Deutsches Haus at NYU and the Urban Democracy Lab at NYU present a panel discussion about "Black and Brown in Berlin: Notes from the African Diaspora" among Brittany Hazelwood, Nadja Ofuatey-Alazard, and Darryl Pinckney, which will be moderated by Christophe A. Koné.
Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet Audre Lorde, who taught in Berlin from 1984 to 1992, recalled that, on the day the Berlin Wall fell, an unnamed Black African male was beaten up on one of the city's subways. Once again, a glorious moment of freedom and revolution on the world stage coincided with routine violence against a Black body. Lorde was born in New York City but lived and taught in Berlin where she sought the opportunity to build a transnational feminist alliance. What she discovered there is what many have celebrated since: a thriving, culturally rich, politically buoyant community of Afro-German scholars, artists, and writers. She also found a city still struggling to reconcile with legacies of colonialism, racism, anti-Semitism, and trauma. How do African-Americans and Afro-Germans experience the city today? What has changed? What work is yet to be done?
About the speakers:
Brittany Hazelwood is an attorney at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP in Manhattan where she practices in the Intellectual Property Group. She has directed Festival Neue Literatur for the past seven years and is the Editorial Director for STILL Magazine. Brittany Hazelwood formerly worked at the German Book Office New York, Telos Press, Vice Magazine Berlin, and Deep Focus. Brittany Hazelwood studied German Literature and Cultural History at Columbia University, where she also received her law degree, and was a DAAD fellow at the Center for Metropolitan Studies at the Technische Universität Berlin.
Nadja Ofuatey-Alazard was born in the Black Forest in Germany, and holds a degree in journalism. She is a cultural activist, curator, production manager, journalist, presenter, and filmmaker. Recent projects include the event and film series ReMIX. Africa in Translation (2016/17) and the book publications African Futures and Beyond. Visions in Transition (co-ed, 2019), How Racism Speaks from Words. Notches/Heirs of Colonialism in the Knowledge Archive German Language (co-ed 2011) and 200 Years Later ... Commemorating the 200 Year Anniversary of the Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade (2008). From 2011-2017, she co-directed the annual BIGSAS Festival of African and African-Diasporic Literatures at the University of Bayreuth. Since October 2017, she has worked as project manager and co-director/artistic director at Each One Teach One (EOTO) e.V. in Berlin where she is responsible for the annual literature and art festival AFROLUTION among other things.
Darryl Pinckney is a long time contributor to The New York Review of Books, the author of two novels, High Cotton (1992) and Black Deutschland (2016), and two works of nonfiction, Out There: Mavericks of Black Literature (2002), part of the Alain Locke Lecture Series, and Blackballed: The Black Vote and U.S. Democracy (2014).
Christophe A. Koné (moderator) is an Assistant Professor of German and Comparative Literature at Williams College. He teaches language and literature classes. He holds a Masters in German Studies from Université Lumière, Lyon 2, France, and a PhD in German Studies from Rutgers University. He is currently finishing a book manuscript on “Dolls in Modern German Culture and Their Afterlife in Contemporary Visual Culture.” His research interests include German Romanticism, Modernism, Film Studies, Art History, and Fashion Studies.
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"Black and Brown in Berlin: Notes from the African Diaspora" is a DAAD-supported event.