Black History Month 2018


Programme | Black History Month gallery

Happy 150th Birthday W.E.B. Dubois!

During BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018 we will be celebrating the Black civil rights activist, sociologist, philosopher, journalist and pacifist W.E.B. Dubois, who would have turned 150 on the 23rd of February!

William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was born on the 23rd of February 1868 in Great Barrington, Berkshire County, Massachusetts (USA) and died on the 27th of August 1963 in Accra, (Ghana). He was a sociologist, philosopher, journalist and pacifist – and a leading US representative of the Black civil rights movement.

W.E.B. Dubois worked as a journalist since 1883 and studied alongside his work. He gained his Bachelors degree and worked as a teacher at a rural school in Tennessee until 1888.

Then he continued his studies at Harvard, where he acquired a Masters in History in 1892 and won the Slater overseas grant. From 1892 to 1894 he studied in Germany at Humboldt University and Heidelberg University.

After his return to the States he gained his doctorate at Harvard in 1895, being the first Black person to do so. His thesis was on the transatlantic European slave trade of kidnapped, enslaved Africans.

From 1897 to 1910 he held a professorship in History and Economics at the Black University of Atlanta, Georgia, which he used to further his studies on the situation of the Black population, particularly in rural areas. During this time, he also published a series of essays and established several newspapers.

In 1900, he took part in the first Pan-African Conference in London and gained renown there by his proclamation To The Nations of The World: “The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the colour line.”

In his main work “The Souls of Black Folks” (1903) Dubois describes the psychological and social consequences of racism and refers to blues and jazz as the great cultural legacy that Black America has given to the world.

In 1909 Du Bois became a founding member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), one of the anti-racism institutions from the civil rights movement still in existence today.In 1919 Du Bois published The Brownies Book for the first time. This was a monthly children’s magazine.

In the 1920s he travelled to West Africa and the Soviet Union and published further magazines and novels.

In 1945 he organised the fifth Pan-African Congress in Manchester.

In 1961 he moved to Ghana with his wife Shirley Graham Du Bois. His friend Kwame Nkrumah was the first prime minister and the first president after the proclamation of the republic there. During his final years he worked on the Encyclopaedia Africana.

Du Bois died in Accra on the 27th of August 1963, a day before the historic march on Washington. Shortly prior to his death he had taken up Ghanaian citizenship.




Black Music Renaissance feat. Hani Mojtahedy

Friday | 02.02.2018 | 9.00 pm | Club
Admission: €15 / €10 (concession) €5 (with Berlinpass) | Children up to 14 years: free of charge

Hani Mojtahedy, a well known Kurdish singer and songwriter, started her art career in 2000, while she was living in Sanandaj, a small city in western Iran.

There are a lot of limitations and obstacles for artists in Iran due to its strict Islamic laws. For women this is combined with Islamic laws that are written especially for women. Nevertheless, she tried to open all the doors she could, to live out her desires and express her rebellious soul.

The outcome of these hard years was a limited number of concerts, which due to Iranian laws she was only allowed to sing in front of female audiences, or to sing with a male singer companion, which she never accepted. These limitations and obstacles led her to come to the conclusion that this situation would kill her dreams and desires. She left Iran in 2004 and as soon as she arrived in Germany her voice went house by house and city by city in Kurdish areas between Iran,Turkey, Iraq and Syria.

She has released 2 albums, more than 20 singles and 7 music videos and also participated in numerous TV shows and concerts and festivals around the world.

An event as part of BLACK MUSIC RENAISSANCE and WORLD WIDE MUSIC in cooperation with award-winning pianist Kelvin Sholar.


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Black Cuba III

Friday | 02.02.2018 | 7.00 pm | Saal
Admission: €10

Film screening & live performance


Offering to Yemaya
Dir.: Ricardo Bacallao. 14 minutes

Every January 1st in Cuba devotees to Yemaya go the sea to offer respect to the Orisha, goddess of the sea. This is an observational documentary, focussing on showing this ritual.

Brazil meets Cuba
Dir: Ricardo Bacallao, 50 minutes

The encounter of Brazilians and Cubans at the WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN playing to the same African Gods (Orishas) but with different beats.

After the film screening:

Live performance

Angel Candeaux and Friends

Angel Candeaux describes himself as a dreamer with many overlapping searches going on inside him, the main one being discovering the answer to the question “who am I exactly?” It was with the conviction of an inquisitive dreamer that he decided to embark on his professional career.

