News / Europe

German Theater Company Helps Minorities Tell Their Stories

German Theater Company Helps Minorities Tell Their Storiesi
X
March 19, 2013 8:08 PM
Germany is in the midst of a wide-ranging debate about race, religion, and inclusion of its non-white citizens. Part of that discussion has been whether the media could do more to include people from minority backgrounds. As Michael Scaturro reports from Berlin, one theater company is putting cameras into the hands of young people from Turkish, African, and other backgrounds - to enable them to tell their own stories.

German Theater Company Helps Minorities Tell Their Stories

Michael Scaturro
Germany is in the midst of a wide-ranging debate about race, religion, and inclusion of its non-white citizens. Part of that discussion has been whether the media could do more to include people from minority backgrounds.

One theater company is putting cameras into the hands of young people of Turkish, African, and other backgrounds, to enable them to tell their own stories.

It's not every day that you see Turkish-German school kids filming in the German parliament. These kids are interviewing the head of Germany's Roma community as part of a new program at a theater company in Berlin called Ballhaus Naunynstrasse.

The program pairs youths with mentors who work in TV and film. The end product is an hour-long film discussing what it feels like to be a minority in Germany.

Tackling tough subjects

The Ballhaus' previous films have made headlines nationwide. The last film dealt with racism and hate crimes against black people, Turks and others in German cities.

The program's aim is to introduce young minorities to the arts, said program director Veronika Gerhard.

"In Germany, we still have the situation that people of migrant origins have a hard time entering academy, or academia in general, and to be in the arts still is a bourgeois thing.  So what we do is develop projects for people in the neighborhood for everyone who wants to participate," said Gerhard.

The latest film project is about what it means to be black in Germany.

The young people are being led by journalist Michael Goetting and filmmaker Janine Jembere.

"We hope to attract kids with Turkish backgrounds, as well as black kids, and white kids - whoever wants to work with us and is interested in the theme is welcome. I think it's very important to speak about blackness and to think about blackness and to make it public as well, because in Germany there's still little debate about it," said Goetting.

Diverse voices

Jembere said she wants to help young people have a voice in the debate about the lack of diversity in public life.

"I think it's a long story of supremacy, or normality, where certain groups of people are just muted in a way - they don't have a place in public discourse. So it's very necessary to push back into the discourse, to be in the mainstream," she said.

Some of the young people already know what they want to say in their film. Like Amanda, a 19-year-old Rwandan-German woman studying in Berlin.

"I want it to be more normal, I want people to accept another reality - the reality I see, that Germany's is not totally white, that people accept this. I think it's still very denied," said Amanda.

The film will be screened at the theater on April 15, and hopefully will serve as a bridge between Germans of all backgrounds.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid