Black History Month 2017


Black History Month 2017

Click here for the programme!

Every year in February, numerous countries celebrate BLACK HISTORY MONTH with events concerning Black culture and history. This international tradition dates back to 1926, when the Black historian DR. CARTER G. WOODSON initiated NEGRO HISTORY WEEK to educate the wider public in the USA about Black history.

And like every year, the multidisciplinary venue WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN is also offering up its stages and spaces to Black activists, artists and organisations who make Black culture, history and the present visible, free of charge.

A diverse and comprehensive programme is the result, with film screenings, concerts, readings, dance performances, panel discussions, parties and Caipoeira!



+++ PROGRAMME* +++

Fri 03.02.17 | Club | CONCERT | Black Music Renaissance 3 - Jaimeo Brown

Sat 04.02.17 | Hall | CONCERT | CD Release Moussa Coulibaly & Lonitiba

Thu 09.02.17 | Hall | FILM | Black Cuba II

Fri 10.02.17 | Club | CONCERT | Black Music Renaissance 3 - Machete Horns

Tue 14.02.17 | Hall | READING | Among whites - what it means to be privileged

Thu 16.02.17 | Hall | FILM | Black Futures Month screening

Fri 17.02.17 | Club | CONCERT | Black Music Renaissance 3 - Kalavan Quartet presented by Kelvin Sholar

Sat 18.02.17 | Club | FILM & PARTY | AfroFuturities

Sun 19.02.17 | Hall | DANCE | Roda de Capoeira Angola

Thu 23.02.17 | Hall | FILM | Arab Film Series: "Ali im Paradies/My name is not Ali"

Thu 23.02.17 | S1 | LECTURE | Black, gay, deaf. The untold story of Ludwig van Beethoven

Fri 24.02.17 | Café | READING & DISCUSSION | 30 year's of the Black Women's Movement

Fri 24.02.17 | S1 | PODIUM | It cannot be about us without us! Meet the Ovaherero and Nama in Berlin!

Fri 24.02.17 | Club | CONCERT| Black Music Renaissance 3 - Shebeen: a musical storytelling evening

Sat 25.02.17 | Hall | DANCE | Cuba meets Brazil

Sat 25.02.17 | Club | PARTY | 5th Anniversary of the Zentralrat der afrikanischen Gemeinde in Deutschland

Sun 26.02.17 | Hall | FILM & DISCUSSION | Black Lives Matter - England

Sun 26.02.17 | Club | READING | Black Tides - Maroula Blades

Tue 28.02.17 | S1, Café | READING | Writing Back: Literature & Histories from Black Perspectives

*Programme subject to change.


FRIDAY, 03 February 2017

Kelvin Sholar presents Jaimeo Brown: HipHop, Blues, Work Songs and Jazz

Doors open: 9:00 PM  | Club | Admission: € 15, € 10, € 5  / children up to 14: free entry
In cooperation with Kelvin Sholar
Jaimeo Brown is a drummer and producer whose music has been called “a mix of J Dilla, Robert Johnson, Deadmau5 and John Coltrane". For this BMR3 concert, Brown will blend his fascination with history with jazz and hip-hop influences.
In his group Transcendence Brown has joined forces with Grammay Award Winning producer/guitarist Chris Sholar (Kanye West, Jay Z) to pay tribute to American popular music's beginnings with upcoming his upcoming record ”Work Songs”: it centers around modern reworkings of archival recordings, like "Be So Glad," a track premiered exclusively on Billboard magazine which samples 1959 recordings of inmates at Mississippi's Parchman Farm Prison from legendary ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax.

Brown states that: "The common repetition used in black work songs creates a mantra that changes the feeling of manual labor," "This song "Be So Glad" attempts to really capture the emotions of that process, of experiencing a spiritual breakthrough in the midst of struggle.”

Jaimeo Brown: Drums, Electronics
Kelvin Sholar: Piano, Electronics

SATURDAY, 04 February 2017

Moussa Coulibaly & Lonitiba
KELEMANKA: CD Release Concert
Music from Burkina Faso mixed with jazz elements
Doors open: 8:30 PM | Club | Admission: €15 / 10 (concession) / €5 (with Berlin Pass) | Children up to 14 free
An event in cooperation with Moussa Coulibaly

Moussa Coulibaly is a Griot musician from Burkina Faso. With his band, LONITIBA, which translates as "It's never too late in life to learn", Moussa Coulibaly presents a variety of West African instruments, and with his musicians from three continents, unites traditional rhythms with jazz elements, creating an extraordinary ensemble. He is accompanied by Amadou Diatta from Senegal on Doundoun and Kenkeni and Crystov from Germany on the electric bass. Sarata Diallo-Koné from Burkina Faso sings, plays maracas and Kania and dances as well. Gabriel Cardenas, a multi-instrumentalist from Argentina, masterfully and subtly animates the ensemble with alto saxophone, electric clarinet and violin.