Ricardo Bacallao

   Ricardo Bacallao, a Cuban filmmaker, received his MFA in film from NYU. While living in Madrid and Berlin, Ricardo participated at the Berlin Film Festival several times, including being selected as the first Cuban representative to the festival's Talent Campus in 2003 and 2004.

In 2010, a segment Ricardo produced for CUNY TV's magazine show Nueva York won a New York Emmy Award. Since that time, he has been working as a freelance director, DP, producer and editor of documentary shorts both commercially and for broadcast on stations such as CUNY TV, HITN, and at New York based exhibition spaces.

Ricardo Bacallao is finishing his first feature film "The Uncle's Request".


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Dismantling the NSU complex

Saturday 03.02.2018
4:00 PM | Saal, S1-4, Club

Conference, panel discussion & live music

The Tribunal must go on! We need to talk

Conference, panel discussion & live music


There are many things that we jointly accomplished during the NSU Tribunal held in Cologne in May of last year – we commemorated, we cried out for justice and we celebrated the diverse multitudes that make up society. Yet we must keep moving, and we need to talk about how. That is why we invite you to a day of collective brainstorming and mindmapping. Discussion rounds and plenty of tea will accompany us in seeking the answers to the question: What will happen with the Tribunal now, and how should we continue on? Food and drink, as well as live music will be provided after the hard work!

  • 3:30 - 4:00 pm    Arrival
  • 4:00 - 4:30 pm    Welcome
  • 4:30 - 8:00 pm    Discussion rounds
  • 8:00 - 11:00 pm  Food, and live music from Ó-Das Syndikat

Tribünal devam ediyor! Konuşmalıyız

Beraber anmak, adalet istemek ve “çok kültürlü toplumu” kutlamak - Mayıs 2017'de Köln'deki NSU-Tribuüal’ında güçlü bir ortak hareketle elde edildi. Şimdi devam edeceğiz ve bunun hakkında konuşmalıyız. Bu nedenle sizi birlikte düşünmeye ve planlamaya davet ediyoruz. Düşünecek maddeler ve buharlı çaylar sağlanacak. Yuvarlak masalarda birkaç tartışma raundlarında mesela şu soruları tartışacağız: Tribünal’da neler oldu ve nasıl birlikte devam edeceğiz? Ardından yiyecek ve canlı müzik var!


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Into the Sun: Lyrics of the Nubian Experience of Migration

Thursday | 08.02.2018 | 7.30 pm | Club
Admission: €5

An event held in cooperation with EUME (Europe in the Middle East - The Middle East in Europe) and Mayadin al-Tahrir e.V. / Curator: Viola Shafik

FILM SCREENING as part of the Arab film series BEYOND SPRING

  Voyage to Nubia (episode 7)
By Saad Nadim
Documentary, 1960, Egypt, 8 min., Engl. VO

This state produced classical short film by veteran documentary filmmaker Saad Nadim introduces viewers to the traditional culture of Nubia and praises the benefits of the High Dam which will soon force the Nubians into migration.

The Dam
Animated film by Saber Akeed, 1990, Egypt, 6 min.

This short animated film is about the loss of Nubian culture caused by the building of the Aswan dam, and was made by a Nubian filmmaker.

The Nubia Train
By Attiyat El-Abnoudi
Documentary, 2002, Egypt, 35 min., Arabic / Engl. subt.

With a hand-held camera this film observes at length the preparations and execution of the annual journey of Nubian families from Alexandria to Upper Egypt to celebrate the holidays back home. Four decades after the resettlement, clearly and without any spoken commentary, the film raises questions about the reasons of Nubian inner-Egyptian and generation-long migration and its outcome.

Talk by Alia Mossallam

In 1964, and after years of preparing for the migration and even at times looking forward to it, around 50,000 Nubians from 33 villages stretching between Egypt and Sudan, were migrated from the banks of the Nile to the deserts of Komombo. Where once their lives revolved around an unpredictable body of water, their main concern became escaping the sun. Why did they believe in the Dam's potential? How did they handle the trauma of displacement? How does a way of life completely dependent on the Nile from the myths of creation to daily rituals continue in its absence? Through listening to Nubian songs that reflect hope, nostalgia and finally anger, we listen to the conversations with the Nile, the birds, the mythical mer-people and the reflections of the many emotions affiliated with the move.

