Meeting with Dagmar Schultz and Ria Cheatom

Posted in Articles, Europe, Media Archive, Women on 2014-06-12 14:20Z by Steven

Meeting with Dagmar Schultz and Ria Cheatom

FemGeniuses: Where feminism meets genius!
2014-05-29

Kaimara Herron

It is only the first week of our stay in Berlin, but it feels like an eternity since my plane took-off from O’Hare. But this is certainly not a complaint. We have had the opportunity to do such amazing things in only a few short days, and we have so much more to do.

This morning, we started the day in the classroom at Frauenkreise to talk with Dagmar Schultz and Ria Cheatom about their film Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years, 1984 to 1992, which documents their lives as activists and their work in the Afro-German feminist movement. Melissa began our discussion by asking about Audre Lorde’s experiences living with cancer while continuing to work in Berlin. More specifically, Melissa was interested in Lorde’s use of holistic treatments in Berlin instead of conventional methods to treat her cancer. Dagmar’s response was that Lorde never wanted to stop working because it was, and continues to be, a necessary movement. Dagmar believes Berlin had become Lorde’s replacement for New York City, as her work in Berlin became central in her life…

…As the conversation moved along, we started talking about the first few meetings between Afro-German women and Audre Lorde. Ria offered an anecdote about how she had trouble accepting some of the women who attended these meetings as “real” Afro-Germans because of their really light skin and strong European facial features. The topic of color and skin tone was first brought to my attention while reading a section of May Ayim’s Blues in Black and White: A Collection of Essays, Poetry, and Conversations. In “White Stress/Black Nerves,” she briefly mentions how the benefits of privilege become more complicated when examining the experiences of Black and immigrant women based on skin tone…

Read the entire article here.

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JS-44.12: A Global Look at Mixed Marriage

Posted in Africa, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, Forthcoming Media, Live Events, Oceania, Social Science, South Africa on 2014-06-08 22:21Z by Steven

JS-44.12: A Global Look at Mixed Marriage

XVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology: Facing an Unequal Word: Challenges for Global Sociology
International Sociological Association
Yokohama, Japan
2014-07-13 through 2014-07-19

Wednesday, 2014-07-16, 18:00 JST (Local Time)
Room: 315

Erica Chito Childs, Sociology
Hunter College, City University of New York

Mapping attitudes toward intermarriage—who is and who is not an acceptable mate—offers an incisive means through which imaginings of belonging—race, ethnicity, nationhood, citizenship and culture—can be critically evaluated.  In particular, social constructions of race and difference involve discussions of purity, race identity and taboos against interracial sex and marriage. Drawing from qualitative interviews and ethnographic research in six countries on attitudes toward intermarriage, this paper explores these issues of intermarriage in a global context.  Through a comparison of qualitative data I collected in Australia, Brazil, Ecuador, Portugal, South Africa and the United States, I offer a theoretical framework and provide an empirical basis, to understand the concept of intermarriage and what it tells us about racial boundaries in a global context. For example, in the United States, the issue of intermarriage is discussed as interracial with less attention paid to inter-religious or inter-ethnic, to the point that those concepts are rarely used.  Similarly in South Africa, despite the end of apartheid decades ago, marriage across racial categories is still highly problematized and uncommon.  Yet globally there is less consensus of what constitutes intermarriage—sometimes intercultural, interethnic, or any number of words with localized meanings.  In South America and Australia, the debate seems to revolve more around indigenous status, citizenship and national identity such as who is Australian or who is Ecuadoran?  As indigenous populations rally for rights and representation how does this change the discourse on what intermarriage mean?  Looking globally, what differences matter? What boundaries are most salient in determining the attitudes of different groups toward intermarriage?  How are various communities responding to intermarriage, particularly if there are a growing number of “mixed” families? This research on attitudes toward intermarriage adds to our understanding of constructions of race, racism and racialized, gendered and sexualized beliefs and practices globally.

For more information, click here.

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Mo Asumang: Confronting racism face-to-face

Posted in Articles, Europe, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2014-06-01 18:21Z by Steven

Mo Asumang: Confronting racism face-to-face

BBC News Magazine
2014-05-13

Mo Asumang is the daughter of a black Ghanaian father and a white German mother.

As a well-known TV presenter in Germany she became the target of racist extreme right-wingers and neo-Nazis, who based their attacks on Asumang’s “non-Aryan” background.

