We promote critical discourse on the effects of colonialism and the notion of a postcolonial world. In this section you can read articles on decolonisation, cultural heritage, identity, memory and restitution of looted artefacts.
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Current Articles

Democracy and Diversification “Acting in the here and now for equality”

Demonstrating perspectives for living together in diversity is the mission of the makers of the interdisciplinary fluctoplasma festival, which took place in Hamburg for the third time last October. In an interview, project director Nina Reiprich and artistic director Dan Thy Nguyen talk about the lessons they have learned from their work, their relationship to optimism and the status quo of political education in Germany.

© Thomas Byczkowski A written wall. Words are crossed out and replaced by others.

Sport and Democracy From Segregation to Inclusivity

How have African nations contributed to the democratisation of world sports and fought exclusion in the quest for freedom and equality? Kenyan writer Oyunga Pala traces the introduction and development of sport as a catalyst for democracy in Africa.

Foto (Detail): © picture alliance / empics | John Stillwell Nelson Mandela walking past Francois Pienaar in the line up before the Rugby World Cup Final in Johannesburg's Ellis Park

Talking to Calvin Ratladi A Gathering In A Better World

“A Gathering In A Better World” wants to create a worldwide network for artists with disabilities in dance, for whom there are still hardly any structures or offers. An interview with Calvin Ratladi about directing the project’s Johannesburg iteration.

© Andreas Greiner-Napp “A Gathering In A Better World” at the Festival Theaterformen in Braunschweig 2022

Hispanic, Latino, Latinx More Than Just Labels

Both among official organizations and communities of United States citizens, the effort to establish general names for Latin Americans has caused disagreements to this day. However, that effort has also sparked important debates about the identity and visibility of entire populations.

© Marina Camargo, 2019. © Marina Camargo, 2019.

Identites in Art and Society

In Conversation with Aldri Anunciação The Pain of Colonization

For Brazilian playwright, actor, and director, Aldri Anunciação, Black cultures of the world come together because of identity. This is evident, for example, in literature, theater, or cinema.

Photo: Caio Lírio Aldri Anunciação

Communication Ferngespräch

Quite a number of words are still firmly established in German language use today – even though they came into existence at a time that barely has anything to do with our diverse present. In this series, Elisabeth Wellershaus tries to fathom them out and reinterpret them from a decolonial perspective. This time she takes a look at the term “Ferngespräch”.

Photo (detail): picture alliance / abaca | TNS/ABACA decolonial – Antique rotary telephone

Indigenous Rap “We don’t fit labels”

Young rappers of indigenous origins are entering the Brazilian music scene and creating a legion of fans. As they strive to defend the rescue of their own origins and denounce the violence in their communities, they also face prejudice and hate on social networks.

Photo: Alexandre Carneiro The rap group Brô MCs

Escaping Dependencies Achieving Prosperity with Organic Cocoa

Côte d’Ivoire is famous for its cocoa, which has been sold at rock-bottom prices since colonial times. The cultivation and processing of organic cocoa could show farmers the way out of poverty and dependence, as the cooperative in the village of M’Brimbo and the initiative of the Ivorian chocolate manufacturer Axel Emmanuel Gbaou demonstrate.

Photo (detail): Luc Gnago © picture alliance / REUTERS The hand of a farmer collecting a cocoa pod

Food Sovereignty in Tunisia Bitter Bread

Bread is at the heart of a majority of Tunisian dishes and remains a potent cultural, spiritual, and political symbol in the country. Nonetheless, the longevity of this cherished food is at risk. The Tunisian government’s failure to prioritise food sovereignty is pushing the bread industry to the brink, finds Tunisian author Yasmin Houamed.

Photo (detail): Hasan Mrad © picture alliance / A skillful baker makes bread at a bakery in Tunis. Photo taken on 5th March 2022.

Tech and Cultural Heritage New Chapter in African Museology

A visionary idea to modernise museum practice in Africa has come to fruition, thanks to a collaborative effort of cultural activists, academics and political leaders. Ruby Ofori on the launch of Africa’s first digital museum.

Photo (detail): Michael Runkel © picture alliance / imageBROKER Colourful mosaic forms the outlines of several people

Preserving Culture How Colonialism Causes Language Endangerment

There are thousands of languages all over the world. But the existence of many is threatened with dwindling numbers of active speakers. How do factors such as colonialism contribute to language endangerment in Africa and elsewhere, even today?

Photo (detail): Kepseu © picture alliance / Xinhua News Agency A teacher looking at a blackboard that has symbols and letters written on it.

