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tv   Arts.21 - Postcolonial Europe The significance of memory  Deutsche Welle  January 23, 2022 11:30pm-12:01am CET

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oh, a soccer is a sport of the colors and the children in this mountain village. oh the more. but can every one be a dog with them regardless of gender? wears blue, the color of her favorite sexes. traditions prevent her from going to games and play with an insurmountable obstacle. little girl football on the peak distorts february 4th on d. w. on the one hand, you had this kind of narrow,
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ever european civilization. on the other hand you had exploitation question could be, what is colonialism not it's everywhere. and it's in every thing, but nobody can really theater name. it was, most european countries did was sell it as civil lies. admission with the black lives matter, new men to new migratory flows. european colonialism has been put into stage, centuries of european imperialism are still impacting on the modern world. but this legacy is often completely missing some political discourse. how deeply are western
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societies themselves, rooted in colonialism? what are the questions we need to be asking for artists respond? images of people under colonial rule, objectified, by the white gaze. with a few brush strokes, american artist, raj, come on colo reinventing these photos and, and many others. she pains a wavy exoticism white european view of the world and the way so many in the west sea history. i worked very sassed. i worked very intuitively and i just let the images kind of come out. and often what happens is that there is a kind of funny or violent and a push back to the image. a name was burmese girl who with
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a tasteful revenge, a woman in india weaving cloth for a superpower, south seas islanders uniting and solidarity photographs taken by and for europeans in the 19th and 20th centuries. proj, come on, colo has been reclaiming them for 20 years. she saw his face still shape how people view each other. even today these images tale exert power and the fillings or power over my life, how i see myself and how i see others. and i think that's true for every every one . and so, why these images can still exert this influence is what i'm interested in exploring . like, how does power work? how, how does power work in images and, and why do those images still affect how people see me?
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callo says she feels less like a foreigner here in her adopted home berlin than she did in california where she was born to indian parents. i actually see myself as equal parts colonized the and colonizer and so for me was always rooted in this perspective that i am american. and it's from the lens of being a person of color in the us, but also being an american. so having this imperial history and legacy as part of my identity and these were always the starting point for me to understand and look at. and he clue, movements and histories. and in the rest of the world, raj commo callo has reclaimed hundreds of photos from this book, the peoples of the earth originally published in 19 o 2 as an academic work. she sees it as more of
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a collection of colonial fairy tales. she dissects them and overlays them with new content laden with irony and political commentary. matter, gaskins are futuristic aeronautics and a persian dervish as lassitude. and it's also about a type of representation where people are pictured so that their humanity is not the 1st thing that you encounter when you look at their pictures. and for me, the projects only projects are about kind of bringing this humanity back the series . do you know our names as a similar act of rehabilitation based on images of women's bodies from the same book, stereotyped for ethnographic research? a lot of these original images, the women were without hair, without clothes,
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the eyes were unfocused. there was like so little representation of their humanity or their dignity or their beauty. the painting for me was a type of care i started to give them make up. i started to give them modern hairstyles. i started to give them clothes and they suddenly started to have an identity and dignity that was taken from the original photograph. her latest project focuses on how the media portrays people who fled their homes, compared to more privileged travelers. painted on to pages of an expedition report, filed by a wilfred fastener proj. a british colonial dining room for me, wilfred, this at your symbolizes kind of everything. i hate him. and um, and it is a big thing to say here, but it's like he is an aristocratic british man who
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traveled with tribal people in saudi arabia. and he is considered a hero by every one in the world. he gets to define what history is. he gets to say, what is the, what and people listen. and then on the other end of this, the other spectrum of this travel a is the refugee, and the refugee is pathologist. and they are criminalized and their fear. raj come o colo counters this image with the portraits of people looking proudly from the pages of passengers travel walks. she uses colonial era photographs to tell stories about the present. the question should be, what is colonialism? not raid. so it's like, if you think about environmental,
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the catastrophe of the environment right now, if you think about borders, if you think about migration, if you think about military occupations, everything is conditioned by colonial histories and policies and they continue to get her portraits subjects. gaze out of this world with confidence for me, beauty, the important form of protest. it's about my own sense of empowerment. and then also it's about giving agency to the people that are photograph. it's a kind of re distribution of power shenfield, a city in the north of england is where johnny pits grew up. a journalist, television presenter and photographer. his mother was from a white working class family and his father was an african american soul musician,
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book pro pain prices. his journey through black europe to uncover black european identities that go beyond cliche you either get images of black people in tower blocks and hoodies looking like they're violent, or you get images of black people, sports, 1000 and smiley know like festivals or carnivals. and having fun and partying. but as the talk you don't often see the in between this of things, the banality, the everydayness, i want to work commute. i want to people on the metro going, going to pick the kids up from school. you get kind of every day, black experience that kind of try to try to normalize all the exact size blackness in your field. johnny pitts traveled to and on to amsterdam, lin stokeland rome and must say he wanted to meet black europeans from the most diverse backgrounds. as the son of an african american, he experience is structural racism, the town. but he knows that his experiences are different from those of many other
