Press release of the alliance “Völkermord verjährt nicht!” from 13.06.2016:
The alliance “Völkermord verjährt nicht!” welcomes the criticism of the President of the German Bundestag Prof. Norbert Lammert on the lack of an official recognition of the German genocide against the Ovaherero and Nama 1904-08 by the German Bundestag expressed on 12.6.2016 in the ZDF program “Berlin direkt”.
With his reference to regret and embarrassment, the Bundestag president addresses, albeit in highly restrained language, serious failures of official German policy. The longstanding refusal of successive federal governments to recognize the genocide in Namibia remains an indictment of the Federal Republic of Germany and in no way fits its self-image as the “world champion of remembrance” and the associated exemplary critical approach to its own history. It is shameful that German politicians have to accept this omission from Turkish President Erdoğan in the same breath as his racist and abusive insults of members of the Bundestag. Here, the German government, as well as successive majorities in the Bundestag, have been shockingly caught flat-footed by decades of refusal to deal honestly with Germany’s colonial past.
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.
The 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.
Following Germany’s insistence that Turkey recognize the genocide against the Armenian population, numerous public figures are also demanding that Germany officially recognize and apologize for the 1904-08 genocide against the OvaHerero and Nama people in what is now Namibia.
On the occasion of the 100th On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the end of the colony “German Southwest Africa” on July 9, 2015, more than 150 renowned representatives from politics and science, churches and culture, from the Black community and NGOs went public with the joint appeal “Genocide is genocide!
The appeal can be signed here and there is more information on the campaign website.
Next Saturday, 28.2. the 9th commemorative march in memory of the African victims of enslavement, human trafficking, colonialism and racist violence will take place in Berlin, called by an alliance around the Central Council of the African Community.
In this context also the reference to the current petition of the Ovaherero and Nama with the demand for reparations for the genocide of 1904-1908.
With an exciting and very extensive program, Berlin’s Ballhaus Naunynstraße theater is devoting itself until February 2015 to visions and memories on the occasion of the Berlin Conference of 1884/1885. The following trailer provides an introduction to “We are tomorrow”. Click here for the program.
Yesterday the German tour of the film“Concerning Violence – Nine Scenes from the Anti-Imperialistic Self Defense” by Göran Hugo Olsson started. The film is a visual underscore of Frantz Fanon’s 1961 anti-colonial manifesto “The Damned of the Earth.” Historical footage is combined with excerpts of Fanon’s text spoken by Lauryn Hill and embedded by a foreword by Gayatri C. Spivak.
The film has been awarded the film prize “cinema fairbinds“The film has been awarded the prize. On the page of the ministry it says: “With the award, the BMZ honors films that in an outstanding way invite current dialogue on particular aspects of the North-South relationship.” With this, the BMZ underlines the importance of colonialism, racism and capitalism criticism for current debates on development cooperation.
A list of all performances in Germany can be found here.
For the next four years, the world is celebrating the Centenary of World War I, and once again Africa is not invited to the party. This project a attempts to tell the stories of Africans’ involvement in the Great War. For example, throughout the East Africa campaign, the longest and deadliest part of the war on the continent by far, both Britain and Germany relied heavily on porters, to the tune of four per one soldier. This translated into one million Africans under British command carrying, cooking, cleaning, and dying of exhaustion, malnutrition and disease, in a guerrilla war of short raids and long treks from present-day Kenya to Zambia over the course of four years. In Germany, berlin postkolonial contributes to challenging Europe’s colonial amnesia with a project that questions the idea that the war only lasted four years and rather embeds it in the longer history of Europe’s colonial endeavours.
Self-organizations of Black and African people as well as postcolonial initiatives protest against their exclusion in the preparation of the current Senate concept for coming to terms with Hamburg’s “colonial heritage”. Continue reading
The international NGO alliance “Genocide has no statute of limitations!” reported last week:
“Scandal in Windhoek: Herero and Nama Boycott Reception of Bones from Berlin
Around 7 a.m. today, the bones of 35 African people – among them victims of the genocide against the Herero and Nama – who were taken to Germany for racist research during the colonial era, arrived in the Namibian capital Windhoek. At 10 a.m., government had invited the concerned ethnic groups and their traditional leaders to the Parliament Garden, where about 300 people gathered. Nevertheless, half of the chairs remained empty.