White cultural producers are fighting to retain their privileges: to date they still occupy dominant positions in the German art industry and therefore presumably experience the mere existence of political correctness as a threat.
Dodua Otoo’s writing is efficient and brutal with a journal-like quality. This writing style effortlessly explores complex issues like white supremacy in intimate relationships, cultural colonialism, immigration, the mine-field of divorce and universal human failure. None of these issues are at the center of the story, yet are weaved through everything that happens. Her narrative gives us a sneak peek into the unsaid and often felt universe of a black woman in Berlin.
Last week’s premiere event was a great inauguration. “The Politics of Community” was the overarching theme, but after a wonderful introduction to give some academic context, Taylor expertly guided our discussion forth and back to other areas of concern. Topics ranged from politically correct vocabulary (one beautiful Black women rejects both terms “race” and “mixed” to describe herself), to how German administrative forms fail to reflect the diverse background of some Berliners (how can you communicate that your place of birth, ethnicity and place of residence are are varied when there is only one box to check?) to how the emphasis on Germany’s Nazi past leaves little room to address the atrocities of colonialism that foreshadowed it.
My mind is a whirl of movies and my pupils are still dilated. Most of the filmmakers in the Berlinale Blackness films were coming from outside of the culture that they wanted to represent. This means that they would be naturally attracted to the most striking elements of the society that they were discovering and may not have had the cultural fluency to appreciate the subtler aspects of that society.
Many renowned artists were racists and/or sexists. This is not your fault. But it becomes your problem, too, if you elect to continue their legacy as if they had not been dehumanising the majority of the people on the planet.