Season 2, Episode 5: Apologies are not Enough

In this episode, edna bonhomme interviewed Will Fredo Furtado about the development and continuation of colonialism in art museums and art biennale, as well as the controversies surrounding an Afrofuturist exhibition in Berlin that failed to feature a Black artist and Will’s  efforts to democratize writing in Latin America and the African continent. 

Will Fredo Furtado is a non-binary artist, writer and editor exploring power dynamics, cultural dislocation and the intersection of pop culture, decolonial thought, kuirness and technology. Born in Portugal of Guatemalan and Cape Verdean heritage, Will is based in Berlin, Germany. Since 2017 Will is the deputy editor of Contemporary And, an art platform focused on African perspectives, and previously the art and digital editor at Sleek, an art and fashion magazine. In their artistic practice Will Fredo Furtado works with images and text to explore decoloniality and Global South epistemologies. Will has exhibited with institutions and art projects including Ludwig Forum Aachen, Körnerpark Galerie Berlin, Supplement Projects Miami, 1.1 Basel, whitebox.art and Sharjah Film Platform.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Will Furtado, Contributions in Contemporary And

Will Furtado, An Afrofuturism Show With No Black Artists: What Went Wrong at Berlin’s Künstlerhaus Bethanien?

Will Furtado, Articles in Sleek Magazine

Will Furtado, Instagram

Will Furtado, Tumblr

CREDITS

Interview and editing by edna bonhomme
Music by MattiaGiovanetti (477877, Attribution License, Creative Commons), NALALIONGIRL (442612, Attribution License, Creative Commons), X3nus (450539, Attribution License, Creative Commons), zagi2 ( 265251, Attribution License, Creative Commons)

Season 2, Episode 4: Finding Pleasure in the Age of Corona

In this episode, edna bonhomme interviewed Lee Richards and Camille Barton, two queer decolonial activists and researchers living in Berlin about their practice of somatic healing. We also discussed how they are coping with COVID-19, what is happening in their communities abroad, and how we can help marginalized communities navigate through this current crisis. We spoke about the intersections of wellness, care, and social justice.

Description text:

Lee Richards

Lee Richards, also known by their stage name Daddypuss Rex, is an intersectional gender terrorist with a big mouth and who isn’t afraid to use it. Based in Berlin, they are a multidisciplinary artist/poet/stand up comedian and co-producer of the Queer talk show ‘Just The T’ . They often use a mix of humor and poetry to navigate topics such as anti-Blackness, racism, transphobia and general colonial nonsense – the goal is to touch hearts, minds, and butts…with active consent! Additionally, Lee is a yoga teacher whose classes center Black and Queer experiences, narratives and bodies of all shapes, sizes and abilities – giving space to practitioners to fully exercise their agency on and off the mat. Their goal here is to decolonize the practice of yoga and to bring it to marginalized communities that are often overlooked by the colonial cishetero patriarchy that is prevalent in the (yoga) world today. Their teaching style combines elements from the Hatha Vinyasa Vedic system as well as traditional African (Kemetic/Smai Tawi) postures, movements, and philosophies. Lee uses yoga as a means to connect people to their own bodies, to their own minds, and ultimately to their own higher selves.

Follow them on Instagram: @daddypuss.rex

Camille Barton

Camille Barton is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, facilitator, coach and somatic movement practitioner, working on the intersections of wellness, arts, drug policy, and social change. They are the director of the Collective Liberation Project and co-produced RE:GENERATE, a Black centered UK arts festival focusing on the intersections of drug policy, racial justice, and liberation.
Their film, Space is the Place, made in association with C4 Random Acts, can be found here.

Website: www.camillebarton.co.uk


SHOW NOTES

Barton, Camille and Imani Robinson. “Drug Policy and the Fight for Black Lives.” Vice, Nov. 2, 2017. https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/ne33yw/drug-policy-and-the-fight-for-black-lives.

Koram, Kojo, ed. The War on Drugs and the Global Colour Line. London: Pluto Press, 2019.

