Appreciation & Thanks to All-Theatrical Premiere of “Forget Winnetou!” Feb. 11th at Delphi Theater

Sincere thanks to everyone who came out to our theatrical premiere at the Delphi Theater in Berlin on Sunday! I so appreciate each and every one for taking the time on a rather sleepy Sunday, and the support and opportunity to share the experiences and observations entrusted to the project from all our participants. The full version and other languages are in the works.

Here’s a photo from the Q&A panel that included myself, Johnny Clyde, Viveka Frost and Kendall Old Elk. Special shout-out to Therese Degen for moderating in a great way! We first saw Viveka Frost’s short documentary as part of an upcoming full length film. It’s titled Reclamation. Before going on to “Forget Winnetou!” and a later Q&A after the film. This was our only schedule screening in Berlin at this point in time. Naturally, we would love to show it other places. If you are interested in a screening at your university, organization, group and so forth, please contact us for your idea or offer.

Logline: “It’s not about Winnetou.”

 

premiere

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“‘Native’ Hobbyism is Modern Day Colonialism”-My new article at CBC

I was recently invited to write a counter-point essay for CBC, following my participant in the CBC.Docs documentary that premieres today on Canadian television. Last July in Berlin, I  sat down with indigenous writer Drew Hayden Taylor on his search to understand why so many Germans choose to appropriate native cultures and/or dressing up and pretending to be “Indians”. The article was published on January 26th, ‘Native Hobbyism’ is Modern Day Colonialism. and specifically discusses how the effects of such practices, especially on Natives living in Germany, are overlooked by both non-natives and natives, which we explore in our own documentary, “Forget Winnetou”, premiering next month.

“Indigenous North Americans who live abroad often deal with rejection from relatives who only support or recognize those who choose to live in North America. They report negative experiences such as abandonment, disrespect of their heritage and lack of cultural support. This trauma leads to depression, anxiety and frustration because Indigenous living in Europe can’t simply be themselves.”

Two New Documentaries on Native Stereotypes & German Cultural Appropriation-Ours Hits the Reality for Natives

For those of you in Canada, you should be able to check out this documentary debuting on Jan. 28th on CBC Docs. It follows Drew Hayden Taylor’s “search” in Germany on the “why” of hobbyism. I was invited to write a counter-point essay that will be published next week at CBC, and have a small part in the film.

Our film, which is the “flip side”, on natives living Germany, the repercussions and realities of how appropriation and Native stereotypes heavily affects their life, etc. very different from occasional visitors or contract performers, debuts on Feb. 11th. Forget Winnetou- A Documentary Film at the Delphi Theater in Berlin.

#Documentary #Film Premiere for “Forget #Winnetou!” on February 11th at Historic Delphi Theater!

 

Through hardship and a directing experience I eventually completed alone, on 11 February 2018 the documentary Forget Winnetou! Going Beyond Native Stereotypes in Germany makes its screen debut at the historic Delphi Theater in Berlin. Advanced tickets are now available through the Delphi’s website, and we would love to see you there! Deutsch version is below, and you can read more about film details at its IMDb page of Facebook event page.

PROGRAM

16:00-16:30 Welcome & short live performance
16:30-17:00 Introduction to panelists and a Q& A
17:00-17:30 A short Documentary
17:30-18:00 Pause with Music by Johnny Clyde, Photography by Viveka Frost
18:00-19:30 Feature documentary
19:30-20:00+ Meet the team & special visitor

 

“What does a world look like that respects indigenous peoples, that’s working to end racism and colonialism on a global scale?” A part of that is stopping stereotyping, and Native stereotypes are some of the most pervasive and recognized, but most don’t know their origins or the real harm they do.

“Winnetou”, the still popular American Indian character created by German author Karl May in the 19th century is a symbol of Native stereotypes, of lingering racism & colonialism: the self-bestowed privilege of taking and using whatever you want, even living peoples, for self-gratification. Intentional or not, these attitudes and behaviors continue the cycle of genocide, and can be harmful to everyone, no matter their ethnicity.