Alia Mossallam, EUME Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung, holds a PhD in Political Science. Her dissertation explores a popular history of Nasserist Egypt through stories told and songs sung by people behind the 1952 revolution. She has taught at the American University in Cairo (AUC), the Cairo Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences (CILAS), the Freie Universität (FU) and held a series of workshops, 'Reclaiming Revolutionary Histories' all over Egypt. She also worked with theatre practitioners to document revolutionary experiences of the present, explore alternative histories of the past, and recreate them on the stage, for example the play Hawwa al-Hureyya (Whims of Freedom). She also writes for Mada Masr. Her current research project is 'Hekāyāt Sha’b – Stories of Peoplehood': Nasserism, Popular Politics and Songs in Egypt, 1956-1974 and she is working on her first book on the popular historiography of the dam building process, tentatively titled "This Is What Socialism Sounds Like".


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Tuesday 13.02.2018
7:00 PM | Club

Film with panel discussion

Film screening

Producer/director Sascha Just, a Fräulein Freytag Production

Every year on Carnival Day, Black Indians parade the streets of New Orleans in magnificent feathered and beaded costumes to honor those Native Americans who aided their African ancestors escape from slavery. BIG CHIEF follows legendary Chief Darryl Montana as he prepares for Mardi Gras Day—and explores the heritage of racist oppression that sparked those spectacular performances.


Big Chief of the Yellow Pocahontas tribe, Darryl Montana’s lineage reaches back to the first black American to don an Indian mask in honor of the Native Americans who aided enslaved Africans in escaping from bondage.

Passed down through his family for generations, the tradition was transformed by Darryl’s father Tootie Montana (recognized as an NEA National Heritage Fellow in 1987) from a violent reenactment of Native American warfare into high art.

Darryl is renowned for his magnificent crowns, and BIG CHIEF documents as he sews his beaded and feathered suit for Mardi Gras Day, a symbol both of his artistic leadership within his community and of the history of African-American resistance to white domination.

BIG CHIEF culminates with Darryl's performance on Mardi Gras Day.

Jason Marsalis (youngest member of the Marsalis music family) wrote the soundtrack for BIG CHIEF inspired by Black Indian songs and funk music like The Meters, to which Black Indian songs gave birth.


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The NSU complex

Wednesday 14.02.2018
7:00 PM | Club 

The NSU complex - only the tip of the iceberg

NSU kompleksi - Bütün gerçeğin sadece küçük bir kısmı

Theatre & panel discussion 

Protection from discrimination and racism is a human right! All German government authorities have an obligation to actively combat this – including the effective and detailed investigation of racist crimes.

In the closing stage of the NSU trial in Munich, the summation for the co-plaintiff’s lawyers left no room for doubt: the NSU complex is not just the story of a well-organised Neo-Nazi murder. It also tells the story of a constitutional scandal: how state institutions can conduct an investigation in the wrong direction for years, allow files to go missing and conceal the involvement of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution.


From the perspective of those affected and many organisations, all of these are indications of institutional racism. Nevertheless, the issue of institutional racism continues to be evaded in Germany – no one initiates an investigation or assumes political responsibility. There is urgent need for action here – from politicians and civil society!

What has to change? How can German authorities fulfil their responsibilities and effectively protect people in Germany from racism? What roles do political representatives, the judiciary, the police and civil society play?

The Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland, Amnesty International and the NSU Tribunal invite you to an discussion evening – with extracts from the NSU monologues by Adile Şimşek from the Bühne für Menschenrechte (Theatre for Human Rights).




  • Mehmet Daimagüler – NSU victims' lawyer and author
  • Tahir Della – Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland (ISD)
  • Marie Piper – Amnesty International
  • Ayşe Güleç – NSU Tribunal
  • Isidora Randjelović – IniRromnja

Host: Doris Liebscher

With simultaneous German-Turkish translation
Eşzamanlı çeviri Almanca-Türkçe


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Black Music Renaissance feat. Corey Harris

Friday| 16.02.2018 | 9:00 pm | Club
Admission: €15 / €10 (concession) / €5 (with Berlinpass) | Children up to 14: free


Corey Harris has earned substantial critical acclaim as one of the few contemporary bluesmen able to channel the raw, direct emotion of acoustic Delta blues without coming off as an authenticity-obsessed historian.