So she decided to look into the racist ideology and to find out more about those who consider themselves “Aryan“.

In her new documentary, The Aryans, she confronts racists, both in Germany and among the Ku Klux Klan in America.

Mo Asumang spoke to BBC News about her experiences making the film…

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Technologies of Belonging: The Absent Presence of Race in Europe

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Europe, Media Archive, Social Science on 2014-05-22 01:04Z by Steven

Technologies of Belonging: The Absent Presence of Race in Europe

Science Technology Human Values
Volume 39, Number 4 (July 2014)
pages 459-467
DOI: 10.1177/0162243914531149

Amade M’charek, Associate Professor of Anthropology
University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Katharina Schramm, Lecturer
Institute for Social Anthropology
Martin Luther Universität, Halle-Wittenberg, Germany

David Skinner, Research Convener; Reader in Sociology
Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, United Kingdom

In many European countries, the explicit discussion of race as a biological phenomenon has long been avoided. This has not meant that race has become obsolete or irrelevant all together. Rather, it is a slippery object that keeps shifting and changing. To understand its slippery nature, we suggest that race in Europe is best viewed as an absent presence, something that oscillates between reality and nonreality, which appears on the surface and then hides underground. In this special issue, we explore how race has been configured in different practices and how race-based identities and technologies are entwined in various European settings.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Culture File – Race and the Irish Screen

Posted in Audio, Communications/Media Studies, Europe, Interviews, Media Archive on 2014-05-16 18:59Z by Steven

Culture File – Race and the Irish Screen

RTÉ Lyric FM
2014-05-15

Fin Keegan, Host

Zélie Asava, Lecturer and Programme Director of Video and Film
Dundalk Institute of Technology, Louth, Ireland

What can the Irish horror movie tell us about attitudes to race? And can a mixed race guard [police] in an Irish crime series, ever be just a guard? Dr. Asava is the author of Black Irish Onscreen: Representing Black and Mixed-Race Irish Identities on Film and TV (Peter Lang, 2013).


Download the interview here.

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Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years 1984 to 1992 by Dagmar Schultz (review)

Posted in Articles, Biography, Book/Video Reviews, Europe, Gay & Lesbian, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Women on 2014-05-05 17:30Z by Steven

Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years 1984 to 1992 by Dagmar Schultz (review)

African Studies Review
Volume 57, Number 1, April 2014
pages 237-238
DOI: 10.1353/arw.2014.0038

Patricia-Pia Célérier, Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies
Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York

Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years 1984 to 1992 is a 79-minute documentary in English and German, directed and produced by Dagmar Schultz. An academic and close friend of Lorde’s, Schultz also co-edited (with May Opitz and Katharina Oguntoye) the book Farbe Bekennen: Frauen auf den Spuren ihrer Geschichte (1986; translated as Showing our Colors: Afro-German Women Speak Out, University of Massachusetts Press, 1991), which marked the beginning of the “Afro-German movement.” Schultz contributed her own archival video and audio recordings and footage to the documentary, adding testimonies from Lorde’s colleagues, students, and friends. Released in 2012, twenty years after Lorde’s death, Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years 1984 to 1992 is an homage to the African American writer’s tremendous contributions as well as a useful complement to two other documentaries: A Litany for Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde (1995) by Ada Gray Griffin and Michelle Parkerson, and The Edge of Each Other’s Battles: The Vision of Audre Lorde (2002) by Jennifer Abod. Schultz’s film has attracted significant attention and received the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Barcelona Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.

Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years 1984 to 1992 focuses on an understudied period in the life of the prolific author and activist, the time when she traveled between the U.S. and Germany to lecture and visit friends. It features her relationship to the black diaspora and her mentoring role in the development of the antiracist struggle and the Afro-German movement before and after the German reunification. In true feminist fashion, the documentary links the personal and the political, representing Lorde’s ongoing fight against cancer, her inspiring presence at feminist consciousness-raising meetings, her carefree dancing at multiracial lesbian parties, and her partnership with the poet Gloria I. Joseph.

The film highlights Lorde’s part in building bridges among women of color, feminist, and LGBT social justice movements, in “hyphenating” black Germans. In doing so, it contextualizes the history of major cultural shifts in the late ’80s/early ’90s in Germany. It speaks to audiences both familiar and unfamiliar with Lorde’s work by articulating themes that are at the core of the writer’s production: for instance, the meaning of intimacy and sharing, and the radical role a creative understanding of difference plays in personal and intellectual growth.

