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

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More