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like britain. while my dad was he and brought this very house, you know, the neighbors would say, all that's richie, the american, the entertainer there was a kind of romance about it. there was something that was exotic about him. so people wouldn't look him enough to think about british colonialism. so that's a very different experience, of course, to the black communities who were here, who are, who have this shared history, who tangled up in colonialism. johnny pitts tells us about the effects of imperialism, or black people in europe, the legacy of colonialism, and what drew him to backpack through the continent. i did start to know as a rise in racism and it troubled me. and i start to know it's a kind of insularity that was taking place in this country that scares me as someone with brown skin living on an island that is leading towards the right. so i wanted to look beyond britain,
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i discovered an old continent that was creaking. and black community is very often living on the periphery of europe. and the new notion of blackness that never really fit together properly. you know, the more i tried to the afro peon solidly onto something, the more it fell upon. what is afro peon? is it something that actually exists or is it a construct? it's definitely a construct. i don't want to say exactly what afro peon is. it's a word if it resonates, if you feel like you want something that can explain a kind of pluralism in a single word, then you might flock to and that's what happened. and very quickly, the community emerged around this word and i think that's something the, the black community in europe haven't had a historically in the same way that the african american community had, you know, a kind of solidarity in the face of racism for p and into we so reasons the people
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pitts meets on his journey with the history of european colonialism. he should light on atrocities white europeans committed on african. so the still often shrouded in silence. today. that includes the genocide perpetrated by imperial german troops against the herrera, a number of people in present day b, b, a. germans often seem to deny or even suppress that a history of colonialism was that your impression, i find that there is a bit of kind of historical amnesia about jim and colonialism. if you think of the where africa was called, it was actually in berlin. africa was called the people across europe got together in berlin to decide which parts of africa they would choose for themselves, which is why the continent of africa is full of on natural straight lines that were drawn by somebody in europe on a rule and said, we'll take that paul, you know, and so i think there is a great forgets in all across the continent, not just in germany. i think one of the places that really shocked to me is belgium
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because, you know, of course, belgium colonialism was a particularly virulent kind of colonialism that maimed massacre more than 10000000 congolese. i. ready me, oh, i how good countries like belgium, oh, justify treating people in such a humane and cruel way. one of the things that really bothered me about founding belgium was, was finding a book called tinted in congo. and i was a big fan of tintin growing up. i watch the cartoons and i read the books. what scared me seen this edition of tinted in congo that was used as propaganda for belgium, colonialism. so you had this notion that belgian colonialism was a kind of force for good, was a benevolent force that was that providing infrastructure for these are these lazy your or inept africans. when of course,
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the real reason that they were in belgium was because they were exploit in the ivory and the ruba, you know, during the industrial revolution. oh. ready oh me oh, what one for you to take responsibility, eisner political sense? well, there's a conversation about reparations, which i'm, i'm completely on boarded. i don't see why black community is shouldn't receive money for full. you know, the things that create a system that still places at the i'm at the bottom. i think that needs to be a level of honesty. and i think it does start with teaching colonialism in schools . when i'm criticizing europe, when i'm criticizing this country, our europe to be a better place, i wanna take part in europe. i wanna, i want britain to be a better place. i'm fight in for this country. ah, but maybe not in the way that, that people traditionally fought for it, which is, you know, to keep certain a prejudices in place. that's johnny pitts vision
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a year that confronts its colonial past head on and stops marginalizing black people. many valuable artifacts from african countries are held in european museums. the fact the treasures are here testifies to a colonial past and triggers modern day controversy. should they be repatriated in what context can european museums show them to day? when we go to those machines we, we look at those objects, it's more like like a distant vacation hold thing. busy i think the institutions and europe, and on the whole global north are fairly conservative. that means they don't want to change their power position. of course. take berlin's noise museum. it holds the famous bust of nefertiti,
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which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. for close to a century, egyptians have been demanding her return without success. so how can these art collections be freed from their colonial context, made accessible to everyone. artists, nora, i'll battery, and yon nikolai millis published this 3 d scan of nefertiti on line without the museums permission. as long as to control, not just the physical artifact, but also the digital one. you, you're kind of controls the narrative around it, because then you can decide which research, for example, you give it to, with the data in the public domain, berlin state museums lost their monopoly over this cultural treasure at least digitally. now any one with a 3 d printer can make their own nefertiti. one replica now lies buried in the egyptian desert, was a kind of symbolic restitution that actually mess i, when all of your material cut material objects of culture are in another country
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and completely de contextualized and actually got there violently named it through colonialism. so it totally doesn't matter where the object is, who gets to tell the story, the imperial museum is obsolete. the process of the transition of the museum has begun, and now we gain self empty to tell our story. publishing the data set on a public domain with an effort katie, but also with other projects. it's very important for me that now the reality has changed because everyone can actually access it. re mix it, talk about it, discuss it. with the help of scraped data, 3 d tech no. reggie and artificial intelligence nora al body began to reconstruct the history of mesopotamia. to do this, she had to collect thousands of images of real objects. she managed to get access to the databases of european museums through the digital back door.
