“Forget Winnetou: Going Beyond Native Stereotypes in Germany” is an upcoming documentary by Timo Kiesel & Red Haircrow. Exploring themes of racism, stereotyping and erasure that Native Americans face living and working in Germany, despite German fascination with the indigenous peoples of North America.
Because many “others” “foreigners” specific ethnicities, and in this case “Indianer” or Native American Indians are only presented in shows, as entertainment, as costumed figures who are there to entertain Germans in some way…stereotypes abound here, and are expected and even demanded. Often you see the same rapt look and desire: “Teach us! Show us! Make us laugh with wonder! Cry with excitement, shudder with amazement, dread, outrage (as to native treatment of the past)” but whatever it is, they want what they want.
For Native Americans they expect, with very clear stereotype guidelines, how you should look, speak, engage, too. If you don’t look, act or perform as they expect, they are disappointed, dejected and dissatisfied. You must meet their expectations or you are not “real”, you are not “authentic.” Continue reading
As a long time fan of heavy, hard and all kinds of metal, first I was thrilled to find I DONT KONFORM on Facebook then doubly they were headed to Germany then onward to Denmark to record their first album this summer. A contract can always be great, but especially when it’s with the legendary producer of Metallica, Flemming Rasmussen of Sweet Silence Studios. I reached out to IDK offering to show them around if they happened to come to Berlin. That wasn’t the case this time around but they were willing to give me an interview from their location in studio in Denmark.
“Sure, our music has native characteristics sometimes, but we (as natives) don’t just play powwow drums and flutes, war songs. We show natives can do more than smoke a peace pipe. We’re progressive, live in houses, have jobs, have wi-fi. We feel this can be positive for everybody, our doing our thing.”
The interview was funny, full emotion and deep insights as well on reservation life, politics and partying. After paying their dues for years, the guys were also in a kind of wonder at the tremendous opportunity, eagerly enthusiastic about creating the best debut album ever dropping this fall. Read the full article at Red Rising Magazine, a newly relaunched website showcasing indigenous writing from indigenous writers.
Our video “Conejitos Amarillos” with original piano composition and performance by German jazz pianist Uli Lenz has been selected for the Kids Program at the Anibar Animation Festival in Peja, Kosovo, 21-25 August 2016!
About the video:
“Conejitos Amarillos” is a short energetic piece composed and performed by German jazz pianist Uli Lenz, combined with a poem by Red Haircrow. Inspired by Lenz’s thoughts on the song’s creation and the mixture of jazz and animation in iconic Tom & Jerry cartoons, Red Haircrow created a simple but fast moving musical story of comedic gravity about the idiosyncracies of rabbits. It is part of Lenz & Haircrow, “Poetry & Piano” project, and created by Flying With Red Haircrow Productions. https://www.facebook.com/flyingwithredhaircrowproductions/
“Conejitos Amarillos” is a live recorded performance from Lenz’s solo album ““Dance Mañana” available at HGBS Studios.
About Uli Lenz:
Lenz is regarded as a brilliant musical engineer with a particularly strong left hand, and an immediately recognizable style. Through his melodically complex but highly danceable style of play, while in Africa, he acquired the nickname ‘The man who dances on the keys.’
Although based in Berlin, Germany, and being a well known artist in the local jazz scene, Uli Lenz is a world traveler in the field of jazz, serving as a musical ambassador for Germany. His tours have taken him to almost every country on earth. He has played and continues to perform in various groups, bands, duos and trios with fellow artists such as François Jeanneau, Cecil McBee, Ira Coleman, Pepe Burns, Patricia Nomakosazana Dhlamini, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez and more!”
In the years of my observation and research on Indian hobbyists, whether personally or professionally, there are significant similarities between many of the most extreme in Germany, including their age group. Most often those born 1940-1970 or so, but can include others. As any social scientist can attest, those terrible events of Nazi Germany and WWII also had an effect on German society.
One was a need for escapism, conscious or unconscious, to a lesser or greater degree, and the avid interest and appropriation of other cultures, while still “being German” in their methods and mentalities. This is neither good nor bad, in and of itself. It is simply an after effect, but it does contribute to the sub-culture of Indian hobbyism and non-native “native” spiritualists.
Healthier personality types who more often came from homes with little or no abusive behaviors parentally or environmentally and who had positive reinforcement, may also have natural interest in other cultures but without attempting to “lose themselves” within them. Comparatively, those who grew up receiving frequent personal criticisms, for example, especially with added other stresses or abuses can develop a variety of psychological issues, one of which is borderline personality disorder.
Though having a name and description of the mental issue, behavioral traits aren’t always recognized, so the disorder (like others) can go undiagnosed or be “hidden” by the individual as long as their desires are satisified. When their desires and expectations are not? Behavior can quickly become emotive, extreme and shocking even to those closest to them. It is also frequently directed at those closest to them or those they feel closest to, whether or not having a relationship and/or connection to them (i.e. someone they perceive as a threat to their happiness, such as someone via Internet). In the particular case of hobbyists, native enthusiasts or “pseudo-Indians”, it is when the desire for validation, recognition or acceptance as their chosen culture is thwarted or challenged. Continue reading