Along with Keb’ Mo’ and Alvin “Youngblood” Hart, he raised the flag of acoustic guitar blues in the mid-1990s.

Although well versed in the early history of blues guitar, he’s no well-mannered preservationist, mixing a considerable variety of influences – from New Orleans to the Caribbean to Africa – into his richly expressive music.

Harris was born in Denver, Colorado, on February 21, 1969, and began playing guitar at age 12, when he fell in love with his mother’s Lightnin’ Hopkins records. He played in a rock & roll band in high school, as well as the marching band, and developed his singing abilities in church. Through Bates College in Maine (where he majored in anthropology), Harris traveled to Cameroon to study African linguistics; during his time there, he soaked up as much African music as possible, becoming entranced by its complex polyrhythms.

In 2003 Harris was a featured artist and narrator of the Martin Scorcese film, ‘Feel Like Going Home’, which traced the evolution of blues from West Africa to the southern U.S. In 2007, he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship – commonly referred to as a “genius award” – from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The annual grant, which recognises individuals from a wide range of disciplines who show creativity, originality and commitment to continued innovative work, described Harris as an artist who “forges an adventurous path marked by deliberate eclecticism.” That same year, he was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Bates College, in Lewiston, Maine. Ever the musical explorer, Harris turned to Jamaica and roots reggae for the template on his next album, ‘Zion Crossroads’, which was released in 2007 on Telarc Records. A second Telarc album, ‘Blu Black’, appeared in 2009 and found Harris continuing to be fascinated by Jamaican music. Released in 2013, ‘Fulton Blues’ found Harris revisiting several of his hybrid blues forms in a varied and interesting set.

Corey Harris has performed, recorded, and toured with names such as BB King, Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy, R.L.Burnside, Ali Farka Toure, Dave Matthews Band, Tracy Chapman, Olu Dara and many others. With one foot in tradition and the other in contemporary experimentation, Harris is a truly unique voice in contemporary music.

An event as part of the BLACK MUSIC RENAISSANCE and WORLDWIDEMUSIC concert series in cooperation with the award-winning pianist Kelvin Sholar.


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Colonial awareness and responsibility

Saturday 17.02.2018 | 7:00 pm | S1

The novel "Africa 2.1 Arnaque" by Francis Beidi
A discussion accompanied by short extracts from the novel

The audience is invited to discuss key themes affecting the African continent as a whole and those so vividly reflected in the novel "Africa 2.1 Arnaque". The discussion will take part in French and German, with translations between both.

The novel "Africa 2.1 Arnaque" reflects the colonial history of Africa during French rule. The novel’s narrator takes us to his grandfather’s village, occupied by France during the Second World War, and to France, Indochina and Algeria. When his grandfather plans on going to France for treatment of his war injuries he is arbitrarily denied a visa to the country he had viewed as his motherland. This sets into motion an awareness of the relationship between France and several African countries.

The young narrator evokes the Thiaroye massacre from 1944, where Sengalese Tirailleurs troops were shot by the French Army after they claimed pay in arrears for giving a good part of their land to France and liberating it from the German army. The massacre is symbolic for the contempt felt by all those Africans who served on behalf of France.

Destabilisation programmes of the so-called international community, methods of intimidation and influences on the economic systems of African countries are identified by the narrator as the blatant betrayal that France has always perpetrated in Africa. He calls on the young and and future generations of Africans to be vigilant in order to bring an end to this long-running fraud. Building on this base, the novel creates a vividly poetic reflection on the future of Africa, and the future of humanity.

Francis Beidi

Artist, author, director, and sound & lighting technician for events


As an artist in the fullest sense of the word, Francis Beidi has published more than ten books in various genres (including poetry, novels and plays) and painted some one hundred or so paintings. He has also filmed a dozen documentaries about African countries.
He has been working for more than 15 years as a sound and lighting technician for theatre, music and dance groups from a variety of countries and has also worked as the technical director at several festivals too. Through his engagement, ALISÉ was founded, which is an organisation of publishing industry and event management actors who advocate for education. He also established the Auteurs Pluriels publishing house in 2007 in Cameron.


