Building on the success of the inaugural conference, the Black German Cultural Society of New Jersey (BGCSNJ) announces the Second Annual Convention, to be held in New York City on August 10 and 11. The conference is presented by the Africana Studies Program at Barnard College and the Goethe-Institut New York.
The first day of the convention will feature a keynote address by Dr. Yara- Colette Lemke Muniz de Faria, author of Between Solicitude and Exclusion: Afro-German “Occupation Babies” in Postwar Germany and historian and curator at the German Historical Museum in Berlin. Following the keynote will be an evening performance by Nigerian-German author Olumide Popoola and South African-German spoken-word performer Philipp Khabo Köpsell at the Goethe-Institut Wyoming Building, 5 East 3rd Street (at Bowery).
The convention will highlight the everyday experiences of black Germans who will present accounts of their varied life histories on two panels: “Witnessing Our Histories–Reclaiming the Black German Experience” and “Telling Our Stories–Black German Life Writing.” Scholarly panels will focus on “Teaching the Black German Experience,” “Historical and Popular Cultures of Blacks in Germany,” and “Visualizing Black Germany.”
Convention committee members include Tina Campt, Barnard professor of women’s, gender and sexuality studies and director of the Africana studies program. She is the author of Other Germans: Black Germans and the Politics of Race, Gender and Memory in the Third Reich (2004), and Image Matters: Archive, Photography and the African Diaspora in Europe (2012).
The conference will also feature screenings of two films focusing on the lives of two central figures in the Black German movement. The newly released film Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years 1984-1992 tells the story of African American feminist poet Audre Lorde, whose creative writing course at the Free University of Berlin in 1984 was the catalyst that launched the Black German movement. Hope in My Heart: The May Ayim Story recounts the life of the late Black German poet and activist May Ayim.
The conference is co-sponsored by the generous funding of the Max Kade Foundation.
All conference events are free of charge but registration is required.
For information on conference registration, accommodations, and a detailed schedule of events, visit the conference website: http://blackgermans.us/convention2012/ .