BLIND SPOTS EXPOSED - Changing Perspectives
Exhibition in Kassel 29.10. - 12.11.2022
Video installation "Rudolf Duala Manga Bell Duala Manga Bell - a German story".
at MARKK Museum Hamburg
Artist Talk: Henrik Langsdorf in conversation with Princess Marilyn Douala Manga Bell at
MARKK Museum Hamburg
of Rudolf Duala Manga Bell
Blind Spots in the Sun is a series of art interventions dealing with colonialism, collective memory and racism in Germany.
The name Blind Spots in the Sun derives from the phrase "We, too, claim our place in the sun," which German Foreign Minister Bernhard von Bülow used in 1897 to describe the colonial policy of the Kaiserreich. It also alludes to the many blind spots that exist in German consciousness in light of this chapter of its history, and how it helped to embed a more subtle form of racism in the German psyche that remains virulent today. Racism is often equated exclusively with right-wing extremism. However, it already starts where people are stereotyped because of their skin color.
The vast majority is not even aware that this is already a form of racism and can be hurtful. The effect is unconscious exclusion and micro-aggressions.
Blind Spots in the Sun seeks to expose these blind spots through artistic interventions and encourage reflection. We want to contribute to a broader definition of racism and that the white majority society in Germany, which does not consider itself racist, deals more actively with less visible forms of racism and takes more responsibility by critically reflecting on its own behavior.
Panel discussion at ruruhaus/Documenta fifteen
On 3.9.21 a panel discussion on connections between colonial history and anti-black racism in Germany took place at documenta fifteen's ruruhaus.
The participants were Mo Asumang, Princess Marilyn Douala Manga Bell, Emilene Wopana Mudimu, Henrik Langsdorf and Jean-Pierre Félix Eyoum, moderated by Aisha Camara.
Video installation about
Rudolf Duala Manga Bell
Rudolf Duala Manga Bell - a German Story deals with the life of the Cameroonian king who was executed in 1914 by the German colonial government for his resistance against the German plans to establish an apartheid system in his hometown Douala.
A preview of this work was first shown on 9/3/21 at ruruhaus/documenta fifteen and at KolorCubes' studio (see image). Currently, a version of about 60 minutes is being worked on.
Additional dates the work can be seen at ruruHaus, Obere Königstr. 46:
20.3. 2022, 3:00 p.m.
24.3.2022, 7:30 p.m.
26.3. 2022, 3:00 p.m.
Blind Spots in the street:
Art against racism
In an international poster competition, artists, designers and illustrators were asked to deal with German colonial history and anti-black racism and to develop poster ideas that address a broad audience in an unconventional way.
This call was aimed at Afro-Germans who have themselves experienced racism in Germany or those who come from or live in the former German colonies of Togo, Cameroon, Namibia, Tanzania, Rwanda or Burundi.
This exhibition sheds a light on the topical relevance of German colonial history and thus the relevance of anti-Black racism, which is a reality felt by many every day.
Through multiple perspectives, BLIND SPOTS EXPOSED aims to bring the discourse to a broader level in a sustainable way.
The goal is to expose the countless blind spots that describe the inability of the white majority to recognize racism when it happens, to identify occurrences of it within oneself and to acknowledge it as an acute problem. In Germany, racism is treated as a topic too touchy to be named as such. But it already starts with ostensibly harmless stereotyping based on different body characteristics. This stereotyping has its origins in the colonial era, a time that the German collective memory has all but forgotten.
In the context of BLIND SPOTS EXPOSED, works by Anys Reimann, Zaki Al-Maboren, Theresa Weber and Henrik Langsdorf will be shown as well as works from BLIND SPOTS IN THE STREET, our international poster competition, in which Afro-German artists, designers and illustrators as well as people from the former German colonies and their diaspora residing in Germany were invited to share their perspective and to deal with this topic.
The works of the four winners of the competition were shown for the first time last year in Kassel on large billboards. As part of BLIND SPOTS EXPOSED, another selection of editors picks (works with at least one vote from the jury) from the more than 40 entries from 8 countries will be on view.