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Oury Jalloh benefit concert

Saturday 17.02.2018 7:00 PM | Club

Talk, music & poetry

In 2005, Oury Jalloh was burned to death in his cell at the Dessau police station. 13 years later, there has still been no justice for him. Dessau insists it was suicide. However, many expert evaluators have all come to the same conclusion - Oury Jalloh did not set himself on fire. Nevertheless, the public prosecution wants to close the investigation of his case. The Initiative in Remembrance of Oury Jalloh wants to prevent this from happening.

The fight continues! You are warmly welcome to support the initiative with us, commemorate Oury Jalloh and keep his story alive, through awareness-raising information, music, poetry and good vibes.



  • 7 pm: The politics of anti-Black murders and the philosophy of Black self-defence
    talk by Senfo Tonkam (in English)
  • 8:30 pm: concert: Camufingo, Kaligreen&Konta, MARAP, Matondo, Blessed Love & more
  • Spoken word: Azadê, Bahati & more
  • Contribution from Kofi Shakur


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ARAB SONG JAM goes Maghreb: Edition Gnawa music

Thursday | 15.02.2018 | 7:30 pm | Saal 
Admission: free

In dieser Edition der erfolgreichen Konzertreihe ARAB SONG JAM goes Maghreb legt die WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN den Fokus auf Gnawamusik, den wir zelebrieren den BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2018.

An der Oud und Bandleader des Abends: Alaa Zouiten!

1985 geboren Marokko, begann Alaa Zouiten im Alter von sieben Jahren seine musikalische Erziehung in kulturellen Vereinen in Youssoufia (eine kleine Stadt bei Safi), bevor er am Conservatoire National de Marrakech seine Ausbildung genoss, die ihn zum Meister an der Oud (arabische Laute) machte.

2008 begann Alaa in Marokko seine Karriere als Sideman mit der Fusion-Band „Jbara“ und spielte auf zahlreichen marokkanischen Festivals (u.a Essaouira Gnaoua Festival, Grand Festival de Casablanca, Mawazine in Rabat). In Deutschland entwickelt er das „Alaa Zouiten Ensemble“, das 2012 sein Debüt-Album „Hada Makan“ veröffentlicht. Parallel setzte er seine musikalischen Studien fort und ist 2013 Absolvent der Universität Erfurt (Bachelor Musikvermittlung und Philosophie).

2015 gewinnt er ein Stipendium des Arab Fund for Arts and Culture und arbeitet an seinem zweiten Album „Talking Oud“. In diesem Album experimentiert er mit den stilistischen, technischen und ästhetischen Möglichkeiten der Oud.

Das Resultat ist ein faszinierender Mix aus arabischem, andalusischen Jazz und Rock. In seinen Kompositionen und Arrangements benutzt Alaa Zouiten die unendliche Vielfalt in Zeit und Raum. Ein kreativer Prozess, welcher ständig nach neuen musikalischen Perspektiven sucht und die Schönheit der Musik feiert.

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Black Music Renaissance feat. Matilda Leko

Friday | 09.02.2018 | 9:00 pm | Club
Admission: €15 / €10 (concession) / €5 (with Berlinpass) | Children up to 14: free


The singer and composer Matilda Leko grew up surrounded by the music of the Balkans and the Roma people. The Serbian-Austrian musician was born in Vienna and engaged with a diversity of musical styles from a very young age, on her journey to discover the syncopated rhythms of her homeland, pop, rock, soul, blues and then jazz. This finally led her back to Vienna where she studied jazz singing at the Vienna Conservatory.

Matilda Leko was one of the first singers in Vienna to fuse the music of the Balkans with jazz, and thus one of the first to give this music a new sound and make a name for herself by doing so. However, her repertoire of compositions is not restricted to any one particular musical direction or genre.


Matilda composes songs that could easily fit in a book of jazz standards, just like she composes Viennese songs with the famous irony and melancholy exhibited by Viennese songs, as well as rhythmic compositions in which the pulse and influence of the Balkans cannot be ignored. The singer’s heartfelt improvisations are reminiscent of instrumental passages, sometimes of a trumpet or a saxophone, or even of a Roma violin. Matilda is impossible to pigeonhole. Her music is bubbly, innovative and creative. Her texts are powerful and tell stories from her life in a bold and moving manner.