Recognition of African Art Practices Art Philosophy and Its (Post)Colonial Criticism

How can the cultural otherness of African art and culture practices be given space to develop whilst not over-alienating it from the West? Philosopher Michaela Ott is campaigning for cooperation between people of equal status, to allow new strategies for aesthetic inclusion.

Photo (detail): Zohra Bensemra © picture alliance / Reuters Ivory Coast's artist Jems Koko Bi sits with Senegalese artist Soly Cisse at the exhibition “Prete-moi ton reve” in Dakar, Senegal.

Zambian Revolution No Place Like Home

Zambian writer Natasha Omokhodion speaks about her home country and its diverse heritage, movement and opinion. And, how everyone can decide about their own fate and future.

Photo (detail): Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi © picture alliance / Associated Press Supporters of main opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema celebrate on a street in Lusaka, Zambia, on 15th August 2021.

Global Cooperation Is a Must Durststrecke

It is now called atmospheric colonialism when the reckless behaviour of the industrialised countries in the Global North has a negative impact on living conditions in the Global South as well. Elisabeth Wellershaus asks whether there will ever be an end to this “Durststrecke”. 

Photo (detail): H. Baesemann © picture alliance / blickwinkel Single plant growing on a soil ground flawed of drought, in Spain, Andalusia, Parque Natural los Alcornocales

Decolonising Dance What Is “African” Dance?

Do Europeans really understand the complexities or ethnic compositions of the African continent? Dance anthropologist Adebayo Adeniyi questions the Eurocentric account of dance history and contradicts the term referring to “African dance“ as a phenomenon.

Photo (detail): Mike007 © picture alliance / Zoonar Latitude – An African man dancing in front of musicians with drums in a park

Discriminatory Figures of Speech Rabenmutter

In the animal kingdom there are no good or bad parents – and yet in German the term “Rabenmutter” (mother raven) has become established to brand women as bad mothers. Elisabeth Wellershaus examines some figures of speech in which parents symbolically stand for a Eurocentric way of thinking. 

Photo (detail): D.Harms © picture alliance / WILDLIFE Latitude – Common raven: All the fledglings in this brood have flown the nest

Racism in Argentina The Myth of the Crucible

It was only recently that the statement by Argentinian president Alberto Fernández caused outrage at national and international level, when he claimed that Argentines all arrived by ship from Europe, while Mexicans were descended from the Indians and Brazilians came from the jungle. In saying this he was repeating a time-worn cliché, as Ezequiel Adamovsky explains.

Photo (detail): David Fernandez © picture alliance / dpa The monument to Christopher Columbus, which was dismantled in 2013, in Buenos Aires

Decolonial Art Practices Laughter, Subversion and the Experience of Horror

A “decolonial” aesthetic, or what Grit Köppen calls an “aesthetic of rebellion”, can be found in every art form – whether music, theatre, literature, film, photography or the visual arts. And not only in 20th century artistic productions, as shown by some striking contemporary examples.

Photo (detail): Axel Heimken © picture alliance / dpa Latitude – A man contemplates photos of carnival masks taken in Tahiti, Hamburg, 2014

Aesthetics and Advocacy Art Cannot Overthrow a Government, but…

To what extent can art change or shape political discourse in the society? South African artist and curator Molemo Moiloa sheds light on how artists in Africa have and continue to interrogate unfavourable power relations.

Photo (detail): Trevor Samson © picture alliance / AP Photo Decolonisation: Works of art by South African artist William Kentridge are exhibited in Cape Town, South Africa, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. Kentridge's work of videos, graphic tapestries, charcoal drawings, woodcut prints, sculptures and sound installations combine in his largest single show in which he explores compelling themes including the country's apartheid history and the participation of Africans in World War.

Facing the Past

Colonialism in Philosophy Decolonizing Western Philosophy

Thanks to increased postcolonial awareness, Western philosophy today must question itself as to what extent it has contributed epistemologically to the subjugation of the global South and to the discrimination or even enslavement of its population. 

Photo (detail): © mauritius images / Lorenzo Dalberto / Alamy / Alamy Stock Photos Statue of a philosopher with a red traffic cone on its head

Memory and Power The Fictitious “Mãe Preta”

The photo of a Black woman on the white Brazilian grandmother’s kitchen wall of author Alma Kaiser gives rise to many questions. Her grandmother calls the woman her “mãe preta”. But who was she really?

Photo (detail): Amanda Perobelli © picture alliance Racism – Three portraits of Black Brazilian historical personalities are depicted on banners

Policing and Colonialism The “Terrific Boomerang”

How does contemporary policing relate to practices used in colonial states? Tanzil Chowdhury explains the “colonial boomerang” – a concept that describes how for example forms of violence applied in the colonies were transported back to the metropolitan centres.