Although valuable as a testimonial and politically committed film, Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years 1984 to 1992 unfortunately lacks a strong coherent form, its point of view neither sufficiently clear nor technically grounded. Because the filmmaker does not provide a theoretical or narrative perspective (apart from documenting Lorde’s life), the archival images and interviews overtake the film, which in turn seems dated, as if it had been produced twenty years ago. The viewer is not pulled into the story early enough, and the editing does not compensate imaginatively for the somewhat haphazard manner with which the documentary proceeds.

Should we consider, nevertheless, that the historical and political value of such a film overrides issues of filmic quality and narrative coherence, especially because it was made on a tight budget and is a labor of love? A documentary cannot be considered as merely reproducing cultural (feminist, Afro-German, LGBT) meaning, but also as creating (new) meaning. Unfortunately, Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years 1984 to 1992 does not sufficiently demonstrate an awareness of the different ways of understanding and theorizing women’s lives that are available today. As a recording of social life and a travelogue, it does accomplish the two goals of the documentary genre: it informs and educates. Like feminist films of the 1970s, it celebrates the clamor of women’s voices and the rising up of women of color and gay women. It sheds light on the diversity of women’s lifestyles and choices and the issues in gay politics. But how do these images of Lorde inform our current understanding of feminism and feminist practices? What spaces does Lorde’s legacy occupy today? These questions are not answered by the film. In addition, because it does not suggest an awareness of the discursive and technical changes that have advanced the…

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An Afropean Journey

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Europe, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2014-04-21 01:35Z by Steven

An Afropean Journey

Africa is a Country
2014-03-21

Johny Pitts

A few years ago, on a snowy January evening, a stranger mistook me for someone he had seen the previous week, aboard an evening train heading to Frankfurt. The moment lasted seconds, but our brief encounter would serve as a catalyst for what became a lifelong journey of (self-)discovery.

As a mixed race teenager growing up on a council estate in the north of England, it was the first time I contemplated a self-image tied with any sort of elegance. Who knows what this other mixed race guy with an afro was like, or why he was going to Frankfurt, or where he came from. For me it was the notion that a stranger stopped me on the street that day, because he thought it was plausible I was a black European traveller. One minute racing through the wintry German evening on a train, the next walking down a street in Sheffield. It seemed to offer a glimmer of a new, positive identity, and ever since I’ve been searching for that person on the 7.30 train to Frankfurt, within and without.

Until that moment I’d spent much of my teenage years divided, existing in the strange liminal terrain between the parochial white, working class north of England, and ghettoised African American Hip-Hop culture.

Growing up in Sheffield, England’s third largest district, I got the sense that Britain had just about come to terms with calling black people British, and a lot of the racism I witnessed was now being directed towards Asian communities. Inevitably though, I knew I was always on the fringes of British national identity. If there was an argument or a fight in the school playground, words like nigger or wog would rear their ugly heads again. I sensed that prejudice still lurked in the white British subconscious.

Things became more subtle: I was sort of English, almost British, kind of European and because of this, I started to seek out answers about my European identity in relation to my black experience. The problem was that nothing around me resonated, really. Black Britain was still largely seen as Caribbean, despite the fact that the mixed race community was the fastest growing ethnic group in the country, and African migrants began their steady rise to becoming the predominant black presence in Britain by 2011. More than that though, where I grew up it seemed the black community used the aesthetics of gangsta rap as a way of glamorising the destitution, the alienation, and the ugliness of their reality…

Read the entire article here.

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Interview with Carole Brennan from Mixed Race Irish

Posted in Articles, Audio, Europe, Interviews, Media Archive, Social Work on 2014-04-04 02:08Z by Steven

Interview with Carole Brennan from Mixed Race Irish

Een Vlaming in Ierland/ A Fleming in Ireland
2014-03-28

Roos Demol

It has been quite a week in Ireland, with the new problems for Mr Shatter, the news that over 2000 phone calls were taped in Garda offices around the country, which could bring a lot of current and old court cases in jeopardy,the press had a busy time and mr. Shatter is very troubled.

But that hasn’t affected our normal every day lives.