“The Colour of Injustice: ‘Race’, drugs and law enforcement in England and Wales” 2016/17 report conducted by StopWatch, Release, and LSE’s International Drug Policy Unit on how Black and minority ethnic communities are impacted by drug law enforcement in England and Wales

ORGANIZATIONS AND CAMPAIGNS TO SUPPORT:

LGBTQIA+ & WOMXN RELIEF FOR COVID-19, organized by Karada House, Berlin:  
https://karada-house.de/2020/03/28/queer-relief-for-corvid-19/

@intersectional.solidarity (paypal):
transwomanofcolor@gmail.com

@berlincollectiveaction:
https://www.betterplace.me/berlin-collective-action-nightlife-emergency-fund16?utm_campaign=user_share&utm_medium=campaign_telegram&utm_source=Telegram

@karada_house:
https://karada-house.de/events/karada-survival-workshop/

CREDITS

Interview and editing by edna bonhomme
Music by MattiaGiovanetti (477877, Attribution License, Creative Commons), NALALIONGIRL (442612, Attribution License, Creative Commons), X3nus (450539, Attribution License, Creative Commons), zagi2 ( 265251, Attribution License, Creative Commons)

Season 2, Episode 2: Migrant Chronicles in the Age of Coronavirus

What do migrants living in Berlin think about the novel coronavirus pandemic?

Angela Merkel declared that up to 70% of Germany could be infected by COVID-19, leading to nationwide public health measures and the closure of the borders. For migrants living in Berlin, COVID-19 is raising questions about the health conditions of loved ones living abroad, as well as the rise of draconian measures that are linked with increased surveillance internationally. During this episode, edna bonhomme speaks with two anticolonial migrants based in Berlin. First, she talks with Mugo Muna, a Kenyan American data analyst and organiser with Berlin’s inaugural Anti-Colonial month, who discusses the impact on the virus in Kenya, the United States, and Berlin. Then, she spoke with Jennifer Kamau, a Kenyan co-founder of International Womxn* Space, about the ways refugees are navigating through the pandemic in Germany and the importance of solidarity.

Mugo Muna is a Kenyan American data analyst by day and a 2D animator by night. He is one of many key activists who helped to organise Berlin’s inaugural Anti-Colonial Month in 2019. He has given talks on the relationship between surveillance and colonialism.

Mugo Muna.

Jennifer Kamau is a co-founder of International Women Space (IWS), an anti-racist feminist group consisting of refugee migrant women as well as women without this experience. The group was formed during the occupation of Oranienplatz (a square in Berlin’s district of Kreuzberg) and the Gehart-Hauptmann School in Berlin-Kreuzberg. IWS fosters solidarity and cooperation among migrant women, publishes books and organises campaigns, protests and conferences on the topics of seeking asylum and migrant women’s struggles. In 2017, IWS organised “Als ich nach Deutschland Kam” (“When I came to Germany“), a two-day conference in Berlin. During the conference, different women shared their experience in six panel discussions: women who came to West Germany as guest-workers; women who came to East Germany as contract workers; women who came as migrants and refugees to reunified Germany as well as women who are affected by racism.

Jennifer Kamau.

Ngoc Bui is a Vietnamese-American currently studying social work and human rights in Berlin. 

LINKS


How to Provide Support for Migrants to Combat the Coronavirus in Berlin

Berlin Anticolonial Month

International Women Space

Berlin Information about Coronavirus related resources

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Aïssa Sica, Storyteller and Creator of Womxn* of Color Blog

Jennifer Speaking for International Womxn* Space at the March to Commemorate the African victims of enslavement, colonialism, and racist violence on 29 February 2020 in Berlin, Germany.

International Women Space, ALS ICH NACH DEUTSCHLAND KAM(Unrast Verlag / in Vorverkauf) [“When I came to Germany“- Unrast Verlag], 2019

International Women Space, UNS GIBT ES, WIR SIND HIER(Publikation im Selbstverlag) [“We exist, we are here“- self-published], 2018

International Women Space, IN UNSEREN EIGENEN WORTEN (Publikation im Selbstverlag) [“In our own words”- self-published], 2015

CREDITS

Interview and editing by edna bonhomme
Assistance by Ngoc Bui
Music by MattiaGiovanetti (477877, Attribution License, Creative Commons), NALALIONGIRL (442612, Attribution License, Creative Commons), X3nus (450539, Attribution License, Creative Commons), zagi2 ( 265251, Attribution License, Creative Commons)

Season 1 Recap

edna bonhomme and Kristyna Comer highlight the contributions from Season 1 of the Decolonization in Action Podcast. We will resume the podcast in mid-March.