Photo (detail): Julien Mattia / Le Pictorium © picture alliance/dpa/MAXPPP Several police officers helmeted run through a street at a demonstration

Vestiges of Colonialism Honouring a Slave Trader

Hamburg is a city with a long tradition of sea fare. No other German city has as many squares and streets named after colonial actors, and nothing about this has changed to this day.

Photo (detail): Ulrich Perrey © picture-alliance / dpa/ dpaweb A relief consisting of five people standing close together

History of a Country Ephemeral Monuments

In this essay, Idalia Sautto writes about the notion of monuments in Mexican history and why we need them to live on naturally, appropriated by the community and not seen as an old part of history that no longer fits into the present.

Photo (detail): D. Crossland © picture alliance / imageBROKER Columbus monument, Paseo de la Reforma, Mexico City, Mexico.

México-Tenochtitlán Changing the Past from the Present

Mexico City resigns itself to its changes, to a ruin that is rebuilt through another name. This personal essay by Idalia Sautto narrates the transformations that the emblematic church of San Hipólito has undergone and reflects on the different versions of history that are colliding in the same place.

Photo (detail): © Irving Cabello San Hipólito procession in Mexico City on 28 October 2021

The historically shaped Anti-Blackness in Germany The Silence Must Come to an End

“We must look history in the eye”, demands Panashe Chigumadzi, a writer born in Zimbabwe and raised in South Africa, in her essay on how Germans deal with their history.

Photo (detail): Tim Brakemeier © picture alliance / dpa An African mask on a table with tools

German Colonial Crimes in Today's Namibia

Humboldt Forum New Perspectives for Culture Today

The General Director of the Humboldt Forum in Berlin, Hartmut Dorgerloh, was invited to attend the opening of the “L’inarchiviabile” exhibition in the Goethe Art Space in Rome. We spoke to him about the Humboldt Forum, coming to terms with colonialism in Europe, the restitution of looted artefacts and the urgent need for a new perspective in culture.

Photo (detail): Francesco Cicconi © Goethe-Institut Rom Hartmut Dorgerloh at the opening of the exhibition in Rome

Controversial Monuments Open Wounds

Monuments in the public space in Brazil continue to promote the image of a patriarchal and racist country characterised by white settlers in which women and Indigenous ethnic groups do not exist, states Ana Paula Orlandi.

Photo (detail): Amanda Perobelli © picture alliance / REUTERS Racism – The Monument to the Bandeiras in São Paulo

History and Sexuality The Colonial Roots of Homophobia

Brazilian anthropologist Luiz Mott is the figurehead of the campaign for citizens’ rights for the LGBTQ+ community in Latin America and its history. In his research he has established that persecution for sexual motives coincides with the start of colonisation of the continent.

Photo (detail): Grupo Gay da Bahia archive Racism – Luiz Mott at the demonstration against President Jair Bolsonaro in Salvador in July 2021.

The Humboldt Forum “A Sign of Colonial Amnesia”

The Humboldt Forum defines itself as a “place that links differences” and intends to deal intensively with the issues of colonialism in its programme work. The historian and genocide expert Jürgen Zimmerer takes a stand on what is probably Europe’s most controversial museum.

Photo (detail): Alexander Schippel © SHF Schlüterhof courtyard with a view of the Alte Museum and the Lustgarten

Short Stories: "End of the Dream"

Gaps in the Historical Consciousness of Germans African Worlds

A new reference work about the Black Continent sheds light on the interdependences of the precolonial, colonial and postcolonial history of Africa. Its author, Helmut Bley, is professor emeritus of African history,

Photo (detail): Michael Runkel © picture alliance / imageBROKER Statues in memory of former kings in the Royal Palace, Owo, Nigeria

Understand the Prozess Germany as a Model for Confronting the Past?

Germany is often seen as a model for how to confront a nation’s history. However, rather than looking only at the results of Germany’s reckoning with its past, it is more instructive to understand the process that led to the current situation, writes Jenny Wüstenberg.

Photo: Marko Priske © Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe Field of stone pillars (stelea) with candles

Pre-Colonial Knowledge Production between Africa and Europe “They Opened Up a Part of the World to Us”

Heinrich Barth's discoveries were a slap in the face to contemporary European conceptions that pre-colonial Africa was a continent without states, literatures or history, writes Achim von Oppen.

Illustration (detail): © Justus Perthes Verlag Decolonisation - Arrival of Heinrich Barth in Timbuktu, 1853 (in: Barth, Heinrich (1857-58). Travels and Discoveries in North and Central Africa 1849–1855, vol. IV, Gotha: Justus Perthes.

Language, Dominance and Racial Prejudice Christianise, Humanise, Civilise...