She has toured across Europe: in France, Germany, Hungary, Czechia, Slovakia, Italy and Austria. She has also performed at numerous festivals, such as the Sziget Festival in Hungary, the Bamberg Klezmer Festival, Novi Sad Jazz Festival, Suns Festival Udine, the Vienna Festival and many more.


An event as part of the BLACK MUSIC RENAISSANCE and WORLDWIDEMUSIC concert series in cooperation with the award-winning pianist Kelvin Sholar.



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"Schimpft uns nicht Zigeuner" (Don't Call Us Gypsies)

Thursday 22.02.2018 | 7:30 PM | Saal


Film screening and Discussion* 

*The German term “Zigeuner” (gypsies) is used in the title of the film. There is a statement below in German from the Central Council of German Sinti & Roma concerning the use of this term.

After the screening: discussion moderated by Filis Demirova (PARIA e.V.)

“Schimpft uns nicht Zigeuner” (Don’t call us gypsies)
Documentary by Melanie Spitta and Katrin Seybold, 43 min., 1980

Two young Sinti, Linda and Gallier, talk about themselves, their traditions and their people. Scenes from life in large families, at work and at school illustrate the difficulties of their situation: one doesn’t fit in with the mainstream if they want to stay Sinti and thus the situation is hopeless, or if one does fit in it means keeping your origins secret or being torn between two worlds, that of the majority and that of the minority. An attempt is made to dispel the prejudices that arise time and again when “gypsies” are mentioned, by members of the Sinti community providing explanations about these themselves.


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Katrin Seybold
© Barbara Mayr 
Melanie Spitta
© Carmen Spitta de Jonck

Katrin Seybold was an award-winning film director, screenwriter and film producer. She entered the film world as an assistant director to Hans Rolf Strobel and Edgar Reitz in the 1970s and then worked as a director on documentaries focusing on National Socialism, resistance and the persecution of Jewish people. She was a member of the Akademie der Künste (Berlin) since 1994.

Melanie Spitta was a filmmaker and civil rights activist from the Sinti minority. In the 1980s she worked as a screenwriter with the director Katrin Seybold on documentaries about the situation of Sinti in Gernany, fought as a civil rights campaigner for equal rights of women in Sinti communities and in society as a whole, and worked constantly as an advisor and publicist. Until she, Katrin Seybold, Siegmund Wolf and eyewitnesses to the Nazi persecution viewed archive material at the federal archives as part of their documentary research, except for a photo of Eva Justin, there were no published photos of the perpetrators employed at the so-called “Racial hygiene research institute”.



With permission from ZDF for the screening of "Schimpft uns nicht Zigeuner".

PARIA e.V. ist eine self-managed Roma organisation, founded in 2012 in Berlin by Filis Demirova and Georgel Caldararu.

Explanation of the German term "Zigeuner"

(Source: Central Council of German Sinti & Roma, statement from 9th October 2015)

„Zigeuner“ ist eine von Klischees überlagerte Fremdbezeichnung der Mehrheitsgesellschaft, die von den meisten Angehörigen der Minderheit als diskriminierend abgelehnt wird – so haben sich die Sinti und Roma nämlich niemals selbst genannt. Die Durchsetzung der Eigenbezeichnung Sinti und Roma im öffentlichen Diskurs war von Anfang an ein zentrales Anliegen der Bürgerrechtsbewegung, die sich vor allem seit Ende der Siebzigerjahre in der Bundesrepublik formierte. Dadurch sollte zugleich ein Bewusstsein für jene Vorurteilsstrukturen und Ausgrenzungsmechanismen geschaffen werden, die im Stereotyp vom „Zigeuner“ ihre Wurzeln haben.

„Sinti“ bezeichnet die in Mitteleuropa seit dem ausgehenden Mittelalter beheimateten Angehörigen der Minderheit, „Roma“ jene ost- bzw. süd-osteuropäischer Herkunft. Die nationalen Sinti- und Roma-Gemeinschaften sind durch die Geschichte und Kultur ihrer jeweiligen Heimatländer stark geprägt. Dies hat sich auch in der Sprache der Sinti und Roma, dem Romanes, niedergeschlagen: Durch die Aufnahme von Lehnwörtern aus der jeweiligen Landessprache haben sich in den verschiedenen Staaten Europas über die Jahrhunderte unterschiedliche Romanes-Sprachen herausgebildet.

