Tag Archives: Colonialism

For Whites Only? Return of looted bones to Namibia behind closed doors

[Update to this blog post under Receipt of Bones Boycotted].

Joint Press Release of the International NGO Alliance “Genocide has no statute of limitations!” and the Central Council of the African Community in Germany

For Whites Only?

Germany excludes descendants of colonized people and critical public from return of further stolen bones to Namibia in Berlin Charité. 120 NGOs demand apology and reparations for colonial land theft and genocide in Namibia. Central Council of the African Community in Germany demands return of all bones and cultural treasures appropriated in Africa.

Continue reading

Thousands of dead in Berlin? PM of “No Humboldt 21! Moratorium for the Humboldt Forum in the Berlin Palace”.

The member organizations of the international NGO alliance “No Humboldt 21!” urge the German government, the Berlin Senate and the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin/Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (SMB/SPK) to increase transparency regarding non-European human remains and cultural objects with special significance for the societies of origin. Continue reading

(In)Security in postcolonial development education in Germany

Last year, two glokal members participated in a roundtable on “What Do We Teach?”. How Do We Teach It? Critical Pedagogies and World Politics” at the International Studies Association Annual Convention in San Francisco, USA. The event resulted in a collection of publications that has now been published in the journal Critical Studies on Security. Here you can find the abstract of our article “(In)Security in postcolonial development education in Germany” (unfortunately it is not freely available, but only for much, much money).

Berlin Mohrenstrasse to be renamed Nelson-Mandela-Strasse

Press release of the NGO Alliance “No Humboldt 21! Moratorium for the Humboldt Forum in the Berlin Palace” and the Global Afrikan Congress, Berlin, 13.12.2013

The international campaign alliance “No Humboldt 21!”, supported by more than 80 non-governmental organizations, and the Global African Congress strongly reject the current proposal of the “Stiftung Zukunft Berlin” to name the square in front of the controversial Humboldt Forum in the Berlin Palace after Nelson Mandela. Instead, they emphatically renew the demand already made in 2004 by numerous African associations in Berlin to rename Mohrenstrasse, which dates back to the Brandenburg-Prussian trade in enslaved people in the late 17th century, Nelson-Mandela-Strasse.

“The attempt by the Stiftung Zukunft Berlin, which is involved in the Humboldt Forum, to rehabilitate the large-scale project, which has come under public criticism as neocolonial and Eurocentric, by creating a Nelson Mandela Square in front of it is as transparent as it is unacceptable,” says Christian Kopp of Berlin Postkolonial. “The name of the anti-apartheid fighter must not be misused as cosmetics for the controversial non-European collections of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, which also contain thousands of appropriated cultural treasures and human remains from forcibly colonized territories.”

Yonas Endrias of the Global Afrikan Congress emphasizes: “Already ten years ago, all African associations in Berlin jointly demanded the renaming of Mohrenstraße to Nelson-Mandela-Straße. The current name of the street, where enslaved minors from Africa lived who had to serve at the Brandenburg-Prussian court, is based on a racist foreign designation and violates the dignity of Black people in Berlin.”

Contact: Yonas Endrias, Global Afrikan Congress, endriasy@aol.com, 01799404690; Christian Kopp, “No Humboldt 21!” campaign, buero@berlin-postkolonial.de, 01799100976

Info: www.no-humboldt21.de

The Caribbean nations are demanding reparations

Members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have decided to promote actions to monitor the reparations for the genocide of the native people and slavery and call on the former colonizers (United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, etc. ) to apologize and compensate their former colonies for the colonial period. Colonialism Reparation supports this decision and provides background information.

News from NoHumboldt 21!

glokal is part of the alliance against the Humboldt Forum in the Berlin Palace. While criticism has so far been voiced more digitally, e.g. in a resolution that has already been signed by over 70 organizations and over 500 individuals, a series of exciting events around criticism of the Humboldt Forum will take place this fall. On 22.10. a central event will take place in the Werkstatt der Kulturen on the topic of “Prussian Cultural Heritage? Postcolonial and Development Perspectives on the Humboldt Forum – Dealing with Cultural Assets and Human Remains from the Colonial Era”. held. On 24.10. launches a series of dialogue forums with the event “No amnesty on Genocide!” at the House of Democracy.

On the political level, there was in the meantime a small inquiry of the Green Party Berlin to the Berlin Senate on the postcolonial discussion of the Humboldt Forum. Dr. Kwame Opuko questions the Berlin Senate’s response in a detailed article, “Did Germans Never Directly or Indirectly Hear Nigeria’s Demand for Return of Looted Artifacts?” and criticizes both the handling of colonial looted artifacts and the hypocritical political rhetoric.

Finally, we draw your attention to an open exchange of letters between Frank Holl and the No Humboldt 21! alliance. In his letter, the Humboldt biographer accused the campaign of portraying Alexander von Humboldt as a representative of European colonialism while suppressing his anti-colonial positions. In a letter of response, the alliance partners of No Humboldt 21! show in detail why its quotations, activities and basic attitude must very well be problematized from a postcolonial perspective.

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.

Statement on the feature “Musical Missionization. Baroque music from the jungle”.

On August 30, 2013, Deutschlandfunk broadcast the feature “Musikalische Missionierung. Baroque music from the jungle”. Lena Böllinger has written a letter in response to this, which we would like to make public herewith. Several organizations have signed it, including glocal.

Addendum: Judith Grümmer wrote a response for Deutschlandfunk, which you can find here.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I heard your August 30, 2013 feature “Musical Missionization. Baroque Music from the Jungle” on Deutschlandfunk. I am deeply appalled and outraged by the way colonialism and the related missionary activities of the Jesuits have been addressed. At no point in your feature is there a critical reflection on the connection between missionization, colonial history of violence, and racism. Instead, the feature attempts to whitewash and legitimize missionization as “soft colonization.” In doing so, it updates and reproduces colonial-racist stereotypes and white[1] superiority fantasies. Continue reading

Lüderitz goes to Namibia – and stays in Munich

In Nambia, two towns and a stretch of coastline were renamed last week by President Hifikepunye Pohamba. The names Lüderitz, Schuckmannsburg and the Caprivi Strip thus disappear from the map.

In Germany, on the other hand, colonial street names remain despite a variety of protests. In Munich, for example, the city council rejected a request by the Foreigners’ Advisory Council to rename streets named after colonial criminals and mass murderers. An alliance of civil society organizations and initiatives is now calling for a responsible decolonization of Munich’s street names.

Current exhibitions on colonial street names and the resistance against them can be found in Berlin, Hamburg and Munich.