Also on display in the exhibition will be posters from the campaign "What We Don't See in Kassel", which in cooperation with the initiative "SIDE BY SIDE - Afro-German and Black People of Northern Hesse" and the "Kirche im Hof", collected experiences of everyday racism as experienced by black people living in Kassel.
Kassel Architecture Center in the Kulturbahnhof
Querhalle (opposite platform 8)
Open daily 14-20 h
Monday 7.11.22 closed | free admission
At the time, the passports of black people documented information about origin, pronunciation, color and texture of hair, fingernails and lips. The goal: to classify, sort and assign people to groups in order to separate and forcibly resettle them.
30 years after asylum seekers had to fear for their lives in the "Sunflower House" in Rostock-Lichtenhagen, 30 years after two young girls and a woman from Turkey lost their lives in a racist arson attack in Mölln, and 10 years after the end of the NSU murder series, the International Week Against Racism calls on people not to forget and to take a clear stand against derogatory statements and actions under the motto "Show Attitude".
Welcome address by Charlene Hackley
Live music performance by Palaver Rhababa.
A Palaver is a gathering where people exchange ideas in order to
gradually develop more understanding of each other and come to a good conclusion together. Rhababa is
a mixture of rhubarb (the Central European vegetable) and rababa (a stringed instrument of the Bedouins). This can lead to mixed understandings! Palaver Rhababa also likes to mix in other ways: under this name, people from different backgrounds meet to make music together - refugees, migrants, locals. We show each other our music. When we play it
then play it together, it also changes and something new emerges. Palaver Rhababa is a regular participant in the Open Stage World Music at the Wesertor neighborhood center. Music builds bridges!
Live music performance by viaDem
viaDem is a Kassel-based music group that has been in existence since spring 2012. Musicians of different musical and cultural backgrounds combine in their repertoire in loving liason folk, chanson and pop from Orient to Occident.
MARCH 14-27, AT THE RURUHAUS
Treppenstr. corner Obere Königstr.
"What you don't see" Showcase exhibition by Dominik Lucha Together with hundreds of black people in Germany, Dominik Lucha makes visible what often remains unseen: "What you don't see!" addresses in an impressive and accessible way the everyday racism experienced by Black people and People of Color in Germany. Dominik Lucha comes from Ravensburg, lives in Berlin and works full-time as a media producer. With the account came numerous requests and projects that further develop "What you don't see!" in the long term.
16. MÄRZ, 18:30, ONLINE
"Avrupa’da yükselen ırkçılık kıskacındaki Kürtler ve Avrupa ülkelerine zorunlu göç" Vortrag von Bedia Özgökçe Ertan. Anmeldung erforderlich durch eine E-Mail an Kara@diekopiloten.de (auf Türkisch ohne Übersetzung)
Online sunuma katılmak isteyenler kısaca kendilerini isim ve soyisimleriyle tanıtarak email@example.com email adresi üzerinden iletişime geçebilirler.
Bedia Özgökçe Ertan, zor koşullarda çalışan bir kadın hakları avukatı, insan hakları aktivistidir. HDP‘de iki dönem milletvekiligi
yapan Özgökçe, daha sonra Van Büyükşehir belediye eşbaşkanı olarak seçilmiş, ancak hukuksuz kayyum atamalarısonucunda bugün sürgüne mecbur edilmiş bir anne ve bir kadındır. Bedia Özgökçe Ertan bu konuşmasında; çözümsüzlük politikalarına mahkum
edilen Kürt halkının mücadelesini, Avrupa’da göçmenlere yönelik yükselen ayrımcılık politikasını ele almakta ve Kürt halkını zorunlu göçe zorlayan ırkçı yaklaşımının AB güç politikaları ile yeniden nasıl üretildiğine değinmektedir.
"Everyone is a racist!? - Everyone is racist!?"
Based on the provocative sentence of the title, we want to exchange ideas about everyday racisms in different formats. Finally, we turn to the question of what can be a meaningful way out, solution and goal.