In this episode, edna bonhomme and Kristyna Comer, the hosts of the Decolonization in Action Podcast, present an overview of Season 1 and provides excerpts of some of the ways that guests have put decoloniality in their work by interrogating science, museums, memory, the arts, and climate justice. We will resume with Season 2 of the podcast in mid-March 2020.

Image by Nina Prader, http://www.ladylibertypress.org/About-Nina-Prader

The excerpts highlighted in the recap came from the following episodes:

Episode 6: Towards an African Technological & Scientific Imaginary
decolonizationinaction.com/2019/12/10/episode-6/

Episode 8: Heritage Formation
decolonizationinaction.com/2020/01/01/…-formation/

Episode 4: Colonial Medicalization and Homosexuality in the Philippines
decolonizationinaction.com/2019/11/18/…calization/

Episode 10: “Whose Solutions?” Podcast por el Clima at COP25 with Sumugan Sivanesan
decolonizationinaction.com/2020/02/04/…-sivanesan/

Credits

CREDITS

Recordings by edna bonhomme and Kristyna Comer
Music by ispeakwaves (384935 and 439877, Attribution License, Creative Commons), pryght one (27130, Sampling+ License), scotcampbell (263709, Creative Commons License), X3nus (450539, Attribution License, Creative Commons), Halima Ahkdar (64112, Attribution License, Creative Commons)
Logo by Nina Prader, Lady Liberty Press
Photo by edna bonhomme

Season 1 Episode 8: Heritage Formation

IN THIS EPISODE, DR. DUANE JETHRO DISCUSSES THE WAYS THAT HERITAGE SITES ARE CONSTRUCTED AND RE-IMAGINED THROUGH THE SENSES WITH SPECIAL EMPHASIS ON POST-APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA AND GERMANY.

Image photographed by edna bonhomme from the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa.

DR. DUANE JETHRO

Dr. Duane Jethro is a post-doctoral research fellow working with the project Making Differences at the Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage (CARMAH) Department of European Ethnology, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. CARMAH was established in the Department for European Ethnology at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, in partnership with the Museum of Natural History Berlin and the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, as part of the research award for Sharon Macdonald’s Alexander von Humboldt Professorship. His research looks at the mobilization of post-colonial and decolonial language in the context of contested street renaming, heritage commodification, as well as heritage aesthetics and social difference in Berlin.

Dr. Duane Jethro.

He is a graduate of the University of Utrecht. He is an Associate Research Fellow at the Archive and Public Culture Research Initiative at the University of Cape Town, where held a post-doctoral research fellowship in 2016.  In 2017 he was awarded a Georg Forster Alexander von Humboldt Post Doctoral Research Fellowship. His research focuses on the cultural construction of heritage and contested public cultures. He is a regular contributor to the online blog Africasacountry and has published in Material ReligionAfrican Diaspora and Tourist Studies and the International Journal of Heritage Studies. His book Heritage Formation and the Senses in Post-Apartheid South Africa is published by Bloomsbury Academic. The book references the pathbreaking, sensuous work of the historian and journalist Jacob Dlamini. See his book Native Nostalgiahere. It also frames South Africa’s fraught memory politics. 

LINKS

A list of the organizations doing important black activist work in the Berlin, especially in regards to colonial legacies marked in street names and sites:

Africavenir – http://www.africavenir.org/
Berlin Post-Kolonial – http://berlin-postkolonial.de/en/home-2 
Each One Teach One – https://www.eoto-archiv.de/
Institute for Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland – http://isdonline.de/

CREDITS

Interview by edna bonhomme and post-production by Kristyna Comer
Music by pryght one (27130, Sampling+ License), scotcampbell (263709, Creative Commons 0 License), X3nus (450539, Attribution License, Creative Commons)

Season 1 Episode 7: “Climate Justice Matters For Black Lives Now”: Black Interventions in the Climate Crisis

While COP25 is taking place in Madrid, edna bonhomme discusses the climate crisis with Rebecca Abena Kennedy-Asante from BLACK EARTH, a BIPoC Environmental and Climate Justice Collective in Berlin, and Antoinette Yetunde Oni, an architectural designer and artist based in Lagos, Nigeria.