THURDAY, 09 February 2017

Black Cuba II: Panel & short films by Ricardo Bacallao & Yoel Diaz Vázquez
Start: 7:30 PM | Hall | Admission: € 5 
An event in cooperation with Ricardo Bacallao

The death of Fidel Castro, and the decision of Obama to end wet foot, dry foot, put the Cuban Community inside of the Island and abroad, in the middle of one perfect storm, but more than never is necessary to explore where the Black Cuban Community is heading.

Moderation: Bernd Pickert (taz Journalist)

Panel Guests:
Yoel Diaz Vazquez, video artist
Ricardo Bacallao, filmmaker
Diogenes Nodarse, musician


  • Ruido (17 minutes, Dir: Yoel Diaz, English subtitles)
  • Short Radiography of Hip hop in Cuba (20 minutes, Dir: Ricardo Bacallao, English subtitles)
  • Roberto Poveda (10 minutes, Dir: Ricardo Bacallao)
  • Cuban Music in Berlin (24 minutes, Dir: Ricardo Bacallao, English subtitles)

FRIDAY, 10 February 2017

Kelvin Sholar presents Machete Horns

Doors open: 9:00 PM | Club | Admission: € 15, € 10, € 5 / children up to 14: free entry
In cooperation with Kelvin Sholar

Machete Horns are two Cuban musicians of the new generation: the saxophonist Regis "KinRe" Molina and the trumpeter Daniel "El Congo". They are graduates of the Superior Institute of Arts (ISA) in Cuba. Even though they were trained as classical musicians since their early days, the Horns were always absorbing their heritage music, ranging from Afro-Cuban religious music to reggae, rumba, soul and classical music.

Regis Molina - Alto Sax
Daniel Allen Oberto - Trumpet
Kelvin Sholar - Piano, Electronics
Sergio (Checho) Gómez –Bass
Diego Piñera - Drums

Listen to Daniel Allen Oberto on their website or check out Regis Molina on soundcloud.

TUESDAY, 14 February 2017

Book launch "Unter Weißen - Was es heißt, privilegiert zu sein" by Mohamed Amjahid

Start: 7:00 PM | Hall | Admission: free
An event in cooperation with Hanser Berlin

About unconscious privileges and hidden racism – also in Germany – from the perspective of someone who is confronted by these things on a daily basis. Author Mohamed Amjahid reads from his new book "Unter Weißen - Was es heißt, privilegiert zu sein" (Hanser Berlin) and holds a discussion with the audience.

Host: Jenny Friedrich-Freksa, Chief editor of the magazine KULTURAUSTAUSCH.

Photo © Götz Schleser

THURSDAY, 16 February 2017

Black Futures Month Screening

Doors open: 7:00 PM  | Hall | Admission: free
An event in cooperation with LesMigraSTransformations - Trans Film Festival Berlin

ỌYA: Something happened on the way to West Africa!
Seyi Adebanjo / 2015 / 30:13 min
English spoken language / no subtitles


Description: Follow my journey as a Queer Gender Non Conforming Nigerian as I connect with Òrìṣà tradition and the powerful legacy of my great grandmother, Chief Moloran Ìyá Ọlọ́ya. This personal and political story vibrantly investigates the heritage of command, mythology, gender fluidity and the hidden truth behind the power of indigenous Yorùbá spirituality.

Soy Negra, Soy Marica, Soy Puta
Hugo Meijer, Cas van der Pas / 2012 / 21 min
Castellano spoken language / English subtitles


Description: A documentary about a courageous and very special Colombian woman; Diana. Her days are completely filled with helping the people in her community. The director saw what problems her community faces, and that the people there can use -and deserve- support. They face much more complicated problems than we do here in Europe. She combines prostitution, human rights activism and her career as a lawyer to change the world around her into a better one.

FRIDAY, 17 February 2017

Kelvin Sholar presents Kalavan Quartett

Doors open: 9:00 PM | Club | Admission: € 15, € 10, € 5 / children up to 14: free entry
In cooperation with Kelvin Sholar


Kalavan Quartet is a group of international artists from USA, Greece, Armenia and Turkey. They focus on the common thread of melody, harmony and rhythm that connects the music of the Balkan mountain region (including Bulgaria, Northern Greece, Armenia, Romania and Turkey) to the music of the African diaspora in the Americas and Europe. This quartet plays music from Kelvin Sholar's original twelve movement suite "The Kalavan Suite", as well as, Balkan classics rearranged by female percussion master Burcu Coşkun, classical music re-imagined by Armenian bassist/composer extraordinaire Nesin Howhanessijan, and original balkan flavored compositions of Greek wunderkind Melina Paxinos.