W.E.B. Du Bois in Germany

Talk and reading with Dr Natasha A. Kelly

Friday |23.02.2018 | 6:30 pm | Seminar room 1
Admission: free



Building on her last publication, “Afrokultur. Der Raum zwischen gestern und morgen” (Afro-culture. The space between yesterday and tomorrow), Dr Natasha A. Kelly will present the commonalities and differences, continualities and discontinuities in the production of knowledge from Du Bois to Ayim, as well as presenting a Afro-German perspective on “The Souls of Black Folk”.

In “The Souls of Black Folk” (1903), the Black American activist, philosopher and sociologist W.E.B. Du Bois refers to the importance of music in particular, which he regards as a specific form of communication in Black culture and establishes the ideological framework for the concept of “Afro-German”.

So it is no coincidence that contemporary Black producers of knowledge, such as the Black German poet, activist and scientist May Ayim in her 1995 collection of poems “blues in schwarz Weiss” (blues in black and white), select not only blues, the traditional form of expression, to impart their lived experiences of colonial racism in Germany. May Ayim uses various Adinkra symbols of the Ashanti people such as the Sankofa symbol, correspondingly inviting her readership to recognise the importance of her African heritage, bring it into the present and understand it as a source for interpreting the future.

In a perceived intermediate space – a space between yesterday and tomorrow – May Ayim reproduces knowledge that can be traced back to W.E.B. Du Bois’ sociological conceptions of “racial identity”. Conceptions that were formed not least during his two-year period of study in Germany.

W. E. B. Du Bois, who studied at today’s Humboldt University in Berlin from 1892 – 1894, experienced Germany as a “culture in search of a nation” (Du Bois 1940: 136), something that not only describes Germany’s social structure at the end of the 19th century, but at the same time reflects Du Bois’ lived marginalisation as a Black man in the USA.

Dr Natasha A. Kelly is a communication scientist and sociologist with the research foci of visual communication, colonialism and feminism.

The author, teacher and curator who was born in London and raised in Germany, has taught and given lectures at numerous institutions in Germany and Austria.

In her publications “Afroism” (2008), “Sisters & Souls” (2015), “Afrokultur” (2016) and also in her artistic works such as "EDEWA" (2010 - today), “Giftschrank” (Deutsches Historisches Museum, 2016/2017, Museum Schöneberg 2017) and “African_Diaspora Palast” (“Weltausstellung_Reformation”, Wittenberg 2017) she connects theory and practice and thus creates fruitful inter-connections between science, society and politics. Furthermore, she has been engaged in the Black community in Germany for many years, for example as a scientific consultant for the Zentralrats der afrikanischen Gemeinden (Central Council of the African Community).

In addition to her consulting work for various cultural institutions, she is the artistic director of the theatre series “M(a)y Sisters”, that has been staged at HAU Hebbel am Ufer Theater in Berlin since 2016.



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Black Music Renaissance feat. Yah Supreme

Friday | 23.02.2018 | 9:00 pm | Club
Admission: €15 / €10 (concession) / €5 (with Berlinpass) | Children up to 14: free

Recording artist Yah Supreme purveys digital b-boy funk from his latest opus, Naked City. The Brooklyn native waxes esoteric through rhythm and poetry. Ray McNaught embellishes with lively drumming and syncopation while co-producer Tiger-VS-Cobra manipulates Ableton/MIDI consoles in real time. Each tune is a frisky synergy of vintage and virtual instrumentation tethered to themes of voyeurism/exhibitionism and social connection.


Yah Supreme (Yahya Jeffries-El) was born at Harlem Hospital and grew up in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. After attending Manhattan’s Hunter College High School, he studied performing arts at Washington University in St. Louis as a Harold A. Ramis Scholar.

Yah’s “atmospheric hip-hop” quintet–Brohemian–is a 21st century mash-up of Gil Scott Heron, Marvin Gaye and Guru fused together over funky rhythms. Their simple, yet cinematic songs have attracted an enthusiastic audience to date.

Yah Supreme (lead vocals/production) and Tommaso Cappellato (drums/production) formed the project in Brooklyn back in 2004 and independently released their debut album “Post Modern Garden“ in 2006. Prior to forming Brohemian, Yah Supreme has released 5 12-inch singles on vinyl, an EP and a compilation album on compact disc through the labels Son Doo Recordings (Brooklyn) and Underground Academy (Paris).