Obere Königstr. 46, entrance Treppenstr.
Movie Screening: "Rudolf Duala Manga Bell - a German story" by Henrik Langsdorf in cooperation with Kasseler Initiative Blind Spots in the Sun.
Rudolf Duala Manga Bell was a Cameroonian king during the German colonial period, who was murdered by the Germans because of his resistance against colonialism. Today Rudolf Duala Manga Bell is a national hero in Cameroon. Our initiative works with his great-granddaughter Princess Marilyn Douala Manga Bell and his great-grandnephew Jean-Pierre Félix-Eyoum. Blind Spots in the Sun is a series of art interventions that address colonialism, collective memory, and racism in Germany.
MARCH 20, 14:00-16:00, MEETING POINT IN FRONT OF THE STÄNDEHAUS, STÄNDEPLATZ 6-12
Intercultural Walk of the Round Table of Religions Kassel From the Ständehaus via Treppenstraße, the City Hall and Friedrichsplatz, the path leads us to the Weinberg.
Friedrichsplatz, the path leads us to the Weinberg and through particularly exciting, but at times also depressing periods of Kassel's city history. Along the way are historical artifacts and reconstructions as well as plenty of stories from history. The excursion will take place in all weather except in the event of a thunderstorm warning. Corona outdoor rules apply. Registration is not required.
MARCH 20, 3:00 P.M., AT THE NORTH CITY STADIUM BALL FIELD.
Tournament "Street against Racism" by Streetbolzer.
Streetbolzer will organize a tournament on the football field in the North City Stadium. The tournament will be played under the motto "Street against Racism".
Registration for the tournament can either take place on site or in advance via our Instagram channel: @streetbolzer
MARCH 23RD, 15:00-18:00, AT THE YOUTH CENTER "ALTE SCHULE WALDAU".
"Strong Pose!" Movement and theater workshop by Studio Lev Kassel e.V. and the youth center "Alte Schule Waldau". Free of charge. You should be between 13 and 20 years old (we recommend that you bring comfortable clothes).
Registrations until March 16 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MARCH 23, 19:30-21:00,
NEW BROTHER'S CHURCH, WESERSTRASSE 26.
"What is racism? And what can be done about it?" Workshop, The term racism can be understood more narrowly and more broadly. We'll look at different ways of using it. Interfaith organized by: Islamic Center Kassel, Catholic Deanery Kassel, Ev. Hoffnungskirchengemeinde.
24. MÄRZ, 19:30, AT THE RURUHAUS
Obere Königstr. 46, entrance Treppenstr.
Movie Screening: „Rudolf Duala Manga Bell – eine deutsche Geschichte“ by Henrik Langsdorf in cooperation with Kasseler Initiative Blind Spots in the Sun.
STÄNDEPLATZ 16 (HALTESTELLE WILHELMSSTRASSE/STADTMUSEUM) Book launch: "Migrant Feminism Continues!"
The presented book undertakes a rewriting of feminist movements in Germany from the perspective of the political self-organization of migrant women*. On the basis of narratives of contemporary witnesses and archival material, the thesis is refuted,
that the 1990s were a "silent period" in the German women's movement. The 1980s and 1990s were the peak in the political self-organization of migrant women, Black women*, Sinti:zze and Romn:ja, exiled and Jewish women* in the Federal Republic and thus a "noisy" time!
Speakers: Encarnación Gutiérrez Rodríguez, Pınar Tuzcu (editors) and Behshid Najafi (contributor to the book).
Organizer:inside: Frauentreff Brückenhof e. V. and the Office for Equal Opportunities of the City of Kassel.
Registration until 23.03.2022 under email@example.com
or 0561 787-7069. prior to the event, information will be provided on current conditions due to the corona pandemic.
MARCH 26, 15:00, AT THE RURUHAUS
Obere Königstr. 46, entrance Treppenstr.
Movie Screening: "Rudolf Duala Manga Bell - a German story" by Henrik Langsdorf in cooperation with Kassel initiative Blind Spots in the Sun.
