An exhibition of photographs and texts relative to Germany’s past 100 years of society and politics toured Namibia in June 2019. Created by Ute and Bettina Frevert for the Remembrance, Responsibility and Future Foundation, the Federal Foundation for the Study of Communist Dictatorship in East Germany and under the auspices of Germany’s foreign affairs, the posters highlight the power of emotions to drive political and social affairs.
“The Power of Emotions was a great success. More than 600 students participated in guided tours through the exhibition and passionately discussed phenomena in Namibia’s and Germany’s societies,” said Goethe-Institut Namibia Head of Language Cooperation, Corinna Burth. She explained how politics is increasingly driven by emotions and it is important for Germany and Namibia to understand this relationship. The guided tours with their activities had this understanding as their main goal.”
The exhibition ran from 05-26 June and was available to the public at venues including the Goethe-Institut Namibia, two PASCH schools: Etosha Secondary School in Tsumeb and Otjiwarongo Secondary School; and finally, along the Namibian coast at the Museum Swakopmund.
“A selection of the 140 photographs was presented to learners and public with the intention of informing them about the relationship between Germany’s and Namibia’s past, and how the present-day manifestations of emotions have developed over time,” said Burth.
The 20 posters were created in the context of humanity living in the age of permanent agitation, while facts are called into question by perceived truths and how the political arena cannot deal with heated emotions. Each poster presents a photograph and texts that bring people’s reactions and coping mechanisms with the political state of affairs to the forefront.
“Some historical events in Namibia and Germany were connected to each other. The exhibition highlights this connection and encourages viewers to think and reflect on how society dealt with the matters through emotions that lead to either a reaction or an unresponsive state,” said Burth.
The students highly appreciated the possibility to discuss their opinions with their peers and exchange their ideas, as they emphasized several times. Ms. Burth evaluates “The Power of Emotions” as a successful tool to educate students for them to become mature civilians and to extend their interest in politics and their society.