Line Up:

Melina Paxinos - Alto Sax, Soprano Sax
Kelvin Sholar - Piano, Electronics
Nesin Howhannesijan - Bass
Burcu Coşkun- Drums

SATURDAY, 18 February 2017

8:00 PM  (Film) & 10:00 PM (Party) | Club | Admission: by donation
An event in cooperation with The CuTie.B.POC Coalition

"Afro-punk" by James Spooner
Documentary, 66 Min., English


"Afro-punk": A 66-minute documentary, explores race identity within the punk scene. More than your everyday, Behind the Music or typical "Black History Month" documentary, this film tackles the hard questions, such as issues of loneliness, exile, inter-racial dating and black power. We follow the lives of four people who have dedicated themselves to the punk rock lifestyle. They find themselves in conflicting situations, living the dual life of a person of color in a mostly white community.

James Spooner
is an American tattoo artist from New York, living in Los Angeles. He is best known for his seminal documentary film Afro-Punk (2003), exploring the African American experience in the punk music scene. After its release, he founded the annual Afropunk Festival in Brooklyn, New York, working with it from 2005 through 2008, and subsequently parting due to philosophical differences with its direction.Spooner later wrote and directed White Lies Black Sheep (2007), a fictional feature set within the punk world that premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. He also wrote the forward for the book anthology "White Riot" which examines where race, identity and punk music intersect.


SUNDAY, 19 February 2017

Roda de Capoeira Angola
1:00 PM to 5:00 PM | Hall | Admission: free
An event in cooperation with Iê Ação Kulturelles Netz


Capoeira is an activity founded in Black culture, which today contributes to the interaction between people from different cultures across the globe, particularly in relation to the resistance and existence of Afro-Brazilian and African cultures.
With this in mind, Projeto Iê Ação Cultural and the Capoeira Angola group Chipáia de Ouro with Mestre Pim-Pim and  support from Contra Mestra Mel and Treinel Toca are organising a Capoeira Angola Roda on the theme of Black History Month.

THURSDAY, 23 February

 Talk "Black, gay, deaf. The untold story of Ludwig van Beethoven"

7:00 PM | Seminar room 1 | Admission: free
An event in cooperation with Dr. Daniele G. Daude

A lot has already been said about the composer Ludwig van Beethoven. By now, his music has been well researched. His correspondence is accessible and his life can be reconstructed almost without any gaps. How is it then, that no one knows that he was black and gay?

THURSDAY, 23 February

Black History Month goes Off-Berlinale: "Ali im Paradies / My name is not Ali" by Viola Shafik

8:00 PM | Hall | Admission: €5
An event in cooperation with Mayadin al Tahrir e.V. & EUME

Germany 2011, documentary, 89 min, Arabic/French with English subtitles
Curator: Viola Shafik

After the film there will be a discussion with Viola Shafik.

Fassbinder’s ANGST ESSEN SEELE AUF (1974) was ahead of its time in highlighting xenophobia in the Federal Republic of Germany. Fassbinder’s partner at the time, Mohamed El Hedi Ben Salem, played the role of the migrant worker, Ali. Travelling between Germany, France and Morocco, Viola Shafik reconstructs and deconstructs the unknown life story of El Hedi Ben Salem through interviews with his companions and family members as well as archive material. With openness and slight naivety the interviewees explain how “Ali” became an oriental object of projection for the Fassbinder group, while El Hedi Ben Salem, the human being, was overlooked in order to establish the foreigner as “other.” A no-frills examination of a piece of German and Munich film history. (Text: Silvia Bauer)


FRIDAY, 24 February 2017

30 years of the Black Women's Movement

Start: 6:00 PM | Café | Admission: free
An event in cooperation with Verlag w_orten & meer & Generation ADEFRA

Premiere of the audio book with texts by Audre Lorde: "Meine Worte werden da sein"

Introduction of the annual calendar of Generation ADEFRA

Follwing this, there will be a podium discussion with activists from the Black women's movement.

FRIDAY, 24 February 2017

It cannot be about us without us! Meet the Ovaherero and Nama in Berlin!

Start: 7:00 PM | S1 | Admission: free
An event in cooperation with Berlin Postkolonial

On the 5th of January 2017, the Herero and Nama victims’ associations in New York submitted a lawsuit against the Federal Republic of Germany. Those affected by the first genocide of the 20th century complain in it that Germany excluded them from the German-Namibian government negotiations concerning the genocide of 1904-08 and in general refuse to negotiate about reparations.

