Black History Month 2014


Black History Month 2014


Music, Religion and Resistance in Africa and the African Diaspora in the Years 1884, 1904, 1964 and 1994 

The African and African Diasporic resistance to European enslavement and colonialism - against segregation and apartheid knows many faces, commemorative years and days, histories, movements and names. 

For Black History Month 2014, the WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN is presenting four films which deal with the division of Africa by the colonizing nations of Europe.

It was in February of that fateful year, 1884, that priests of the Mbona religion led the Massingina uprising in Nyassaland (today's Malawi) - as if they had sensed what was to happen in Berlin later that year. In November 1884, Otto von Bismarck, Chancellor of the German Reich, invited his European colleagues to the so-called 'Berlin Conference' or 'Congo Conference', in which the entire African continent was forcibly divided amongst the colonizing nations.

One-hundred years were to pass before Nelson Mandela became the first democratically-elected President of the Republic of South Africa in 1994, marking the end of the last brutal stronghold of the white, racist delusion of superiority. It was an infinitely long century for Africans and the Diaspora; across the African continent, in the Americas and the Caribbean, children, women and men were risking their lives in the arduous battle for freedom and equality.

The Civil Rights Movement saw charismatic, religious leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X and religiously-inspired protest songs unite the people. This eventually lead to the 1964 signing of the Civil Rights Act, with which segregation became outlawed entirely: Black citizens were finally granted the right to use and move freely within all public spaces, busses, restaurants and toilets.

And even today, some members of the Nazareth Baptist Church - one of the largest African Independent Churches of South Africa - still wear special outfits for ritual dances, clothing which evokes images of colonialism: the gingham kilt and pith helmet become an expression of aesthetic resistance and construct of new identities through the appropriation of the colonial 'other'.

For Black History Month 2014 from January 28 through February 28, 2014 the WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN has organized an exhibition, discussion panels, a reading, religious dance performances and film screenings all around this year's theme of 'Religion, Music and Resistance' in the years 1884, 1904, 1964 and 1994 - a century long journey toward freedom.

Flyer (PDF, German)


  • 28.01. 7PM READING, Film, Talk with Theodor Wonja Michael 
  • 01.02. 6PM VERNISSAGE "MANUFACTURING RACE. Contemporary Memories of a Building’s Colonial Past" 
  • 01.02. 6:30PM PRESENTATION Religion as Counterculture | Prof. Cheikh Anta Babou | Part 1 
  • 01.02. 10PM CONCERT A Love Supreme - Tribute to John Coltrane | Part 1 
  • 06.02. 7PM FILM Schatten über dem Kongo
  • 06.02. 9PM PANEL 1884 | Dr. Hakim Adi
  • 07.02. 10PM CONCERT WorldWideMusic: Atum Shekhem & The Shabaka Rootz Band
  • 08.02. 6PM PRESENATION Religion as Counterculture | Prof. Cheikh Anta Babou | Part 2
  • 08.02. 10PM CONCERT A Love Supreme - Tribute to John Coltrane | Part 2
  • 13.02. 7PM FILM Deutsch-Südwas?
  • 13.02. 9PM PANEL 1904
  • 14.02. 9PM CONCERT WorldWideMusic: Rachelle Ebony Jeanty - RJ's AfroJazz Experience 
  • 15.02. 6PM PRESENTATION Religion as Counterculture | Prof. Cheikh Anta Babou | Part 3
  • 15.02. 10PM CONCERT A Love Supreme - Tribute to John Coltrane | Part 3
  • 16.02. 8PM CONCERT Songs of the Civil Rights Movement | EBONY BIG BAND 
  • 21.02. 7PM FILM ID- without colors
  • 21.02. 9PM CONCERT WorldWideMusic: Solo Sow & Band CD-Release 
  • 22.02. 12PM FAMILY EVENT: Black Bazar (Joliba e.V.)
  • 22.02. 6PM PRESENTATION | Religion as Counterculture | Prof. Cheikh Anta Babou | Part 4 
  • 22.02. 8PM SPOKEN WORD PERFORMANCE Maroula Blades
  • 22.02. 10PM CONCERT A Love Supreme - Tribute to John Coltrane | Part 4 
  • 23.02. 2PM FAMILY EVENT Afrodiasporische Zusatzschule
  • 23.02. 4PM DANCE SACRED DRUMSTigari Ensemble Odametey - Tigari Song, Percussion and Dance) | Tanz der Orixás - Candomblé Song, Dance and Music 
  • 27.02. 7PM Tribute to Nelson Mandela with Mwenda Mayer
  • 27.02. 7:30PM FILM Amandla!
  • 28.02. 7:30PM Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony and DANCE Dan-kira Diversion ETHIOPIAN MUSIC DANCE GROUP (London/Ethiopia)
  • 28.02. 10PM CONCERT WorldWideMusic Concert: Aly Keïta 

The exhibition "MANUFACTURING RACE. Contemporary Memories of a Building´s Colonial Past"
can be seen at the WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN from February 1 - 28, 2014.

* Subject to change