Workshops

Some members of our organisation have developed workshop concepts based on their lengthy engagements with topics such as racism, structural inequality, prejudices and privileges. They are keen to work with interested parties to gain a better understanding of the topics and the underlying mechanisms. Depending on the target group as well as duration, the workshop can be adapted accordingly. Through interactive methods, videos and textual work, the participants will be focusing on racist thinking and behaviour patterns and have the chance to discuss what racism means and in which forms it manifests in our everyday lives as well as in our thinking, speaking and acting. The workshops focus on individuals and their thought processes as well as interpersonal interactions and are an important opportunity to learn more about racism.

Are you interested in conducting a workshop? Then contact us at info@bridginggapsev.com


Exhibition about everyday racism

If we say that we are against racism, most people will certainly agree without hesitation. Rarely there is somebody saying openly that he or she is a racist. But what is racism? How did it manifest itself in our thinking and our actions?

These are questions we dealt with during a workshop in May 2016. Those among us who are white quickly realized: it is very easy to ignore a problem you are not affected by. And if one starts thinking about it one obstacle after the other occurs: what am I allowed to say? How can I speak freely without doing harm to another person? Is that even possible?

What is racism? What are racist acts?

Noah Sow uses the following definition of racism in her book “Wie Rassismus aus Wörtern spricht? – How racism speaks from words”: Racism is the linkage of prejudices with institutional power. Contrary to the (convenient) popular opinion, ‘dislike’ or ‘malevolence’ against people or a group of people is not preconditions for racism. Racism is not a personal or political ‘attitude’, but an institutionalised system in which social, economic, political and cultural relationships benefit the white autocratic rule. Racism is a global group privilege, which consequently favours white people and their interests. […] Racism is white supremacy.

There is no positive racism! Stereotypes are eventually always negative, attributions take place because of skin colour and are connected to thinking patterns which are present in our society since colonialism. If we assume that someone has a talent for drumming, but engineering sciences have to be alien to him, then we reproduce a racist thinking pattern. The use of language plays an important role in this context. As Sow examines, language maintains institutional power imperceptibly.

Being white and having privileges – an approach for discussion

White people in our society should recognize that they should listen and reflect upon their own behaviour when it comes to racism. Black people are part of our society, not only recently. White people are not personally affected by racism, but they are the ones who benefit from racist structures and who reproduce them, intendedly or unintendedly. As a white person one can move freely in the society and rarely one questions the own privileges because they are considered as being natural. The important point white people should understand is: white privileges are not natural. They are caused by (colonial) history and are still used today to put other people in a disadvantaged position.

To discuss and share our gained knowledge and to provide food for thought for others, the project team decided to collect statements which reflect our discussion. These statements were taken as photos at different central places in Konstanz and combined to the exhibition “Where are you really from? (In-)visibility. Everyday racism in Germany”. The statements on the photos are the results of a dialogue between black and white people in Konstanz. At the same time, they invite the viewer to start a dialogue. They pose a request to question the pictures in a person’s head and the own behavioural patterns.

The exhibition was already shown at the two universities in Konstanz as well as in the local city office of the city of Konstanz.

It is possible to lend the exhibition from “Bridging Gaps” to show it in your city. The exhibition consists of ten photos of the size A2. We provide you with an accompanying booklet and a poster with an explanatory text. If you want to show “Where are you really from?” in your city, do not hesitate to contact us on via email to konstanz@bridginggapsev.com

If we say that we are against racism, most people will certainly agree without hesitation. Rarely there is somebody saying openly that he or she is a racist. But what is racism? How did it manifest itself in our thinking and our actions?

These are questions we dealt with during a workshop in May 2016. Those among us who are white quickly realized: it is very easy to ignore a problem you are not affected by. And if one starts thinking about it one obstacle after the other occurs: what am I allowed to say? How can I speak freely without doing harm to another person? Is that even possible?


Film screening “Schenkt uns Gehör” with discussion round

„One always simply feels different“, that is how the 50-minutes film by Marlene Gärtner and Juliane Hoss starts. In the film 14 young black people speak about their everyday life in Germany and their experiences with everyday racism. The protagonists express that statements that may appear harmless at first sight – like “Can I touch your hair?” or “Where are you really coming from?” – burden them permanently in their everyday life. They talk about red lines that are often crossed and the feeling of not being accepted in society. Moreover, the documentary deals with stereotypical imaginations and clichés about Africa. The personal experiences help to develop a consciousness for our socialisation based on racist imaginations.

The film and the following discussion rounds present many interesting questions and the chance to question your own speech and actions. Many people who are not affected by racism experience a moment where they realise for the first time the extent and effects of racism in our society. The aim is to create consciousness for everyday racism and to plead for a less harmful living together. A protagonist summarizes:

This guilt component should be taken out, to say, ‘you are a racist you are like this and that…’ But to find out, what is racist behaviour, where is it coming from and how can we change it and break it up? – how can we unlearn what we learned from the beginning through media, from our parents, in school…”

We showed the film already in several cities and different contexts (Festival, volunteering preparations, workshops etc.) combined with a discussion rounds. If you are interested in showing the documentary please contact us: info@bridginggapsev.com