For five centuries, five verbs, and a sixth one is on the way, have defined the development of capitalism and the coloniality of power in the world, as Rodrigo Montoya Rojas explains.

© Aliza Yanes & Santiago Calderón decolonial – Videostill from the project “Intervention M21”: The (De)Colonial Glossary, Part 2, “Civilized - Wild”

Shaping the Past Wavering Monuments

How do monuments shape the commemorative culture? How can they become places of participation? The project “Shaping the Past” of the Goethe-Institut, the Monument Lab and the Federal Agency for Civic Education brings together initiatives from North America and Germany.

Photo (detail): Chris Chapa Ada Pinkston, participant of “Shaping the Past”, in front of the Washington Monument in Baltimore

Remembrance Politics The Ambivalence of Coming to Terms with History

Germany and the Germans brought unprecedented suffering to the world during the Nazi era. The way Germany dealt with its past is considered an example of a successful historical reappraisal. But does that really correspond to reality? Social scientist Anna Delius investigates how the two German societies dealt with National Socialism and the Holocaust after 1945.

Photo (detail): Kay Nietfeld © picture alliance / dpa Racism – Marked by a new patriotism: the 2006 World Cup in Germany

What Is “Sub-Saharan Africa”? Geopolitics or Blatant Sophistry?

The reference to all of Africa except the predominantly Arab North as “sub-Sahara” not only defies the fundamentals of geography but also smacks of stereotypical racist labelling, according to Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe. 

Photo (detail): Petra Stockhausen © picture alliance / Westend61 Latitude – Morocco, Taouz, Merzouga, Erg Chebbi, signpost to Sahara desert

Coming to Terms with the Colonial Past Overdue in Spain

In Spain a growing number of art and research projects are combating the loss of colonial memory. However, they are barely noticed and the lack of political will to engage with them is a wall that is difficult to break through.

Photo (detail) © César Malet (AFB) Colonial Era: Young recruits in the training battalion in Sidi Ifni, 1963-64.

On the Mbembe Affair The Specters of Comparison

Achille Mbembe has been accused of anti-Semitism. The ensuing debate raises fundamental questions about the culture of memory and freedom of expression. An article by Michael Rothberg.

Photo (detail): Mara Brandl © picture alliance / imageBROKER Memory: The Memorial of the Murdered Jews of Europe - Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, Germany

Colonies in the Caribbean Scandinavia and the Slave Trade

When she tells people that she’s researching Scandinavian colonial history, she often encounters a lack of understanding: Lill-Ann Körber from Aarhus University in Denmark on repressed facts.

Photo (detail): akg-images © picture alliance Colonial history: Sale of slaves in the streets of Havana, Cuba, in the 19th century. School wall painting (color print), 1950.

German Colonialism in China More than Just Kiaochow Bay: A (Nearly) Forgotten Story

Iltisstrasse, Berlin-Dahlem: In German, the word “Iltis” means “polecat”, evoking that little native carnivore from the marten family after which the road must surely have been named. But actually it wasn’t at all – to this day the street name commemorates a chapter in the history of German colonialism.

Photo (detail): Christoph Mohr © picture alliance Old colonial building in the Deutsche Straße (German Street) in Qingdao (Tsingtau), capital of the former German colony Kiautschou. Qingdao was the only German colony in the Far East. Even today, the Chinese metropolis of millions shows traces of the German colonial period.

Intangible Heritage Invite the Elders to the Schools!

Is the orally transmitted cultural heritage of Africa in danger? An interview with Abiti Nelson, curator of ethnography and history at the Uganda Museum.

Photo (detail): Lewis Whyld © dpa The Prince of Wales watches a traditional dance in the Ugandan capital Kampala during a Commonwealth Meeting

Cultural Heritage

Musical Heritage from West Asia, North and Northeast Africa “From Popular Memory”

What constitutes as musical heritage? How can it be made audible? The exhibition project “Mirath:Music” invited various musicians from West Asia, Northeast and North Africa to explore their regions' traditions. Lebanese author Rayya Badran takes a look at the musical history of the region and the produced tracks full of past struggles.

Photo (detail): Kita © Goethe-Institut Sudan From the exhibition “Mirath:Music” at the Goethe-Institut Sudan

Debate about Public Monuments The Misuse of Archaeological Heritage in Mexico

In September 2021 the authorities in Mexico City decided to replace the Christopher Columbus monument by a statue of an Indigenous woman aiming to decolonise the country's past. Archaeologist Daniel Salinas explains why the use of archaeological artefacts of pre-colonial times is not enough to decolonise the Mexican state.

