“Absoluter Geheimtipp auf Disney+ bekommt eine dritte Staffel!” by Kristina Kielblock at kino.de. (In German)
A new article on some of the current and upcoming shows centering Native American, First Nations and Indigenous peoples that (most importantly) were made by Natives for everyone. Natives also working in healthy cooperation and collaborations with other peoples and groups to produce work both, fiction and non-fiction, that include or focus on Native characters stories….without the Eurocentrism, misrepresentation and stereotyping.
Understand what that means because inevitably (and we see it constantly) there are comments from non-Natives who say, “But they sometimes do stereotypes! Why is it so different or bad if we do it?” or even more exasperating, “We love Natives, and just want to create characters and stories, too! Where’s the harm in that?” Besides our documentary, there are MANY resources that explain how, why and when racism and Eurocentrism continues to work in our societies, what it’s symptoms and effects are. There are MANY resources that explain and clearly demonstrate the harm that results, and the cycles of erasure, silencing and replacing Native peoples, voices and self-determination that continue the purposes of colonialism and Indigenous genocide.
The only time Germany and the western world seems to really consider these topics as a nation or societies is during a controversy, such as climaxed in August 2022 following the release of children’s books no less, that sought to revive and defend the use of racist, sexist terms used for Natives that are strongly condemned, which they were made well aware of long before going to press. What is especially frustrating about such behavior and societal practices, is that like Indian hobbyists of all kinds, they overshadow or completely obscure the many Europeans who have long been allies, colleagues and partners to Indigenous peoples, working to undo centuries of Eurocentrism and colonialism through healthy relationships and cooperation of all kinds with Native peoples. We get dozens of articles about hobbyists, books and reports by so-called “Indian experts” and ad nauseum novels, shows and films romanticizing Native stereotypes or misrepresenting/skewing current events, but few or NONE about good collaborations.
Stereotypes are oversimplifications of other peoples, groups and individuals of which one is not a part, often based on historical fears and ignorance. In the case of Europeans doing this to ethnic and racial groups, this has an overwhelmingly negative effect because of the violently gained and held structural power to control all narratives, which the targeted groups have little or no opportunity to correct or change, all while being subjected to discrimination, compartmentalization and dehumanization. In the case of Native American peoples, cultures and traditions, in Germany especially, decades of moneymaking exploitation of all kinds, from museums, to media studios, to tobacco products.
Simply put: When we as Native peoples talk about ourselves, our communities, our histories, our cultures, our traditions, our idiosyncrasies, we are not stereotyping because it is coming from a place of intimate, personal knowledge about ourselves, our communities, our histories, our cultures, our traditions, our idiosyncrasies. That is not hard to understand although it takes humility, often absent in western society, and realize, too, in that sentence you can substitute any other marginalized or minoritized groups for “Native peoples”. Look around you in western society, just like our documentary’s premise, the same attitude and treatment of Natives is done to others, and even to the environment, our Earth, our home. Destruction, pain and harm are ignored, minimized or defended for self-gratification and/or profit.
That’s why we continue say, no shout and yell, that it is well past time to symbolically #ForgetWinnetou! and the harmful practices, behaviors and mentalities that continue colonial, genocidal systems that encourage the stereotyping, erasure and silencing of certain “others”.
View our post on forgetwinnetou.com. (In German and English). Through its website, you can also purchase as documentary as DVD for personal usage, or for organizations, groups and businesses, through VTape as a rental or educational license.
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