5.00-7.00: Workshop-Phase 3

Ecological Agriculture and Freedom of Movement: The Artists’ Village Faso Kele in Guinea

Julia Friese-Konaté (Faso Kele) & Julia Daiber (Afrique-Europe-Interact)
Venue: May Ayim // DE (interpreted in DE–FR–EN)

In April 2016 – in the region of Kindia in Guinea (Conakry) – an ecological artists’ village was founded by the intercultural artist and activist group FASO KELE. In this workshop we want to discuss, to what extent such initiatives have a positive impact on local and global development, the right to freedom of movement, and the protection of the environment and resources. The workshop will begin with a performance that points out and problematizes the borders between Europe and Africa that puts into question cultural, political and conventional borders, inviting participants to cross borders.

Julia Friese-Konaté is an activist and has regularly been in West Africa since 2009. In 2010, she co-founded the development-political association Mali Bakoydio and joined Afrique-Europe-Interact. Since 2011, she has been working together with the transcultural artist group Faso Kele.

Julia Daiber studied Art and Visual Communication in Freiburg. Since 2012 she has photographed events of the network Afrique-Europe-Interact. She lives in the urban community Allahopp in Bremen.

 

Bitter grapes. Labor disputes in South African wineyards

Mercia Andrews (Director of TCOE, Trust for Community Outreach and Education, Kapstadt) & Karel Swartund Deneco Dube (Member and activist at CSAAWU)

Venue: Foyer Ken Saro-Wiwa // EN (interpreted in DE–FR–EN)

The South African union CSAAWU represents agricultural workers who work under the toughest conditions for companies, whose wine is exported to many countries in Europe, including Germany. Following a number of successful strikes, new organizational approaches and a strong international network, CSAAWU has achieved significant improvements in working and living conditions. In 2016, at Robertson’s Winery, for twelve weeks two hundred employees went on strike for higher wages. The winery became subject of the Danish TV documentary “Bitter Grapes – Slavery in the vineyard.” After airing, Robertson’s products disappeared from Danish stores. Representatives from the union’s base will report about their battles and experiences. More at: https://csaawu.wordpress.com

Mercia Andrews is the director of the NGO Trust for Community Outreach and Education (TCOE) in Cape Town, which mainly works with small farmers. She is also the regional coordinator of the Southern African Rural Women’s Assembly.

Karel Swartund Deneco Dube is a member and activist of the trade union CSAAWU.

 

To Stay or to Go? Chances and Limits of Information Campaigns aimed at Young People in African Countries

Diory Traoré, Abbas Diallo & Dorette Führer (all Afrique-Europe-Interact)
Venue: Salon Lilian Masediba Ngoyi // FR+DE (interpreted in DE–FR–EN)

Prevailing hopelessness and lack of prospects in many (West) African countries have been the driving forces for thousands of young people repeatedly taking off towards Europe. It is an arduous, long and dangerous journey. Countless people loose their lives in the desert or on the sea. And those who make it are often subjected to precarious living conditions and uncertainty regarding their resident status, which all too often comes as a continuous deportation threat. Against this backdrop, the question if and how the so-called “candidates for migration” should be informed about the risks entailed, is intensely discussed not only within the respective countries of origin but also among the migrant community in Europe. Regardless of the fact that free movement is a human right: Would it not be better to search for viable alternatives at home? In this workshop this fundamental issue will be explored from various perspectives, including the examples of a radio show in Mali and the currently planned Alarmphone Sahara, which aims to provide practical support to migrants crossing the desert.

Diory Traoré lives in Bamako (Mali). Within the framework of an association for the defense of the rights of Malian migrants, she regularly makes radio transmissions, including the Watch The Med Alarmphone. She is also responsible for the finances of the Malian section of Afrique-Europe-Interact.

Abbas Diallo has come to Europe from Mali as a refugee. He is now undergoing training in Saxony-Anhalt and is active with Afrique-Europe-Interact.

