Lecture and Discussion

• Thu 21 04 2016 •
We Have Always Been Here! African Life in Germany between Resistance and Adaptation Marianne Bechhaus-Gerst

Venue: ACADEMYSPACE, Herwarthstraße 3, 50672 Cologne
Free admission

“Africans don’t belong here.” That, at least, is the tenor of the debate in the press and in public when the current “refugee situation” is under discussion. In fact, there is a long history of German-African encounters. People of African origin have lived here for centuries. Marianne Bechhaus-Gerst’s lecture provides an overview of this compelling history. Beginning with African intellectuals of the 18th century, it tells of Afro-German anti-colonial resistance in the 1920s and the forgotten African victims of National Socialism, as well as the reality as lived by Afro-Germans in the Federal Republic of Germany, drawing connections to the Rhineland and its current political reality.

Marianne Bechhaus-Gerst is a professor of African Studies at the University of Cologne. Her researches include among others the history of people of African origins in Germany and German colonial history. She also works as a curator and she is chairperson of the association KopfWelten, a local history project involved in memory work in Cologne.