Another Pop-Up Cinema in #Berlin, #Free Screening & Discussion of “Reel Injun” (2010) on 27 July

I’ll be speaking at the Pop-up Cinema screening of “Reel Injun” on 27 July, with Berlinale NATIVe in association with Humboldt Forum. The event takes place at MACHmit! Kinder Museum at Senefelder 5/6 in Prenzlauer Berg, 10437, Berlin. Please follow BerlinaleNAtive to learn of upcoming events, as several more are planned through the end of summer, with films from around the world.

Topic: “What kind of image do Native Americans have in Westerns, what do the cowboy-and-Indian myths mean for North America, and how did this genre shape the way cinema developed? In the German-speaking world, Karl May’s Wild West fantasies and Pierre Brice, the “French Winnetou”, still influence people’s notions and images of Native Americans in North America. In this second part of its programme, the Pop-Up Cinema invites you to watch two very different films, both of which question the familiar clichés of prairie romanticism.2
DANCE TO MISS CHIEF
D: Kent Monkman, 2010, 5 min, music video
REEL INJUN
D: Neil Diamond, Catherine Bainbridge, Jeremiah Hayes, Canada 2010, 88 min, English with German subtitles
ADMISSION
free
———
“Was ist das Bild der amerikanischen Ureinwohner in Westernfilmen, was bedeuten Cowboy- und Indianermythen für Amerika und wie hat all das die Entwicklung des Kinos beeinflusst? Karl Mays Wildwest-Wunschträume und der „französische Winnetou“ Pierre Brice prägen unsere Vorstellungen und Bilder von Native Americans in Nordamerika bis heute. Das Pop-up Cinema lädt in seinem zweiten Filmblock zu zwei sehr unterschiedlichen Filmen, die beide jedes bekannte Klischee von Prärieromantik hinterfragen.
DANCE TO MISS CHIEF
R: Kent Monkman, 2010, 5 Min, Musikvideo
REEL INJUN
R: Neil Diamond, Catherine Bainbridge, Jeremiah Hayes, Kanada 2010, 88 Min, Englisch mit deutschen Untertiteln
EINTRITT
frei

15 June We’re at Humboldt University in Berlin- #RepresentationMatters: Decolonizing Indigeneity

Free event.


“Headdresses at carnival, childhood games, books sold by the millions for generations: iconic colonial racist imagery such as Karl May’s fictional character Winnetou keeps shaping our distorted images of indigenous North American cultures and histories. Together with author, film maker and psychological counselor Red Haircrow and with Timo Kiesel, film maker (“White Charity” 2011) and member of glokal e.V. we will discuss how representation of indigenous people and First Nations in the Americas and Germany are entangled with the material reality of social inequality and indigenous struggles for sovereignty, environmental justice and survival.The event is bilingual and located on ground level.”

SPEAKERS Red Haircrow and Timo Kiesel, producers of the forthcoming documentary film “Forget Winnetou“
DATE June 15th, 6.30 pm
LOCATION Department of Social Sciences, HU Berlin, Universitätsstraße 3B, 002/003
fb: https://www.facebook.com/events/825440424287819/
Contact: studikreis@riseup.net


DEUTSCH Version
#RepresentationMatters: Decolonizing Indigeneity. June 15th | 6.30pm | UNI3B R002/003

“Karnevalskostüme, Kindheitsspiele, Bücher in Millionenauflage seit Generationen: Kolonialrassistische Imaginationen mit Kultstatus wie jene rund um den fiktionalen Charakter Winnetou von Karl May prägen unser verzerrtes Bild indigener nordamerikanischer Kulturen und Geschichten. Gemeinsam mit dem Autor, Filmemacher und psychologischen Berater Red Haircrow und mit Timo Kiesel, Filmemacher („White Charity“ 2011) und Mitglied bei glokal e.V. wollen wir diskutieren, wie fremd- und selbstbestimmte Repräsentation von indigenous people und First Nations in Deutschland und den Amerikas mit der materiellen Realität sozialer Ungleichheit und mit indigenen Kämpfen um Souveränität, environmental justice und Überleben verwoben ist. Der Workshop ist zweisprachig. Der Ort ist barrierefrei erreichbar.”