Photo (Detail): Crossland, D. © picture alliance / imageBROKER Statue of Aztec ruler Cuauhtémoc, Paseo de la Reforma, Mexico City, Mexico


A Conversation with Bénédicte Savoy Restitution is Like the Fall of the Berlin Wall

The renowned art historian Bénédicte Savoy is an expert on the forced appropriation of cultural assets through war and colonialism, an area of research that concerns everyone in Europe. This historical moment is an opportunity for museums and their visitors.

Photo (detail): Jörg Carstensen © picture alliance / dpa An elongated figurine in the shape of a fantasy creature on an exhibition platform.

Invisible Inventories Programme Advantages for both sides

“Invisible Inventories”, a series of exhibitions coordinated by the Goethe-Institut, is based on a research project to record Kenyan cultural objects in museums of the Western world. George Juma Ondeng’ from the National Museums of Kenya talks about well-founded provenance research and the emotionally charged restitution debate.

Photo (detail): Lamek Orina © Inventories Programme Experts of the International Inventories Programme from Kenya and Germany at the Nairobi National Museum.

Exhibition series „Invisible Inventories“ Decolonising the discourse

The exhibition series “Invisible Inventories” showcases the results of an international research project whose aim is to build a database of Kenyan art objects in museums in Europe and North America. Shortly before the digital exhibition opening, Clara Himmelheber from the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum and Frauke Gathof from the Weltkulturen Museum talk about the work on establishing an equal relationship.

Photo (detail): Lamek Orina © Inventories Programme Exhibition opening "Invisible Inventories" on 18 March 2021 at the National Museums of Kenya in Nairobi.

Cultural Heritage Management Who Cares?

What is the role of conservation in a postcolonial museum? Does it allow cultural dialogue or perpetuate colonial violence? Reflections by Noémie Etienne on traces, threads and fragility.

Photo: © Nadine Jacquet Unrecorded artist(s), Nââkweta, 18th century

Art Institutions Curating is Power

Important positions in Brazilian art institutions are often occupied according to a fixed scheme: male, upper class, white. This affects the collections and programmes; Afro-Brazilian and Indigenous positions are underrepresented. But an opening to more diversity is emerging, Anna Azevedo observes.

© Claudia Casarino Curating is Power

Provenance Research

Decolonising Research and Knowledge Production New Ethics for Museums

The return of both human remains and cultural objects held in Western museums back to the communities of origin must be on the same agenda, says history professor Ciraj Rassool. He spoke to “Latitude” on new ethics for museums.

Photo (detail): Tom Weller © picture alliance/dpa Restitution – An exhibition room of the permanent exhibition “Where is Africa” in the Linden-Museum. At a press conference in February 2020 the Linden-Museum Stuttgart presented perspectives and ideas for an ethnological museum of the future.

Film, Archive and (De)Colonialism Changing the Map

Where is the (de)colonial film material? What do modes of preservation and access reveal about global structures? An interactive map of (de)colonial archives, which requires collective collaboration to become a tool for international networking and educational purposes.

Photo (detail): Google Maps © Goethe-Institut Colonial history – The image shows a screenshot of the film archive map at the time of its publication.

Colonial Traces in Modern Language Use

Silent Colonialism The Expat and Immigrant Power Games

Why are there two terms for people that leave their home country to live and work elsewhere? The connotations of the notions “expat” and “immigrant” reveal the colonial power structures that shape migration today.

Photo (detail): Sergi Reboredo © picture alliance Several White people are sitting on a hotel terrace, in the background you can see a garden and water, further back a Black person is standing

Algeria’s Thorny Language Policy “Divide and Rule”

Algeria has one official language: Arabic. But French is an integral part of everyday life and Tamazight, a Berber language, is also designated in the constitution as a national and official language. Journalist Nourredine Bessadi takes a look at the emotional discussion about Algeria’s official languages.

Foto (Detail): Ulrike Koltermann © picture alliance / dpa Two street signs in French, Arabic and Berber language in Tizi Ouzou in the Algerian Kabylia (photo from 01.12.2007).

Black German Literature Asking the Right Questions

Being Black should be completely unremarkable in today’s multicultural Germany. Yet many people still struggle with everyday discrimination and sometimes even blatant racism. Their stories are increasingly finding their way into German literature.

Photo (detail): © picture alliance/dpa/ Susanne Hassler Sharon Dodua Otoo receiving the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize in 2016.

Postcolonial Migration Where Do You (Really) Come from?

Is there a relation between the migratory movement of Peruvians to Germany and the postcolonial structures in Peru? The author and artist Helga Elsner Torres questions why her German great-grandfather Otto Elsner moved to Peru in the 1920s and goes on a rather personal journey of discovery. 

