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Nr. 00265- 9th Jan. 2024 – Weekly Newspaper devoted to Science & Technology in Africa ** Pour la promotion de l'esprit scientifique en Afrique

Milli’s Awakening Dortmund Screening – September 19th, 2019

headnkIn the north industrial district of Dortmund, a film screening followed by a debate led by the activist, social worker and poet, Miss Wopana Mudimu (Wopana.Words & Art.) took place last September. This screening brings us to a very warm and cosy atmosphere that some curious minds found themselves in, including some activists well-known to the African-descendant diaspora of NRW.

Dr. Natasha A. Kelly holds a doctorate in communication and sociology with a research focus on (post-)colonialism and feminism. Born in London and socialised in Germany, the pan-Africanist sees herself as an « academic activist ». Her most recent publications include « Sisters and Souls », an anthology in honour of the Afro-German poet May Ayim (Orlanda 2015), « Afrokultur. der raum zwischen gestern und morgen » (2016). Her very last work is named Milli’s Awakening, Black Women, Art and Resistance by Orlanda Edition (2018). The movie Milli’s Awakening (2018) stands out in directly addressing burning issues in German society: the discrimination, racism and violence against People of Color. Natasha A. Kelly Berlin-based academic and artist/Film-Maker is actually providing one of the few alternative film production, that explicitly bring the thematic of white institutions and diversity.

Natasha Kelly’s film, presents what is called a multi-perspective narrative. We discover the poignant life narrative of 8 Afro-German women, artists/intellectuals who shared with us their lived-experience of structural racism and their professional marginalization from the world of art. Through their testimonies, we learned about the difficulty of being a Black woman in Germany and N. Kelly has succeeded in denouncing the perversity of this German racism.

The reaction of the audience following the screening was consequent to the issues raised by N. Kelly. Indeed, some members of the public have raised very constructive and relevant questions. The academician explained her working methodology to us, why she choosed such a « total plan » in her framing. N. Kelly revisited the debate/concept of “identity”once conceptualized by Fanon and Dubois. It is important, according to N. Kelly, that Black women in the diaspora opt for an identity search that focuses on themselves and for themselves. The production of a Black women’s perspective has no future using the tools of the oppressor, the scholar/activist launched. The moderator noted that the issues of colorism are difficult realities, but also obstacles to the development of a black and feminist community in Germany. In conclusion, we retain from N. Kelly’s analyses that emotion can be scientificized and rationalized in an explanation of social-psychological mechanism by adopting an empowering approach for oneself and for members of the Black community. Indeed, Natasha. Kelly provides us a non-white, critical perspective. You will soon have the opportunity to meet Dr Natasha Kelly, in various projects organized in the NRW region.

Fidel Amoussou-Moderan

Doctoral researcher, History, R.U.B University, Germany,
Communication Expert for African Development Initiative e.V.
Contributor for the Journal

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