Dorette Führer lives in Bremen and is active with Afrique-Europe-Interact.

 

Raising the Voices – Autonomously Organized Magazines for and from Refugees and Migrant Women

Sandrine Dora Ndedi & Dunia Dunaev (both “Stimme Magazin”, Berlin)
Venue: Mekatilili wa Menza // FR (interpreted in DE–FR–EN)

The “Stimme Magazin” is a panorama of women in general and migrant women in particular, who are in increasing numbers leaving their countries, for a lack of emancipation, for wanting to avoid the family constraints, to flee degrading cultural rituals, for the sake of being able to study, or to imagine another life elsewhere. Since 2012, 56% of refugees are women, and because they are women, they face gender-based discrimination, suffer asylum trauma in inappropriate Heims, often work in part-time jobs or have to shift schedules in forms of employment, where social contact is rare. Isolated, they are little informed about their rights and therefore have difficulties to self-determinedly fight for their rights. “Stimme Magazin” is a project to accompany these women in their legal, medical, and social procedures related to the survival in a suffocating system. Any kind of curiosity about our project and ideas are welcome during the workshop!

Dora Sandrine Ndedi is computer scientist and lives in Potsdam. She is active in several groupe in Berlin and is the founer of the magazin « Stimme ». She is engaged in the struggles for the the rights of women and the improvement of their living conditions in Germany and in Cameroon.

Dunia Dunaev is from Russia where she has worked as a journalist. Now she is activist in Berlin and editor of the magazin « Stimme ». She is engaged for the improvement of the living conditions of women and their empowerment.

 

Joint Struggles and Strategies of Black/ People of Color and Refugees – and their Obstacles

Adam Bahar (refugee activist, Berlin) & Tahir Della (Initiative of Black People in Germany, Berlin)
Venue: Studio Frantz Fanon // DE (interpreted in DE–FR–EN)

During the last 30 years several self-organisations of Black people/People of Color have emerged in the Federal Republic of Germany. People took their own experiences of racism and discrimination as starting points for developing strategies and resistance against racism. Over the years it was recognized that the colonial experience plays an important role and that its historical revision and decolonisation is crucial. With the recent debate around migration and flight this development has reached a new momentum; however, at the same time it has become evident that the more established communities of Black/People of Color living in Germany could not connect with the new refugee movement right away – and vice versa. These challenges have multiple dimensions and are extremely difficult to deal with regarding the common struggle against colonialist and racist conditions. This workshop is led by one activist from the younger Black movement in Germany and one activist from the refugee movement. The formation of both movements will be discussed as well as the development of joint strategies in the light of obstacles.

Adam Bahar is from Sudan and came to Germany in 2012. Since then he is an activist in the refugee movement and other political contexts.

Tahir Della, born 1962, lives in Berlin. Since 1986/87 he is involved in the Initiative of Black People in Germany (ISD). His focus areas are the yearly nation-wide meeting of the ISD and the campaigns “Stop Racial Profiling”, decolonization of public space and “No Blackfacing”.

 

Transnational Links: The Work of “Voix des Migrants” in Cameroon and Europe

Fatou Katoufe & Trésor (Voix des Migrants)
Venue: Loge Thomas Sankara // FR (interpreted in DE–FR–EN)

Why do young people leave and decide to take the migratory trajectory, and sometimes even loose their lives? How can we create a collective consciousness for migratory issues and the causes of departure, not only here in Europe, but especially in Africa? These are the questions that the group “Voix des Migrants” (VDM) asked after they came to Europe and in their exchange with partners and migrants. VDM was founded in December 2013 in Germany with a team of four migrants, mostly from Cameroon. This group is very active and carries out many campaigns and actions focusing on the fundamental rights of migrants, notably on the opening of borders and on the issue of mental health. It has a strong network of partners and activists. Knowing that they were for the majority from Cameroon, it seemed important to make a diagnosis on these territories to understand the cause of their departures. In this workshop, VDM activists will present and discuss their transnational work.