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ah, as long as those cannot come, museums kind of just concern themselves. i think they're not relevant and meaningful in our world and they don't connect to what's going on today. whereas i think the objects do and their stories do totally. and through this like digital leyha, what i like to call technol heritage. it's possible to re appropriate the meaning of representation and serenity over the meaning. for nora l boundary, the images have special meaning because they represent the cultural heritage of her father's homeland iraq at no additional. one of the few words i do that actually has a very biographical component, i would say, because i'm half iraqi is a country which i could never visit a little bit a research for like how did babylon actually look like and can be recreate some things without just copying it, but generating completely new object. and that's important,
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especially in the region which is nowadays iraq where everything usually is just destroyed and lot of the way her project fossil futures also employs digital technologies to tackle the issue of stolen cultural heritage and public property in southern tanza, near many dinosaur bones, run north, during german, colonial domination, tons of these valuable fossils were taken abroad. it was the thought and tender grew. were the dinosaur, which is today, the centerpiece of the natural history museum in berlin was excavated and, and seen exploit it to day it is land grabbed by multinational companies the exact same spot. and of course, the people there are in rate, and i totally understand us. and so for all of my projects, i go to this places and talk to the people. one of these places is berlin's girl.
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it's a park notorious for drug dealing. many of the dealers here fled from sub saharan africa. they lack work permits and prospects. a buttery is planning an event where these men will paddle art not drugs. i think it's like a colonial situation in real time here. what we can see and girl, it's our park and it's constantly like violating the rights of leg bodies. and my proposition here is to years ard as a substance or, and as a substance for imagining another world to nora, i'll battery firmly believes that the power of art can break down colonial structures. and the inequality they've created. mm. a sort of electronic beats. after a breakup,
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elza bhalla produced this track in camera in lansing and crying all the same time. she says women there were treated with more respect before the europeans came, had me confused and love out of law. got me decidedly. i didn't know how to justify colonialism. had such an impact will also people mentality. they were purposely erasing also the culture of the people stumbling of the imagery of a black man of the 21st century. i couldn't swallow my pride. trust i u . u u l 's umbrella was 10 when she left cameron and came to germany along with her 2 brothers. wow. wow. wow. their mother wanted to do her doctor at a german university. coming here it was a dream was
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a small african child. white culture is a no a t, v 's, everywhere. it's the norm is the standard. so when you know, as a 10 year old that you're going to europe, it's like the sugar candy, please put in a small town in southern germany. she was the only black girl around. she experienced the burden of being others of races they don't teacher mar calling allison in terms of where the resources come from. and how did welp come to europe in such an amount? it came from their colonies and is really insane to me to be in this world and go to school. so many years when a teacher. so possibly about the world you're going to be living in and they leave . ready out this huge part of history and when she was 20 elza and bella decided to return to cameroon in search of her ribs. and it was
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really research and where i'm coming from where i wore my in terms of legacy in to her history beside anderson. and it was really sad also to see that my parents have little connection to even what was before. then she wanted to establish a musical connection to governor boy. welcome home is about cameroon and all its strengths and flaws that with mom i, when i went to come, i was playing the guitar and i was singing. and i getting come on, i just realized that like it's how's to laser, it was not loud enough. couldn't hold on leg. europe is very common in europe. the super gum. yeah. when this is like, when
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a gentleman so it didn't much, the energy really should change styles, experimented with electronic beats and made sounds collages, discovering the world a new in the process. and that's a mix of the african realities adult form, basically, back from past and from now elza bhalla now spends most of her time in germany. she lives with her young daughter in berlin. but africa is a strong part of the mix. on this track, she sample speeches by kwame and crew, mark the 1st leader of an independent gonna and mixes them with bits of dialogue. she recorded during taxi rides around camera room high. now she no longer feels the need to enlighten germans who blank on their
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countries colonial past. he and germany, i have conversational more with people who are like germany to laugh colony. right . and i like use google in berlin and bala gets a taste of home at this camera. rooney in restaurant these days, her search for identity has faded a bit into the background. ha ha, the mixture of the to make a world for me because going back to come on was an attempt to go back to a world that i felt i belong to, which wasn't true. but i guess i needed to do that for myself to figure oh, oh i so it's, it's at the end. are they up to me to create that that mixture in my everyday i try so because it's just very much healthy. it's a healthy balance and that's something she hopes to pass on to her daughter.
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what i discover with them is that not that important, it's okay to live also in that space of not knowing an uncertainty while enjoying the journey to maybe becoming closer to who i am. so these berlin street names that are a relic of germany as colonial past. don't discourage l 0 balance. she says the future of the streets lies in the hands of the cities. black communities with the past can help the future. that was 21. so know and see you next time. ah ah,
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