Photo (detail) © Patricia Wieland Conroy Ferdinand Wieland on the Hacienda “Constancia“, Huancavelica, in Central West Peru.

Life Stories of Black People in Brazil In the Fight against Oblivion

The recently released “Enciclopédia Negra” (Black Encyclopedia), the result of six years of work, with individual and collective life histories, aims to expand the visibility of more than 550 Black personalities who lived in Brazil from the 16th to the 21th century. A joint effort by the historians Flávio dos Santos Gomes and Lilia Moritz Schwarcz as well as the artist Jaime Lauriano.

Photo (detail): Nathalia Ferreira © Companhia das Letras “Antonica, Luiza e Marcelina” by Nathalia Ferreira

Exploring Visual Cultures – A Transnational Project Decolonisation of Art Education?

Teacher training in art education at German universities is faced with a dilemma: Instruction is seldom diverse and rarely influenced by non-European perspectives. An interview with the project manager of “Exploring Visual Cultures” Professor Ernst Wagner, Academy of Fine Arts Munich. 

Photo (detail): © El Anatsui Decolonisation – Ghanaian artist El Anatsui

Racism in Peru The Fear of Equality

Peru’s history is dominated by the discourse on mestizaje and racist practices, according to the Peruvian essayist and literary critic Marcel Velázquez Castro.

© Aliza Yanes & Santiago Calderón decolonial – Videostill from the project “Intervention M21”: The (De)Colonial Glossary, Part 1, Europe - Non-Europe

Miguel Covarrubias and the Harlem Renaissance The Mexican Who “Discovered” the Black People in the United States

It was a premiere to show African Americans in one of the most respected magazines in the USA - at a time when racial segregation still existed there. The illustrations were supplied by Miguel Covarrubias. 

Photo (detail): © D.R. Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, México Racism – The mexican painter, caricaturist, ethnologist and art historian Miguel Covarrubias at work

“A Memory in Three Acts” The Ghosts of Colonialism

Filmmaker Inadelso Cossa explains via five stills how his documentary “Uma memória em três atos” (A Memory in Three Acts) engages with images and voices of past and present – treading on a path toward reconciliation.

Photo (detail): © Inadelso Cossa Colonial history – This screenshot detail from the film “A Memory in Three Acts” captures the abandoned remains of the interior space of Vila Algarve in Maputo, Mozambique.

A Denied Identity “The History of Cookery from the Perspective of the Colonial Rulers”

The degree to which Indigenous peoples have influenced eating habits in Brazil today is being completely repudiated, says sociologist Carlos Alberto Dória, one of the best-known connoisseurs of Brazilian cuisine.

Photo (detail): Florian Kopp © picture alliance / imageBROKER Manioc - the basis of Brazilian cuisine: Workers of the COOPAC cooperative peeling manioc roots (Manihot esculenta) for the production of manioc flour, settlement of the Brazilian landless movement Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais sem Terra, MST, Assentamento 14 de Agosto, Campo Verde, Mato Grosso State

Brazilian Identity “Almost Impossible”

Brazil is struggling to survive in the fight against the grim spectre that has leapt out of the history books. But it won't die, says Cláudio do Couto, and sets off in search of a Brazilian identity.

Photo (detail): Rodrigo Abd © picture alliance / AP Photo capoeira at the Ver-o-Peso riverside market in Belém, Brazil. Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics and music. It was developed by enslaved Africans in Brazil.

Black German Literature Home, Identity and Racism

Black German literature has a long history and embraces a broad spectrum – it ranges from poetry and autobiographies to academic and activist writings. Yet even today, Black German authors are still less visible, especially when it comes to fiction, writes Philipp Khabo Koepsell.

Photo (detail): © Philipp Khabo Koepsell A few examples of black German literature in a bookshelf

The Amazon in Film Stereotypes and Realities

Usually portrayed as a mythical, exotic location, the Amazon is now also being depicted in the cinema as a place with multiple Indigenous identities and a region of cultural diversity – especially in local productions. A report by Camila Gonzatto.

Photo: Halim Badawi "Ailleurs: Soacha" by Jose Luis Bongore. Commissioned work for the exhibition "The Nature of Things: Humboldt, Kommen und Gehen" 2019 in the Art Museum of the National University of Colombia, co-produced by the Goethe-Institut Colombia.

Questioning the Norm Under Fire: The Concept of Landscape

The corresponding relationship between landscape and identity requires a critical reconsideration of the traditional landscape genre in art and photography. The Namibian artist Nicola Brandt urges for a more balanced interrogation of the concept of landscape.