Fatima Katoufe, better known in the associative world as Fatou, is a militant in Europe and is the first generation of children of immigrants from Morocco. She is the founder of Cités Relais, an association for immigrant women, President of the association Voix des Migrants France and part of the initiative of the Cameroon project with her compatriot and activist Trésor.

Trésor: It took almost 10 years for Trésor to arrive in Europe. He knows the desert, the sea and the prison system in Algeria. He is the founder of the organization Voix des Migrants and is active with Watch The Med Alarmphone and Afrique-Europe-Interact. Today he lives in Berlin and commutes between Germany and Cameroon.

 

Alternatives to the Western Model of Development in the Zapatistas movement

Gustavo Esteva (Menschenrechtler, Begleiter und Berater der Zapatisten, Mexiko Stadt), Miguel Angel Ruiz Martinez (Entwicklungspolitisches Netzwerk Sachsen, Leipzig) & Miriam Trzeciak (Universität Cottbus)
Venue: Emiliano Zapata // Spanish (interpreted in DE–FR–EN)

In 1994 in Chiapas, Mexico, the Zapatistas directed a revolt against both neoliberalism and the exploitation of indigenous people. In this workshop, we will analyze the struggles and processes of social change that engaged aspects of everyday life and community responsibilities, which played a key role in the Zapatista revolt (“Juntas de Buen Gobierno”). We argue that these include a variety of emancipatory elements and gradually contribute to the establishment of alternatives to the Western development model. These emancipatory experiences and deep changes are found not only on the material level. They are also found in social and political processes. And they shape the attitude towards life and nature. We present examples of life experience in the “Comunidades zapatistas” and discuss the challenge posed by the Zapatistas for the developmental logic of the Western model. Gustavo Esteva, who is broadcast live from Mexico, also reports on the current political perspectives and plans of the Zapatistas.

Gustavo Esteva is a Mexican human rights activist and civil society “deprofessionalized intellectual”. Furthermore, he is a companion and consultant of the Zapatistas.

Miriam Trzeciak is an activist and academic at the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus. She has lived in Mexico and Chiapas for a long time and worked on migration, gender and development from a critical, decolonial perspective in that context.

Miguel Angel Ruiz Martínez is a Mexican human rights activist. He is currently working with refugees and as consultant for migrant organizations in the field of development policy.

 

Movie: Cameroon: Autopsy of an Independence (France 2008, 52 minutes),

Documentary by Valérie Osouf & Gaëlle Le Roy

Talk with Rodrigue Péguy Takou Ndie & Richard Djif // French with German or English subtitles

Between 1955 and 1971 a secret war of the former colonial power France took place in Cameroon. A war aimed at securing France’s independence in the mining and energy sectors, which, however, not only cost the lives of a tenth of the Cameroonian population in the South and West of the country – several hundred thousand victims! Moreover, the leading figures of the independence movement “Union des populations du Cameroun”, founded by Ruben Um Nyobe, were murdered. To this day, this war has been classified as “state secrecy” in France.

Rodrigue Péguy Takou Ndie is from Cameroon. He fled in 2013 after the publication of a critical novel about youth unemployment in Germany. In 2015, he published in France a book on German colonialism in Cameroon. In early 2018, his novel about the camp life of fugitives in Germany appears in German. He is currently active with Afrique-Europe-Interact.

 Richard Djif comes from Cameroon and studied theatre and film sciences there. In 2012 he released his film “139 … The Last Predators” (“Les derniers prédatuers”), a satire about corruption and oppression in a fictional African state. After Richard was abducted, imprisoned and tortured after the publication, he fled to Germany in 2013. He lives in Berlin, works as a director for film and theatre, as a screenwriter and actor and is active with Afrique-Europe-Interact.