Most films on similar topics concentrate only on Native experiences in North America, but through discussions with Natives living in or having visited Germany, the correction of Eurocentricized history & insight on German society, we’ll present why these stereotypes and practices must end: in Germany and worldwide. While some may minimize the effect or harm of stereotypes, they are evidence of much deeper societal issues of injustice, inequality and inequity many countries now face.

Germany is a microcosm of struggles taking place across the world both against and for decolonization, for correcting white privilege and supremacy that’s divided and helped destroy our world. Stereotypes were created to keep themselves in power…and others under their control.

The documentary will utilize live-action scenes, interviews and animated sequences illustrating the theme, and provide an unforgettable, educational experience. Native speaking for themselves, representing themselves, and showing the world their variety, complexity and indomitable spirit.

Deutsch

“Wie könnte eine Welt aussehen, die indigene Völker respektiert, die daran arbeitet, Rassismus in einem globalen Rahmen zu ende? Es müsste damit beginnen, die stereotype Wahrnehmung indigener Völker zu beenden; diese ist weit verbreitet und anerkannt, wie kaum eine andere, aber die meisten Menschen kennen weder deren Ursprünge, noch den tatsächlichen Schaden, der durch sie angerichtet wird.”

Karl Mays beliebter Pseudo-Indianer hat die tatsächliche indigene Bevölkerung jahrzehntelang falsch dargestellt und damit einer weit verbreiteten Aneignung und Ausbeutung indigener Kulturen den Weg bereitet. Menschen indigener Herkunft sind willkommen, jedoch eigentlich nur, wenn sie die Klischees erfüllen.

Auch in Nordamerika sind sich viele Menschen indigener Herkunft nicht bewusst, dass die Stilisierung als Maskottchen in Deutschland lediglich die Kehrseite tiefgreifender Probleme ist, die sich als systematischer Rassismus, Polizeigewalt und Ungerechtigkeit gegenüber Minderheiten darstellen, selbst wenn indigene Bilder, Kulturen und sogar Knochen den Europäern als Genugtuung dienen.

Deutschland repräsentiert als Mikrokosmos all die Kämpfe die weltweit sowohl gegen die Dekolonisierung als auch zu ihren Gunsten stattfinden, zu Gunsten einer Abschaffung der Privilegien und der Vormachtstellung der Weißen, die unsere Welt in Lager gespalten und dabei geholfen hat, sie zu zerstören. Stereotype wurden erfunden um den Weißen die Erhalt ihrer Macht zu sichern….und andere unter Kontrolle zu halten.
Es befindet sich derzeit in der Postproduktion und wird Live-Action-Szenen, Interviews und Newsclips mit kurzen animierten Sequenzen kombinieren.

#Documentary Film Updates, About 2017 & What’s upcoming for 2018

After all were exposed to Agent Orange, my father and 2 of his brothers all got cancer. He’s a 15yr cancer survivor, his next closest in age died 2yrs ago, and the last is in late stage and has decided no more chemo. Since my son has inherited contact both paternal and maternal, we’re trying to schedule testing to confirm, yet he already has some conditions researched as linked to the toxin. 2017 was a hospital year for him again. The struggles go on, but you keep going as long as you can though, thankful for what you do have.

I’m taking a semester off, January through May for several reasons, and to finish up the documentary Forget Winnetou! Going Beyond Native Stereotypes. Check out the updates to the English language website, and view the German one.  You can see the trailer here, which was an official selection for the Avanca Film Festival in 2017.  The premiere is scheduled for February 11th at the Delphi Theater in Berlin (more details soon). Other updates of my speaking schedule of 2017 can be found under the “Bibliography” and other tabs above.

Then to spend time with family in the USA I’ve not been able to see for 7yrs because life is tough and most of the work I do is for non-profits (literally), but uncle is bringing us home for a couple of weeks at the beginning of 2018. So the point is, these are reasons I’ve posted far less and far less personally that I used to in the past. I simply haven’t had extra time or energy to do so, especially with response from some Native sources about the film and about myself, but I just give one of my quotes in response: “I welcome questions. I hate assumptions.”

Anyway, I hope your longest day of 2017 was good. I spent solstice deep in thought, info processing and self truths, which will continue through the new year. Keep keeping at it everyone, always do the right thing. Research before you make judgement, be willing to examine yourself and your motivations. Be willing to change, to keep learning.