He has also appeared on albums as a guest with Featherstar, Tiffany Pfeiffer and the Discarnate Band, Jimmy Lopez, Spier 1200, DJ Cam and Fare Soldi. Yah Supreme’s sophomore album “Naked City“ was released on November 11, 2014. Yah is also currently composing songs with producer Phil Money on the album “The Born Supremacy” and is the co-producer and vocalist for the duo Moonset Juice under the pseudonym “Bruce Gladstones.” His third musical project, Cellophane Grotto contributed music for the score and soundtrack of Big Whiskey Pictures‘ film “Downshift.”

Corey Harris has performed, recorded, and toured with names such as BB King, Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy, R.L.Burnside, Ali Farka Toure, Dave Matthews Band, Tracy Chapman, Olu Dara and many others. With one foot in tradition and the other in contemporary experimentation, Harris is a truly unique voice in contemporary music.

Part of the BLACK MUSIC RENAISSANCE and WORLDWIDEMUSIC concert series in cooperation with the award-winning pianist Kelvin Sholar.


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Verbotenes Land: Ein Schwarzer deutscher Roman

Lesung mit Autor John Eichler

Samstag | 24.02.2018 | 17:00 | Foyer
Eintritt: frei

Ein Mädchen stürzt von einer Brücke auf Eisenbahngleise. Kurz darauf verschwindet ein Neonazi spurlos. Zehn Jahre später trifft Issa auf Ami. Doch vor der Person, in die er sich rasant verliebt, war sie immer davongelaufen …

"Verbotenes Land" ist ein Schwarzer deutscher Roman – sprachlich intensiv und emotional packend bis zum letzten Satz, der die Leser*innen mitnimmt in das Leben von Protagonist*innen, deren Geschichten und Perspektiven in der deutschen Literatur neu sind.

John-E. Matip Eichler

Autor John-E. Matip Eichler, Sohn einer deutschen Apothekerin und eines kamerunischen Arztes, wurde 1969 in Leipzig geboren. Neben dem Hauptfach Rechtswissenschaften studierte der Volljurist in Leipzig Philosophie sowie später in Berlin Volkswirtschaft. Mittlerweile lebt er in Berlin und Douala. Seine Texte erscheinen regelmäßig in der Huffington Post. Der Debütroman «Verbotenes Land» entstand über einen Zeitraum von fünfzehn Jahren (2002-2017).



Issa hatte eine afrikanische Kollegmappe aus Boaleder unter seinem Arm getragen und war direkt auf Maurice zugekommen, als er etwas verloren wirkend in der Eingangshalle der altehrwürdigen Universität herumgestanden hatte. „Neu?“ Ja, Maurice und alles um ihn herum war neu gewesen. „Ich bin Idrissa, aber Issa reicht aus. Willkommen in diesen heiligen Hallen. Du hast dich also entschieden hierherzukommen, wo sich schon W.E.B. Du Bois akademische Meriten verdiente.“ Issa hatte gelacht, als er in Maurice’ verwundertes Gesicht geblickt hatte. „Hast du Zeit? Ich geh gerade einen Kaffee trinken.“ Es stimmte, W.E.B. Du Bois, der große Intellektuelle und Panafrikanist war zwei Jahre an ihrer Universität gewesen. „Das ist wie eine Verpflichtung“, hatte Issa noch gesagt.



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(c) David BeecroftFoto (c) David Beecroft


In February 2018, Kelvin Sholar will be curating the four-part concert series BLACK MUSIC RENAISSANCE in celebration of the 150th birthday of W.E.B. Du Bois, (Black civil rights activist, sociologist, philosopher, journalist and pacifist). He will follow the connections between jazz and other musical styles of the African diaspora such as rap, with music from the Arab world and Eurasia. The goal is to dismantle the global problems caused by colonialism and racism through celebrating the connections between rhythms, harmonies and melodies, something that Du Bois himself supported.

Kelvin Sholar is a musician that knows no stylistic boundaries. He has won over ten awards for music and appeared on over one hundred recordings, in wildly ranging styles.

Sholar is featured in live performances by Stevie Wonder, Kevin Saunderson and Carl Craig, Qtip, Nigel Kennedy and many others; not to mention his acclaimed work with original music, or the music of Jeff Mills, Rob Hood, Earth, Wind and Fire- and many others.


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