However, since I started my (voluntay) job with the online radio, Irish Radio International, where I have my own show, The New Rebels, aimed at the immigrant society here and their families abroad and since I have touched the problem of racism, I am regularly confronted with some very difficult truths.

It is of course easy to ignore all that and keep on blogging about all the good things in Ireland (of which there are many), but I think we all have a repsonsibiloity in revealing truth, however unpleasant that truth may be.

I connected with a lady from London, Carole Brennan, who is a co-founder of the recently established Mixed Race Irish group, an association of Irish people with African dads and Irish mothers, born in the 50s, 60s and 70s, and often raised in industrial schools here in Ireland, where they were often psychologically, physically and even sexually abused…

Listen to the interview here.

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Image Matters: Archive, Photography, and the Making of the African Diaspora in Europe by Tina M. Campt (review)

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Europe, Media Archive on 2014-03-25 18:10Z by Steven

Image Matters: Archive, Photography, and the Making of the African Diaspora in Europe by Tina M. Campt (review)

Callaloo
Volume 37, Number 1, Winter 2014
pages 169-171
DOI: 10.1353/cal.2014.0006

Nicosia Shakes
Brown University

Campt, Tina M., Image Matters: Archive, Photography, and the African Diaspora in Europe (Durham: Duke University Press, 2012)

In Image Matters, Tina Campt uses a remarkable archive of vernacular photography to analyze processes of black subjectivity in early-twentieth-century Europe. Defined by the author as a genre of “everyday image-making” (7), vernacular photography is considered an important archival resource for understanding how blacks have historically constructed self-images that affirm their worth in societies that devalue their humanity (see also Brian Wallis and Deborah Willis, African American Vernacular Photography 2006). Campt’s reading of the photographs centers on three main registers through which they interact with the viewer: the visual, the haptic, and the sonic. Blending her analysis of these registers with historical research and the findings from her fieldwork in Germany and England, Campt treats these images as more than historical objects. They are “statements that express how ordinary individuals envisioned their sense of self, their subjectivity, and their social status” (7).

Campt engages mainly with the field of Black/African Diaspora Studies in three ways. Firstly, she departs from the prevailing “roots versus routes” conceptualizations that tend to focus on dispersion from a homeland and transnational interactions. Instead, she emphasizes black people’s inscription of themselves into their adopted countries. Secondly, by focusing on Afro-Germans and Afro-Caribbean British immigrants—two very distinct groups—Campt underscores the importance of viewing the African Diaspora as diverse, rather than as a homogenous group. Thirdly, she engages with the question of how the construction of the archives affects the conceptualization of the Diaspora. Here, the work of Michel-Rolph Trouillot, who Campt references, is very relevant. In his influential text Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995), Trouillot discusses the omissions that occur in various stages of archive construction, which ultimately affect how history is written. Campt infers that the history of the African Diaspora has been affected by silences within the visual archives. As such, the existence of certain diasporic groups such as Afro-Germans appears as an interruption in the mainstream narrative.

The book is divided into two sections, with three chapters bridged by two “interstitial” essays. Part 1, “Family Matters: Sight, Sense, Touch,” focuses on the biracial offspring of African men and German women, and builds on the research in Campt’s previous book, Other Germans: Black Germans and the Politics of Race, Gender, and Memory in the Third Reich (2005). The first chapter, “Family Touches” focuses primarily on Hans Hauck and to a lesser extent, the brothers, Mandenga, Manga, and Ekwin Ngando. There are multiple photographs of Hauck posing with his white German family as a child, and many of him as a soldier in the German army. These are juxtaposed with similar images of the Ngando brothers. The military images are shocking considering the popular conceptualization of the Third Reich military as an Aryan space commensurate with the doctrine of Aryan superiority. The fact that non-Aryans participated in the army speaks volumes about the nuances in the German state’s performance of Aryan superiority, even while subjecting non-Aryans to violent repression (see also Bryan Mark Rigg, Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers 2002). Hauck was sterilized as a child along with many other non-Aryans in a secret campaign carried out by the Gestapo; yet, he was allowed to join the Hitler Youth as a boy and later, the army. Like the Ngandos, he was denied full citizenship rights even while being required to perform military responsibilities for the state. Campt highlights an important point regarding the tension between how the images register and divergent historical facts. For example, the fact that Hauck’s grandmother was the one who gave the Gestapo permission to sterilize him troubles our reading of the image depicting loving family embraces between the two. Also, though the experiences of the Ngando brothers were similar to Hauck’s, the specificities of their lives cautions against a general narrative of black penalization in Germany. For example, Manga had a child with a white woman, Hertha Pilisch, in 1943, and later married her after the fall of the Nazi regime. Thus, unlike Hauck, Manga was not sterilized, and violated one of the fundamental rules of Nazism without detection for several years.

