Symposia Colonial Repercussions

Reconstruction of Namibia's colonial past, from right: V. Kauari, E. Namhila, E. Wietersheim, O. Sezneva
Reconstruction of Namibia's colonial past, from right: V. Kauari, E. Namhila, E. Wietersheim, O. Sezneva | Photo (detail): © Vilho Nuumbala
  • 01. January 2018 — 31. December 2019

  • Postcolonial world order, Colonial legacy, Decolonization

  • Windhoek (Namibia); Berlin (Germany)

The effects of German and European colonial rule are the subject of a series of international symposia organized under the title Colonial Repercussions. After three interdisciplinary conferences in Germany, the first dialogue between the descendants of German-speaking and affected Namibians took place in Namibia.

Artistic, but also legal and historical aspects of German and European colonial history are the focus of the series of symposia. International experts from various fields will interrogate the structures of colonial power relations that are still prevalent today in science, art and society.

The series of events focuses on how traditional power structures can be broken down and the fear of ceding power that this entails can be overcome. In Berlin, for example, the cultural production of the Black Diaspora was discussed as a critique of hegemonic constructs of identity.

At the follow-up event in Namibia, the focus was on the possibilities and ways of legal and social reappraisal of (post)colonial injustice. Namibian and international lawyers, artists, constitutional historians and civil society experts met for an interdisciplinary exchange on "Colonial Injustice and Reconciliation".

The event, organized by the Akademie der Künste and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut, succeeded for the first time in bringing descendants of the affected communities into dialogue with German-speaking Namibians. In the previous 100 years, this had only taken place to a very limited extent and in private circles.

Participants: Akademie der Künste (Berlin), European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), Goethe-Institut