Photo: Nicola Brandt “Shark Island and its Hinterland”, !Nami#Nus/Lüderitz 2012

World Order and Equal Opportunity

Discourse on Racism in Brazil Freedom and Its Meaning

Are Black people in Brazil really free? Historian Luciana Brito takes a look at the consequences of slavery that have left their mark on Brazilian society to this day. Clearly, the struggle for freedom for all is not yet over.

Photo (detail): Andre Lucas © picture alliance /dpa A woman raises her fist in the air during a protest in Rio de Janeiro.

Ukraine Coverage On Empathy for the Unseen

Amid the reporting on the war in Ukraine, racist relativisation and stereotypes are surfacing as rarely before. One reason for this is a lack of diversity in the media landscape, says journalist Sham Jaff.

Photo (detail): Beata Zawrzel © picture alliance / NurPhoto At night, a blue train with a Black man standing in the entrance, two White men in uniforms walking in front of the train.

Freedom of Travel The Blessed of the Earth

How free are we to travel wherever we want to go? Nigerian author Chika Unigwe asks herself this question and is faced with the hard truth that travel is not free for everyone. It depends on your passport. 

Photo (detail): Kim Ludbrook © picture alliance / EPA Travellers walk to the check in counters at OR Thambo International Airport Johannesburg, South Africa.

Fight Against Racism Diversity Begins With Insight

Enissa Amani’s show “Die beste Instanz” is her response to the controversial WDR show “Die letzte Instanz”, and it creates space for discussion about racism with the people affected by it on a daily basis. In this interview she explains what we still need to do in order to achieve greater diversity in Germany’s media landscape.

Photo (detail): Erhan Dogan Enissa Amani, Natasha A. Kelly, Max Czollek in the show “Die beste Instanz”.

Reclaiming the African Narrative Moving the Centre

By entering existing narrative spaces and creating new ones, Africans are re-writing the stories in the history books that they have encountered in school for many generations – they are moving from being objects to becoming subjects of their stories. Nobantu Modise, founder of the online platform “Afrophilia”, talks about the mission of reclaiming agency through digital storytelling.

Photo (detail): Sabrina Merolla © picture alliance / Latitude – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (right) in conversation with journalist Yomi Adegoke

Largest Free Trade Zone in the World Planned Creating an Africa According to Citizens‘ Ideas

The Pan-African Free Trade Agreement AfCFTA is meant to benefit the continent's creatives in particular. Adwoa Ankoma, Legal and Public Policy Advisor, explains the opportunities of a domestic market for Africa.

Photo (detail) Ghana Presidency © picture alliance / Xinhua News Agency Latitude – The building of the AfCFTA in Accra, Ghana

Reporting Bias A “Humanitarian” Crisis?

Reporting on the Global South is regularly criticised for attitudes more befitting of the colonial era than today's world. Terms such as “third world” or “developing country” hint at inherent biases. Patrick Gathara portrays these practices in a series of cartoons.

Photo (detail): © Patrick Gathara Latitude – A cartoon showing a plane - labelled "The West" - from which people are jumping with parachutes. Below are two people talking to each other. One asks, "Help?", the other answers, "No. Reporters."

Afro-Diasporic Philosophy For a Plurality of Knowledge

Philosophy practised outside the Western axis often remains invisible, if it is not considered exotic or underrated anyhow. The website “Filosofia Africana”, created by the Brazilian Wanderson Flor, is attempting to change this.

Photo (detail): Silvia Izquierdo © picture alliance / AP Photo Latitude – People wear masks of Paulo Freire during a protest against in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Decolonisation of Language “I’ve had enough of you othering me”

Even now, language includes terms that originate from deep-rooted colonial racism and discriminatory structures in our society. How can vulnerable minorities find a voice? Journalist and book author Mohamed Amjahid takes a look at decolonisation of the German language from an everyday perspective.

Photo (detail): Saliva Glance © This file is licensed under the Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Anton-Wilhelm-Amo-Straße in Berlin sign

Reclaiming Space Expanding Voices from Africa Online

There is more content on “Wikipedia” about France than about all the states of Africa combined. The WikiAfrica Education initiative aims to counter that. Adama Sanneh, co-founder and CEO of the Moleskine Foundation, the organisation which founded this initiative, discusses the importance of adding African languages and histories to online databases and the global discourse.

Photo (detail): Alex Hofford © picture alliance / dpa Attendees of the "Wikimania" in 2013

Creating a New Global Togetherness Humanism – From the Concept of Individual to Dividual

The concept of humanism involves much more than just being human. After all, as philosopher Michaela Ott writes, for a long time colonialism defined who was viewed as a person and who was not, and which compelling reasons there are for replacing this term with something more inclusive. 

Photo (detail): Lyv Tianran © picture alliance / Xinhua News Agency The monument The Long March to Freedom in South Africa consists of statues representing individuals who struggled against oppression since the 1700s until the first elections post-apartheid in 1994.

