Afrika 50 year inDependence

21st to 24th of October - 2010 FESTIVAL

Hamburg / Germany

Edition 1 - Africa : Independence Development Migration

Cinema - Photography - Lecture - Conference

This year, 17 African countries are celebrating 50 years of independence from France, Belgium, Germany and Great Britain. We too wish to celebrate the formation of Africa’s nations, in all its historical complexity, by organising an event in Hamburg, where the presence of 25 000 Africans and the willingness of the German population to get to know these Africans, now in their second – even third – generation, give it a particular meaning. During the four days of the festival – taking place for the first time – the organisers propose to present films and photographs in the presence of the directors and photographers. In addition, an evening of “readings” and a conference linked to the themes of the festival will be held. Throughout the event, photographs in large format will hang in the streets of the area in which the festival is taking place, seeking to ‘go out and meet’ the local population.

Film - 3001 Cinema & University

  1. Ten films will be shown in the cinema ‘3001’ (in ‘Sternschanze’), and in the Institute of Asian and African Studies, Hamburg University. These showings will be followed by “question - answer” sessions between the directors and the public.
  2. The morning and early afternoon sessions of Thursday and Friday (21st and 22nd October) will be set aside for schools; Two sessions are envisaged each day, one for 14-16 year olds and one for 16-18 year olds. Teachers will have the choice between two films, choosing according to the age of their students.

Photography (Slide shows - large screen) - Haus73 & University

  1. One photographer each day will present and comment on a selection of images made in Africa and/or in Europe. These four slide shows will be shown on a screen measuring 260 x 180 cm.
  2. Large-scale photographs will be visible in the streets and passage-ways of the area throughout the festival; They will be displayed in the week preceding the festival and in the week following, informing the residents of the event and involving them in it.
  3. Photographers will participate also at the University day and for a session in a school (Slide show and talk).

Videos Art Installation - Haus73

During the four days of the festival, 12 videos made by African artists will be shown continuously in Haus73. They will be shown on different sized monitors spread throughout the building.

Reading - Haus73

A Journalist - Philosopher will read two texts related to the themes of the festival. A actor will read a text related to colonialism.

Conference - University

To celebrate the 50 years of independence, themes related to the festival will be discussed in two conferences at the university: The colonial and post-colonial history of Europe and Africa, as well as migration and its effects. This conference will be open to the public. Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia and Togo

Extracted from the “Discourse on Colonialism” by Aimé Césaire And since I have been asked to speak about colonization and civilization, let us go straight to the principal lie which is the source of all the others. Colonization and civilization? In dealing with this subject, the commonest curse is to be the dupe in good faith of a collective hypocrisy that cleverly misrepresents problems, the better to legitimize the hateful solutions provided for them. In other words, the essential thing here is to see clearly, to think clearly - that is, dangerously - and to answer clearly the innocent first question: what, fundamentally, is colonization? To agree on what it is not: neither evangelization, nor a philanthropic enterprise, nor a desire to push back the frontiers of ignorance, disease, and tyranny, nor a project undertaken for the greater glory of God, nor an attempt to extend the rule of law. To admit once for all, without flinching at the consequences, that the decisive actors here are the adventurer and the pirate, the wholesale grocer and the ship owner, the gold digger and the merchant, appetite and force, and behind them, the baleful projected shadow of a form of civilization which, at a certain point in its history, finds itself obliged, for internal reasons, to extend to a world scale the competition of its antagonistic economies. Pursuing my analysis, I find that hypocrisy is of recent date; that neither Cortez discovering Mexico from the top of the great teocalli, nor Pizzaro before Cuzco (much less Marco Polo before Cambaluc), claims that he is the harbinger of a superior order; that they kill; that they plunder; that they have helmets, lances, cupidities; that the slavering apologists came later; that the chief culprit in this domain is Christian pedantry, which laid down the dishonest equations Christianity=civilization, paganism=savagery, from which there could not but ensue abominable colonialist and racist consequences, whose victims were to be the Indians, the yellow peoples, and the Negroes. ….. And I say that between colonization and civilization there is an infinite distance; that out of all the colonial expeditions that have been undertaken, out of all the colonial statutes that have been drawn up, out of all the memoranda that have been dispatched by all the ministries, there could not come a single human value. First we must study how colonization works to decivilize the colonizer, to brutalize him in the true sense of the word, to degrade him, to awaken him to buried instincts, to covetousness, violence, race hatred, and moral relativism; and we must show that each time a head is cut off or an eye put out in Vietnam and in France they accept the fact, each time a little girl is raped and in France they accept the fact, each time a Madagascan is tortured and in France they accept the fact, civilization acquires another dead weight, a universal regression takes place, a gangrene sets in, a center of infection begins to spread; and that at the end of all these treaties that have been violated, all these lies that have been propagated, all these punitive expeditions that have been tolerated, all these prisoners who have been tied up and “interrogated, all these patriots who have been tortured, at the end of all the racial pride that has been encouraged, all the boastfulness that has been displayed, a poison has been instilled into the veins of Europe and, slowly but surely, the continent proceeds toward savagery. Translated by Joan Pinkham. This version published by Monthly Review Press: New York and London, 1972. Originally published as Discours sur le colonialisme by Editions Presence Africaine, 1955.




18.10.2010 | por nadinesiegert | Independence