In an open letter, historian and teacher Regina Richter explains why she is leaving the Konferenz für Geschichtsdidaktik – Verband der Geschichtsdidaktikerinnen und Geschichtsdidaktiker Deutschlands e.V.. She is not alone in her criticism and protest. Several stakeholders left the conference.
Yesterday we sent our open letter to the Klett publishing house on the discontinuation of the I*** booklets. More than 200 signatories from schools, politics, academia and civil society from Germany and abroad have signed our demands and oppose the discriminatory and stereotypical portrayal of Native Americans in “Meine Indianerhefte” published by Klett Verlag. On our online portal mangoes&bullets we have compiled a series of further materials and background literature.
On February 6, there was a community statement by Black scholars and organizations in which a radical critique of Black Studies Bremen was voiced.
“We, the undersigned here, condemn the manner in which Black Studies is being mobilized and pressed into service at the University of Bremen. Our critique is specifically directed at the organization, handling, and planned implementation of a Creative UnitNew Black Diaspora Studies: Ethical and Aesthetic Challenges of the 21st Century. […]
Apart from an antiquated understanding of gender that certainly cannot be called intersectional, current hiring practices constitute blatant affirmative action for white academics, while the German academic enterprise systematically excludes Black scholars and scholars of color and can continue to do so due to nonexistent legal mechanisms that would ensure equal participation of underrepresented/marginalized groups in university life as students and as faculty members.”
As a first consequence to the demands, the research group Black Knowledges (formerly Black Studies) disbanded yesterday. The group writes that it accepts the criticism, stating, “It has become clear to us that the Black Knowledges research group is part of the problem of racism rather than part of its solution.”
A joint working group of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK) published the Orientation Framework for Global Development Education in 2007. This has emerged in recent years as a frame of reference for (extra-) school activities of Global Learning and Education for Sustainable Development. In the last two years, the orientation framework has been revised and expanded by the working group, but without criticisms v.a. from postcolonial and migrant-diasporic perspectives, which have been repeatedly a.o. on joint panel participations, inquiries, publications on power- and racism-critical analyses to the current orientation framework were brought in. Now, since mid-July 2014, the revised version of the orientation framework has been available for public discussion on the Internet.
The association Korientation e.V., together with a large alliance of organizations and individuals, has written an open letter to the Heimathafen Neukölln, thus reigniting the public debate on anti-Asian racism:
“We have learned to our dismay that until February 04, 2014, over a longer period of time, despite complaints received, the Heimathafen Neukölln has shown in the context of its exhibition “I love NK” a picture that is undoubtedly hurtful to Asian people. In this photo, a blond white woman wearing a white Heimathafen T-shirt with the imprint “I love NK” can be seen in an East Asian-looking park. Her grinning face reproduces an old and very disparaging racist stereotype by pulling her eyes up into “slits” with her fingers. […]”
This year’s Weltweitwissen Congress, entitled “Changing Perspectives – Nationwide Congress on Global Learning and Education for Sustainable Development,” took place January 16-18 at the Haus der Wirtschaft Baden-Württemberg in Stuttgart. To the dismay of many attendees, the photo exhibition for this year’s STIHL erotic calendar (attention trigger warning) was prominently displayed in the foyer. This year’s calendar (circulation 900,000) of the Swabian chainsaw manufacturer, which has been around for 40 years(!) with similar discriminatory images, is described as follows:
“Inspired by fascinating night shots of wild animals, the interplay between femininity and technology is staged as a nocturnal encounter in “Unique Encounters.” Caught by the light of the camera, women move like shy animals in the impressive nature of South Africa.”
NeRaS – Netzwerk Rassismus an Schule wrote an open letter to several textbook publishers on November 6, 2013, demanding that racist content be removed from textbooks. The letter can be read and signed by individuals and organizations here.
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.
The Pariah considers solidarity with Marika Schmiedt essential, because with her the entire Roma freedom movement is criminalized. Der Paria is particularly outraged about the complicity of the chairman of Austrian Roma Rudolf Sarközi with the Hungarian nationalists, which is why an open letter was written to Sarközi. Click here for the article by Der Paria.
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 superiority fantasies. Continue reading