From the 22nd to the 25th of February 2017, there will be a series of high-ranking Ovaherero and Nama activists present as guests of the NGO coalition No Amnesty on Genocide! at the 11th Memorial March for the African Victims of Colonialism in Berlin, and they will also report on their concerns and the current state of affairs.

Among the guests are Nama parliamentary member Ida Hoffmann, the director of the Ovaherero/Ovambanderu Genocide Foundation (OGF) Esther Muinjangue, as well as probably the Ovaherero Paramount Chief Vekuii Rukoro, Nama Chief Kooper and the just dismissed government-critical Deputy Land Reform Minister, Clinton Swartbooi.

FRIDAY, 24 February 2017

Kelvin Sholar & Mayibuye Südafrika Community e.V. present "Shebeen: visiting the roots. A musical storytelling evening"

Doors open: 9:00 PM | Club | Admission: € 15, € 10, € 5 / children up to 14: free entry
In cooperation with Kelvin Sholar & Mayibuye Südafrika e.V.

Shebeen: visiting the roots. A storytelling evening

This is where we tell our stories, exchange ideas, have heated political discussions, enjoy live music, relax over a traditional home made beer and reminisce about the past and plan the future. The audience become part of the play.
The evening is a host to South African’s most celebrated art & cultural scenes. There will be live music, exhibitions, discussions, performances and much more.
South Africa is a country which is deeply entrenched in the spirit of ubuntu. It is with this fundamental conviction that we welcome you to experience our amazing diverse art & culture. Please be welcome!

SATURDAY, 25 February 2017

Cuba meets Brazil

Start: 8:00 PM | Hall | Admission: €15 / 10 / 5
An event in cooperation with Afropolitan Berlin

A fabulous party, dance performance and concert in one – where Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian musical cultures meet. A total of 14 musicians will enchant the audience on a journey (in time) from the West-African drums and Candomblé and Santería rhythms to the musical styles that came from them such as Samba de Roda and Rumba. They have their origins in West-African Yorùbá culture.

SATURDAY, 25 February 2017

Party for the 5th Anniversary of the Zentralrat der afrikanischen Gemeinde in Deutschland e.V.

Start: 8:00 PM (tbc) | Club | Admission: free
An event in cooperation with Zentralrat der afrikanischen Gemeinde in Deutschland e.V.


The Zentralrat der afrikanischen Gemeinde in Deutschland considers itself to be a network and pool of interests, from incorporated societies, initiatives, organisations and individuals of the African diaspora in the Federal Republic of Germany. The society regards itself as a federal umbrella organisation and representative for people of African origin living in Germany and their families, societies, organisations and initiatives, giving them a voice and safeguarding their social, cultural, civic, political and economic interests.

SUNDAY, 26 February 2017

Film screening "Black Lives Matter England: Black resistance and black realities"

6:00 PM | Club | Admission: by donation
An event in cooperation with Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland e.V.

Input from activists from the Black Lives Matter movement in England and subsequent podium discussion concerning police violence towards Black people/People of Colour. Then the film "Generation Revolution" will be screened.

After the film guests have the opportunity to ask questions to the activists present from the Netherlands, England, France and Germany about the film and their political work.


SUNDAY, 26 February 2017

Reading "Black Tides" by Maroula Blades

8:00 PM | Club | Admission: €10, €6 (concession)
An event in cooperation with Maroula Blades

The Afro-British writer Maroula Blades has already enjoyed much success at international literature festivals and readings with her English-language poetry performances (with German translations), on stages in and outside of Berlin, for many years.
Maroula Blades’ melodic and profound poems whisk the listener away on a journey that awakens all the senses. Through this unique fusing of poetry, music, film and art, the audience experiences a reading that remains an unforgettable event.

Original English-language texts read by Maroula Blades
German translations read by Djeneba Schick and Leonard Peters
Vocals by Larry Jordan
Slide art by Peter Blau
Music composed by George Henry and Maroula Blades

TUESDAY, 28 February 2017

Book launch "Literature & Histories from Black Perspectives"

Start: 7:00 PM | Club | Admission: €0 - 12
An event in cooperation with Verlag Zaglossus e.U.

Claudia Unterweger: "Talking Back: Strategien Schwarzer österreichischer Geschichtsschreibung"

SchwarzRund: "Biskaya"

After a short break there will be a panel discussion on the topic:
"Vienna - Berlin, Angelo-Soliman-Weg / May-Ayim-Ufer - Continualities and parallels of Black resistance struggles and white defence mechanisms"