Hans Hauck will probably stand…

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Global Mixed Race

Posted in Africa, Anthologies, Anthropology, Asian Diaspora, Books, Canada, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Europe, Forthcoming Media, Social Science, United Kingdom, United States on 2014-03-20 15:07Z by Steven

Global Mixed Race

New York University Press
March 2014
357 pages
Cloth ISBN: 9780814770733
Paper ISBN: 9780814789155

Edited by:

Rebecca Chiyoko King-O’Riain, Senior Lecturer
National University of Ireland, Maynooth

Stephen Small, Associate Professor of African American Studies
University of California, Berkeley

Minelle Mahtani, Associate Professor in the Department of Human Geography and the Program in Journalism
University of Toronto, Scarborough

Miri Song, Professor of Sociology
University of Kent

Paul Spickard, Professor of History and Affiliate Professor of Black Studies, Asian American Studies, East Asian Studies, Religious Studies, and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies
University of California, Santa Barbara

Patterns of migration and the forces of globalization have brought the issues of mixed race to the public in far more visible, far more dramatic ways than ever before. Global Mixed Race examines the contemporary experiences of people of mixed descent in nations around the world, moving beyond US borders to explore the dynamics of racial mixing and multiple descent in Zambia, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, Okinawa, Australia, and New Zealand.  In particular, the volume’s editors ask: how have new global flows of ideas, goods, and people affected the lives and social placements of people of mixed descent?  Thirteen original chapters address the ways mixed-race individuals defy, bolster, speak, and live racial categorization, paying attention to the ways that these experiences help us think through how we see and engage with social differences. The contributors also highlight how mixed-race people can sometimes be used as emblems of multiculturalism, and how these identities are commodified within global capitalism while still considered by some as not pure or inauthentic. A strikingly original study, Global Mixed Race carefully and comprehensively considers the many different meanings of racial mixedness.

Contents

  • Global Mixed Race: An Introduction / Stephen Small and Rebecca C. King-O’Riain
  • Part I: Societies with Established Populations of Mixed Descent
    • 1. Multiraciality and Census Classification in Global Perspective / Ann Morning
    • 2. “Rider of Two Horses”: Eurafricans in Zambia / Juliette Bridgette Milner-Thornton
    • 3. “Split Me in Two”: Gender, Identity, and “Race Mixing” in the Trinidad and Tobago Nation / Rhoda Reddock
    • 4. In the Laboratory of Peoples’ Friendship: Mixed People in Kazakhstan from the Soviet Era to the Present / Saule K. Ualiyeva and Adrienne L. Edgar
    • 5. Competing Narratives: Race and Multiraciality in the Brazilian Racial Order / G. Reginald Daniel and Andrew Michael Lee
    • 6. Antipodean Mixed Race: Australia and New Zealand / Farida Fozdar and Maureen Perkins
    • 7. Negotiating Identity Narratives among Mexico’s Cosmic Race / Christina A. Sue
  • Part II: Places with Newer Populations of Mixed Descent
    • 8. Multiraciality and Migration: Mixed-Race American Okinawans, 1945–1972 / Lily Anne Yumi Welty
    • 9. The Curious Career of the One-Drop Rule: Multiraciality and Membership in Germany Today / Miriam Nandi and Paul Spickard
    • 10. Capturing “Mixed Race” in the Decennial UK Censuses: Are Current Approaches Sustainable in the Age of Globalization and Superdiversity? / Peter J. Aspinall and Miri Song
    • 11. Exporting the Mixed-Race Nation: Mixed-Race Identities in the Canadian Context / Minelle Mahtani, Dani Kwan-Lafond, and Leanne Taylor
  • Global Mixed Race: A Conclusion / Rebecca C. King-O’Riain
  • Bibliography
  • About the Contributors
  • Index
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