The Diversity Ambassadors of the Social Peace Service Kassel e.V. will accompany the International Weeks against Racism with street actions in the city center of Kassel. When, how and what - let yourself be surprised! But be attentive!
Rudolf Duala Manga Bell
the day has come for us to demand the rehabilitation of Duala Manga Bell and Ngoso Din! Our petition is addressed to the German government. I ask you to support this request with your signature.
To do so, please send an e-mail to the following address: Rehabilitate_King_Bell@posteo.de.
In your letter you should express your agreement, for example with the sentence: "I support the demand for the rehabilitation of Duala Manga Bell and Ngoso Din". Then state your full name. After that, you must also give your consent for publication, as the petition will become public.
Please also send this petition to your friends* and all the people who can join. The chances that our petition will be successful are better than ever with the current German government.
Thank you for your support!
To this day, the German government refuses to acknowledge the innocence of those executed. We demand that the German government immediately rehabilitate Rudolf Duala Manga Bell and Ngoso Din as a first step towards coming to terms with colonial injustice in Cameroon.
Princess Marilyn Douala Manga Bell
PD Dr. Stefanie Michels
Prof. Dr. Henning Melber
Prof. Dr. Matthew Fitzpatrick
Contact: Christian Bommarius, Berlin
Please send signatures to: Rehabilitate_King_Bell@posteo.de
InCooperation with the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Hessen e.V. and Blind Spots in the Sun, a panel discussion on colonial history and anti-black racism in Germany took place on September 3, 2021 at the ruruhaus of documenta fifteen in Kassel. A special focus was on the debate about the rehabilitation of Rudolf Duala Manga Bell, who was a victim of judicial murder by the German colonial government in Cameroon and whose descendants Princess Marilyn Duala Manga Bell and Jean-Pierre Félix Eyoum sat on the panel with him.
Here is a link to the full length recording
Mo Asumang is a film director, television host, best-selling author, actress, singer, artist and film producer. She shows her documentaries in schools and gives lectures on racism and xenophobia. In 2019, she received the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for her work.
Princess Marilyn Douala Manga Bell is a social economist and curator. She is the great-granddaughter of Rudolf Duala Manga Bell and co-founder of the cultural institution doual'art in Duala, Cameroon. For her services to international cultural exchange, she will receive the official 2021 Medal of Honor of the Federal Republic of Germany from the Goethe-Institut.
Jean-Pierre Félix-Eyoum was born in Cameroon and worked as a special education teacher in Germany since the 1980s. He is a co-founder of Deutschland Postkolonial and is committed to the rehabilitation of his great-uncle Rudolf Duala Manga Bell, who was unjustly executed by the German colonial regime in Cameroon in 1914.
Henrik Langsdorf works internationally in the fields of public art, video installation and design. His video installation "Ville Fantôme/Kinshasa La Belle" was shown at the Congo Biennale in Kinshasa and was part of the light installations at the Weinberg in Kassel.
He is the initiator of Blind Spots in the Sun.
Emilene Wopana Mudimu is a social worker, poetry artist and political activist in the fields of empowerment work with black people and anti-racism training. She has worked for the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the DGB and Theater Oberhausen, among others. She also runs "KingzCorner" in Aachen, a socio-cultural center that offers support to young people with an immigrant background.
Aisha Camara works as a freelance moderator and PR consultant in Frankfurt am Main. Her main topics are political education, racism and feminism.
Anys Reimann: Nvisible
Patrice Youta: Freedom
Ray Noland: Racial Divide
Viviane Messan-Lawson: Schwarz-weisse Gegenüberstellung
This project is a poster campaign that takes place on unused billboards in Kassel.
In the first part, artists, designers and illustrators were invited in a competition to develop poster ideas that introduce a broad audience to the topics of colonial history and racism in an unconventional way.
The second part of the poster campaign is called "What We Don't See in Kassel". For this, experiences of everyday racism as experienced by black, African and Afrodiasporic people in Kassel were posterized at the same time as the works selected by the jury from the first part of Blinds Spots in the Street.