The ABC of Racist Europe
A workshop for a mixed group of people over 20 years old interested in anti-racist methods, in technologies of dis-othering, in children´s perspectives and in children´s activities.
Workshop 15.09.2018 12:00–18:00
WITH Daniela Ortiz
FEE 10 EUR (Donation for participating, a fee shared among participants also to provide child-care for participating parents)
The workshop is conceived for 20 participants. Please send a paragraph explaining your motivation for participating and your background, with subject line “ABC workshop” until 25.08.2018 to:
You will be notified of your participation by 31.08.2018. The selection process is not based on qualification but on securing a diverse group of participants.
Please let us know if you have children, we would like to find ways to have them with us!
Languages German, English, Spanish––depending on the group of participants. The aim is to make a book in German as a shared language between children living in Berlin.
Duration 6 hours (two blocks of 2,5 hours with a one hour break in between)
Material please bring newspapers, journals, books, or any other image you find interesting to share.
Interested in contributing to the future of younger generations? Interested in making, together with many people and their views, a children´s book that addresses anti-racism and de-colonial thinking? We believe that such important issues need to get out of the realm of adulthood and find ways to be translated and transmitted to children. If you share the same belief, participate and get engaged! We hope that this will form the base for future activities and will not be only reduced to the framework of this workshop organised in the framework of GEOGRAPHIES OF IMAGINATION.
"To Be or Not to Be" asks the English writer William Shakespeare in one of the most important works of European literature. The subject poses this question to be able to define himself between life or death, action or inaction, reflecting on doubt and indecision in a work inscribed in European existentialist and relativist tendencies. The question is formulated by a subject that has the possibility to decide, a subject that has a certain degree of freedom, a subject who enjoys a privileged position that allows them to define their own destiny. The Being or Not Being of the Hamlet is drastically opposed to the notions of Being or Not Being of the Antillean and anti-colonial writer Frantz Fanon, who defines the line of Being or Not Being in relationship to the position that a subject occupies in the world, mainly due to their racialization and their belonging to colonial territories, aspects that determine whether or not one is considered and treated as a ”human being". This is how Fanon in the œuvre "The Wretched of the Earth" makes reference to a racialized subject, a colonial subject whose situation of oppression that dehumanizes him/her does not allow decision, whose death or life is defined by the white colonial power and not by the subject him/herself. This is how the concept of Being in one case manifests itself from and through a place of privilege and freedom of choice while in the second case from a space of oppression. In this way the same word, the same phrase, the same question are defined in very different and almost opposite ways depending on the color of the skin, the class, the gender of the subject and the country in which she/he is born. These are the multiple, and at times opposite perspectives and experiences, we wish to engage with.
During the workshop there will be a brief introduction to concepts related to coloniality, racism and Eurocentrism through the lens of the notion of Being and Not Being as engaged by Frantz Fanon. This will be followed by a discussion on "colonial positionality" in relation to language, that is: how to understand the words and concepts we use depending on our bodies and our nationalities, and how this language also defines children's experiences.
The main part of the workshop will be focused on creating a new version of the book "The ABC of Racist Europe” in which different words are scrutinized and explained through both their euro-centric and white-centric interpretation and through their anti-colonial and anti-racist alternatives. In this way, the letter A, used for the term "Airplane", can refer to the “means of transport used by European tourists to travel freely through the ex-colonies" or to the ”aircrafts used for mass deportation of migrants from the ex-colonies“. Or, the letter P is used for the term "Paper" that can reference a “rectangular piece of laminated material in white, that can be used for handwriting or printing” or a “document that allows, for a certain period of time, the migrants in Europe not to be forcibly deported". The already published "The ABC of Racist Europe" in English and Spanish will act as a reference to produce a new edition in relation to the German language and the German context. By using the technique of the collage and all the experiences of the participants we will work together on the creation of an alphabet in the form of a children´s book, relating to notions such as white supremacy, Euro-centrism and colonial racism, we will discuss concepts and terms in their various interpretations and we will work on the creation of images to illustrate these concepts.
Daniela Ortiz (born in Cusco, Peru in 1985, lives and works in Barcelona). Through her work Daniela aims to generate visual narratives in which the concepts of nationality, racialization, social class and genre are explored in order to critically understand structures of colonial, patriarchal and capitalist power. Her recent projects and research deal with the European migratory control system, its links to colonialism and the legal structure created by European institutions in order to inflict violence towards racialized and migrant communities. She has also developed projects about the Peruvian upper class and its exploitative relationship with domestic workers. Recently her artistic practice has turned back into visual and manual work, developing art pieces in ceramic, collage and in formats such as children books in order to take distance from Eurocentric conceptual art aesthetics. Together with her artistic practice she is mother of a 1 year old, gives talks, workshops, does investigations and participates in discussions on Europe’s migratory control system and its ties to coloniality in different contexts.