopher Columbus arrived in the “New World”. The date marks the beginning of conquest and exploitation. A coalition of organizations and initiatives worldwide is calling for the first “International Day for Reparations Related to Colonialism” in 2013. glokal has signed the appeal. Here is a short excerpt from it:

Colonization is a global phenomenon: there is hardly a country in the world that has not been colonized, a colonizer, or both, such as the United States. Colonization is one of the phenomena that has most disrupted humanity. It has left a deep and lasting impression on all continents and the consequences of this are

  • demographic: there are millions of people who have been exterminated, deported, or sold into forced labor.
  • political: in Africa, America, Asia, and Oceania, cities, kingdoms and empires have disappeared. Traditional communities were gradually disrupted and subjected to European domination.
  • economic: the entire economic fabric of societies was brutally dismantled. Crops were looted and famines became more frequent. Dispossessed of their own wealth, those who were colonized were permanently immersed in a state of chronic poverty.
  • cultural: colonization destroyed many civilizations, languages, cultures and religions. Those who were colonized often lost their roots and their identity. The social image of the non-European was degraded and this has facilitated the development of racist theories, which has fuelled violence and discrimination of all kinds.
  • ecological: the introduction of technologies in the service of profit and productivity focused visions caused the ransacking of millions of hectares of forests, the wasting of natural resources, the pollution of whole regions and it has made the environment fragile and deteriorated public health. It has also helped to disrupt ecosystems and, of course, the most devastating effect of colonization from an ecological aspect is the increase of global warming.