Photo by BLACK EARTH – BIPoC Environmental & Climate Justice Kollektiv Berlin 2019

This episode focuses on Black and African people who dedicate their creative practices and activist work to climate justice and sustainable futures. While the UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) is taking place in Madrid, edna bonhomme discusses the climate crisis with Rebecca Abena Kennedy-Asante from BLACK EARTH – BIPoC Environmental & Climate Justice Kollektiv Berlin, and Antoinette Yetunde Oni, an architectural designer and artist based in Lagos, Nigeria.

The episode begins with Antoinette Yetunde Oni, a Lagos-based artist who was a 2019 fellow at ZK/U, Center for Art and Urbanistics in Berlin in cooperation with the Department for Art and Culture Berlin-Mitte, Galerie Wedding, SAVVY Contemporary Berlin, and the Arthouse Foundation Lagos. Antoinette talks about her recent exhibition, New Commons Lagos to Berlin, in Berlin at Galerie Wedding and her commitment to activating design and African sustainable practices as ways to combat the climate crisis. She also connects how extractive capitalism and colonialism are not only the underlying causes of increased flooding in Lagos but are also directly related to racism and the exclusion of BIPoC activists within climate movements in London and Berlin. To prevent the climate crisis from continuing, she discusses how people need to come before profit.

In the second part of this episode, Rebecca Abena Kennedy-Asante from BLACK EARTH – BIPoC Environmental & Climate Justice Kollektiv Berlin contextualizes the recent Fridays for Future Climate Strike in Berlin within the country the emits the most carbon pollution in Europe: Germany. In order to confront the climate crisis, she talks about the importance of understanding how this crisis itself arose, which is the story of colonialism, industrialization, and violence that has lasted over 500 years. She also links current climate justice movements with centuries of anti-colonial struggles, discussing how protecting land rights has always been about also protecting the environment, while also talking about how the BLACK EARTH collective brings Black and Indigenous as well as non-cis, trans, intra, and non-binary perspectives to the climate justice movement in Berlin.

REBECCA ABENA KENNEDY-ASANTE

Rebecca Abena Kennedy-Asante studied naturopathy, nature conservation, and ecology in Berlin and Potsdam. In addition to botany, Abeni is interested in movements that are anti-racist, queer*feminist, and ecological. Abeni is part of a Black and People of Colour group, which is reclaiming environmental and climate justice. BLACK EARTH – BIPoC Environmental & Climate Justice Kollektiv Berlin deals with sustainability, veganism, environmental, and climate justice from Black and PoC perspectives. How do the oppression of marginalized groups and the exploitation of ecosystems relate to each other? Which ecosystems and people are particularly affected by climate change? The aim is not only to question the white and cis heterodominated left-wing activist*environmental scene, but also to create a space for intersectional activism in which BIPoC feel comfortable.

BLACK EARTHBIPoC Environmental & Climate Justice Kollektiv Berlin
RECENT ARTICLES & ACTIONS

Photo by BLACK EARTH – BIPoC Environmental & Climate Justice Kollektiv Berlin 2019

ANTOINETTE YETUNDE ONI

Antoinette Yetunde Oni is a Nigerian architectural designer and artist whose work narrates fictitious futuristic landscapes and architectural interventions that explore solutions to environmental concerns such as resource degradation and desertification in differing contexts.

Her exploration of the Sahel Region and the wider West African topography began during her time as an NGO representative at the United Nations where she advocated for rural women’s land rights in Ghana and Nigeria.

In addition to her work as an artist and advocate, she worked as a designer for a Lagos-based architecture firm where she collaborated with local artisans on projects of varying scales.

Her most recent work includes a joint exhibition New Commons Lagos to Berlin where she explored the importance of culturally dynamic spaces in Berlin such as the Dong Xuan market in Lichtenberg and the positioning of diasporic communities in the current climate debate. Her medium is collaging, painting and digital print.