Diversity in the Media “Good intentions are not enough”

Too few journalists with an ethnic minority background or from disadvantaged social groups: how can we manage to reflect social diversity in the members of editorial teams? 

Foto (isječak): © picture alliance/Geisler-Fotopress/Christoph Hardt „Moji roditelji su iz Iraka, imate li nekih problema sa mnom?“ Dunja Hayali je 2015. godine u svojstvu novinarke migrantskog porijekla vršila anketu među učesnicama i učesnicima demonstracija usmjerenih protiv migranata koje je organizirala Pegida. Ovom prilikom sudjeluje u razgovoru o svojoj knjizi „Haymatland – Wie wollen wir zusammenleben?“ („Domovina – kako želimo živjeti skupa?“) 2019. godine u Kölnu.

Interview with Carola Lentz “What Interests Me Is: How Are Global Debates Shaped – Both Locally and Regionally?”

Carola Lentz, an internationally acclaimed anthropologist, has been president of the Goethe‑Institut since mid-November 2020. She talks to “Zeitgeister” about her focus on central themes of the global discourse and the role of educational and cultural work in a globalised world.

Photo (detail): © Carola Lentz Latitude – Festival fabric from Ghana featuring the logo and motto of the sixty-year anniversary of independence, Accra 2017.

Colonial Continuities Biafraland and the Doppelganger of a Never Past

The upheavals and instability in many African countries are often linked with the legacy of colonialism. Richard Ali’s critical analysis of the situation in Nigeria not only points to other origins of the crises as well but also offers solutions.

Photo (detail): Lekan Oyekanmi © picture alliance/AP Photo Decolonisation – In this photo taken Sunday, May 28, 2017, members of the Biafran separatist movement gathered during an event in Umuahia, Nigeria. The members are commemorating their fallen heroes 50 years after Nigeria's civil war saw more than 1 million die to create the state for the Igbo people.

The Challenge of Inclusion Democracy and Colonial Inheritance in Latin America

To what extent does external dependence on the former imperial powers hamper democracy?  Nicolás Lynch Gamero sheds light on the situation in Latin America.

© Aliza Yanes & Santiago Calderón decolonial – Videostill from the project “Intervention M21”: The (De)Colonial Glossary, Part 1, Europe - Non-Europe

Simply Complicated Technological Solutions in the Global South

Emerging technologies present opportunities for countries in the global South to realise exponential change and growth. But just as abundant as the potential is, so are the bottlenecks. Nanjira Sambuli explains.

Photo (detail): Photoshot © picture alliance Global South: Computer technology with iHub, Kenya

Going Past Colonialism Latitude: A Return to Point Zero

Western imperialism still divides the world into the global North and global South. The Kenyan performance scholar Mshai Mwangola calls for a critical re-evaluation of the the Equator as latitude 0°.

Photo (detail): Guenter Fischer © picture alliance / imageBROKER Latitude: Marking the geographical latitude of zero degrees as a yellow equatorial line, equatorial monument La Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World) in San Antonio de Pichincha, Ecuador, South America

Digital Divide Decolonise the Internet

The internet is characterised by power structures. Digital colonialism shows how established hierarchies can also become entrenched on the world wide web. But activists and artists are growing increasingly resistant, says Ina Holev.

Photo (detail): Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi © picture alliance / AP Photo Everyday life in Zimbabwe: Crowds in one of the few public places with free WLAN. People in Mutare, about 270 kilometers east of the capital Harare, 23 November 2019. According to a recent independent report, Zimbabwe has one of the most expensive mobile data sources in the world. The high data costs are mainly attributed to the fact that the country has relatively few mobile internet providers and that it is a landlocked country.

"Ethics of Passage" Against Identitarian Withdrawal

As nations and communities increasingly withdraw into their identitarian shells, postcolonial theorist Achille Mbembe counters with an ethics of ”passage, circulation and transfiguration” that breathes fresh air into the confines of increasingly musty national spaces.

© Jean Counet Achille Mbembe

Dangers of “Single Cultures” “Why Do We Believe that Difference Is a Problem?”

The Cameroonian philosopher Achille Mbembe talks about xenophobia, nationalism, the place of the foreigner, the dangers of “single cultures” and spaces for articulating difference.

Photo: Erick Christian Ahounou Achille Mbembe

Artists in the Global South The Chance of the Continent

“Not everything good must necessarily come from the West”: The artist Ndidi Dike on the opportunities offered by the African continent – and why we should deal more closely with production conditions.

Photo (detail): © Oleg Stepanov The artist Ndidi Dike on the opportunities Africa offers.