SPEAKERS Red Haircrow and Timo Kiesel, producers of the forthcoming documentary film “Forget Winnetou“
DATE June 15th, 6.30 pm
LOCATION Department of Social Sciences, HU Berlin, Universitätsstraße 3B, 002/003
Contact: studikreis@riseup.net

Presenting on June 2nd in Saarbrücken at the “Indigenous Pop Culture” Conference

On June 2nd, I’ll give a presentation at the “Indigenous Popular Culture Conference” at Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany. The conference is titled; “A Long Time Ago on a Reservation Far, Far Away: Contemporary Indigenous Popular Culture across the Globe.”

MY ABSTRACT: “While many people express growing boredom with Hollywood and other western film studios producing sub-standard, unoriginal movies or rebooting television series or films of the past, the Native indie film industry is booming. Despite the low ebb of unique productions to which even Hollywood admits, scripts by people of color, including Natives, continue to be rejected and ignored primarily because they don’t fit the stereotypical material usually churned out about them by others.

Thus, more Native filmmakers today than ever before are writing, filming and sharing their own work, by Natives for everyone, representing and presenting themselves and their stories, whether fiction or non-fiction. More Native artists and filmmakers are collaborating and coming together in events, such as the Indigenous Comic-Con whose inaugural celebration took place in November 2016, to encourage and promote each other. It is also open to the public, and all are welcome.

Discussion will include why films about Natives made by Natives so important; what the issues and benefits are both for Native individuals, nations and communities, and non-Natives; and the intersectionality of native films with social justice, activism and sovereignty. Material will include visual examples of contemporary native films, filmmakers, production companies and organizations, such as A Tribe Called Geek that report on, encourage and promote contemporary artists and filmmakers.”

More details about the event, here.

Background On Our #Documentary Directors (us!) & The Last Official Week of our #Crowdfunding Campaign

Around three years ago, I first heard through a mutual acquaintance, that a German guy named Timo Kiesel was interested in doing a film project about Native stereotypes. While not skeptical, though knowing nothing about him (and the mutual friend wouldn’t have passed the message along if he was sketchy), Timo’s motivation and aim was my concern. Understanding the issues? Honesty? Trustworthiness?

Since I’ve been in Germany, my work is out there such as in ICTMN or my website, and I’d been contacted before by German studios or individuals seeking “authenticity” for their productions, but almost all of which turned out to be deliberately ignorant because they rejected historical accuracy (even in documentaries) in favor of stereotypical Indians and stories that were “fun for German audiences” but misrepresentative or are outright offensive in content. One example? In 2013, “The White Comanche” (very loosely interpreted to tabloid level) documentary (originally titled “The White Squaw”, I’m dead serious), I was asked to be a consultant under contract.

Very enthusiastically, the representative assured me the writers and producers wanted to be accurate, such as having natives play natives, and I began working for those aims. Yet as the days passed, the contract never came, the script and story became more eccentric and misrepresentative of known facts, and the rep finally admitted they had been contacted by hobbyists or clubs which acts as “Indians” willing to work and provide equipment and a setting just to be in the production. I was never paid for the work I’d done, they still owe me, and the production itself ended up being horrendously demeaning to the Comanche people. I’m looking at you Bilderfest.

So, I was deeply wary of anyone seeking me out for consulting on a documentary anymore. I told our mutual friend to have Timo contact me directly, no intermediaries, but due to schedules or whatever, I didn’t hear from him again for nearly a year. During the time, working as I still did in a small local restaurant to support myself, doing supplementary workshops on native themes, going to university full-time and as a single parent of a special needs teen, I had little time anyway. Through 2014, separately, we continued our research, gathering experiences and observations, even filming material for the eventual product. I continued writing on the themes, and expanding my knowledge, contacts and awareness through native organizations, communities, relatives and friends, and Timo did the same in his own networks and contacts throughout Europe, while working as a trainer and consultant at the anti-racism organization, glokal e.V.

In February 2015, we met for the first time and had a productive conversation. The proverbial wheels were set in motion, plans were laid and built upon, yet as ever, life had unexpected twists and turns. Continue reading

My Interview in #DerFreitag March 23rd-On Our #Documentary, Native #Stereotypes & Eurocentric History

In Der Freitag’s print edition, on our upcoming documentary Forget Winnetou! Going Beyond Native Stereotypes in Germany, historical context and how the USA’s deliberate “alternative facts” or Eurocentric fabrication of history contributes to continuing racism, colonialism and oppression of Native Americans. Stereotypes are a symptom of the overall disease. Interview and article by Matthias Dell.

Our crowdfunding campaign is in its last days, please help us reach our goal and bring this important project to a wider audience, in its best possible form! At IndieGoGo.