Antoinette holds a BA (honours) in Architecture from the Manchester School of Architecture and is currently undergoing an MSc in Architecture, Urbanism and Building Sciences at the Technische Universiteit Delft in the Netherlands.

Website
LinkedIn
ZK/U Fellowship Project, New Commons

CREDITS

Interview and post-production by edna bonhomme
Music by pryght one (27130, Sampling+ License), scotcampbell (263709, Creative Commons 0 License), X3nus (450539, Attribution License, Creative Commons)

Season 1 Episode 1, Part 2: Decolonizing Berlin

In Part 2, we continue the conversation on coloniality in Berlin with Dr. Noa Ha and Prof. Dr. Tahani Nadim to interrogate how decolonization is currently being understood within Berlin institutions. We also discuss our guests’ own positionalities within academia, museums, and political organizations, as well as the decolonial and anti-colonial methodologies they employ in their work and activism.

“When metaphor invades decolonization, it kills the very possibility of decolonization; it recenters whitness, it resettles theory, it extends innocence to the settler, it entertains a settler future.”

Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang
“Decolonization Is Not a Metaphor,” Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education, and Society, 1 (1) (2012): 1–40.

Episode 1, Part 2: Decolonizing Berlin


In Part 2, we continue the conversation on coloniality in Berlin with Dr. Noa Ha and Prof. Dr. Tahani Nadim to interrogate how decolonization is currently being understood within Berlin institutions.  We also discuss our guests’ own positionalities  within academia, museums, and political organizations, as well as the decolonial and anti-colonial methodologies they employ in their work and activism.

Photograph taken by edna bonhomme

Dr. Noa Ha
Born in West-Germany and child of an Indo-Dutch-German family, Noa Ha has directed the Center for Integration Research at the TU Dresden since 2018. After her formation as landscape gardener, she studied landscape planning at TU Berlin and did her doctorate in architecture on the topic of informality and racism exemplified by street vending in Berlin. She taught and researched in the areas of historical urbanism, urban sociology and the sociology of space at TU Berlin, Center for Metropolitan Studies, and the Humboldt-Universität. Her research investigates processes of urban production from decolonial, critical race theory, feminist and queer theory perspective. She’s a founding member of the “Critical Race, Postcolonial and Decolonial Studies Association” and was active in several organizations such as Migrationsrat Berlin-Brandenburg e.V., of korientation e.V. (an Asian German network) and of Critical Ethnic Studies Association (CESA).

Prof. Dr. Tahani Nadim

Prof. Dr. Tahani Nadim is Junior Professor for Socio-Cultural Anthropology in a joint appointment between the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin and the Department for European Ethnology at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and a researcher at CARMAH since 2017. Her interdisciplinary research combines the sociology and the anthropology of science and focuses on problematizing data practices and data infrastructures in biodiversity discovery and natural history collections. She heads the interdisciplinary research centre Humanities of Nature at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, which examines the politics of nature past and present. She also runs the experimental research unit Bureau for Troubles in which she collaborates with artists and curators. Her writings have appeared in Science as CultureBig Data & Society and the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. Her most recent exhibitions include The Influencing Machine (neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst, Berlin 2018-19) and Dead wasps fly further (Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, 2015).

Organizations and projects mentioned in this episode

CREDITS

Interviewed by edna bonhomme, Kristyna Comer, and Marianna Szczygielska, April and May 2019
Recordings by edna bonhomme, Kristyna Comer, and Marianna Szczygielska
Post-production by Kristyna Comer
Music by ispeakwaves (384935 and 439877, Attribution License, Creative Commons), pryght one (27130, Sampling+ License), scotcampbell (263709, Creative Commons 0 License), X3nus (450539, Attribution License, Creative Commons)
Logo by Nina Prader, Lady Liberty Press
Photo by edna bonhomme

Special thanks to Gina Grzimek, Stephanie Hood, Anja Krieger, Dr. Lisa Onaga, Nina Prader, Prof. Dr. Dagmar Schäfer, Karin Weninger, and Dr. Danyang Zhang.