BMW Center for German and European Studies, Washington D.C., United States
27 Feb 2014 - 01 Mar 2014

An interdisciplinary conference with lectures, roundtables, public screenings, and performances

All events are free and open to the public, but rsvp is required.


We are pleased to announce a conference/festival on the topic of race and performance, held on the premises of the Goethe Institut in downtown Washington, DC. The occasion for this event is the production of We are Proud to Present a Presentation about the Herero of Namibia, formerly South West Africa, from the German Südwestafrika, between the years 1885-1915 by up-and-coming playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury. In this play, a racially mixed company of contemporary American actors wrestles with the question of how to represent the German colonial past. Over the course of the play, memories of American slavery begin to bleed through, inviting an exploration of shared racial imaginaries and theatrical traditions across historical periods, geographic distance, and performance genres. During the conference, performances, film screenings, and video installations, as well as academic presentations continue the exploration of the transatlantic traffic in black images and plots, and foster exchange of ideas between artists and academics. We are collaborating with the Woolly Mammoth Theater, a critically acclaimed theater in downtown Washington, DC, as well as Georgetown’s Global Lab for Performance and Politics.


Thursday, February 27
8pm                   We are Proud to Present a Presentation about the Herero of Namibia, formerly
                               South West Africa, from the German Südwestafrika, between the years 1885-1915,
by Jackie Sibblies Drury.
Woolly Mammoth Theater, 641 D Street NW. Reception to follow.


Friday, February 28

9 am                   Welcome and Introduction (Dr. Katrin Sieg)

9:30-12 pm         HISTORIES
        Loren Kruger, University of Chicago: “African Modernities at the World Fairs:
The Transvaal-Ausstellung in Berlin, 1897”

        Priscilla Layne, University of North Carolina: ““Don’t Look So Sad Because
You’re a Little Negro”: Marie Nejar, Afro German Stardom and Negotiations
with Black Subjectivity”

Jonathan Wipplinger, North Carolina State University: “Blackness in the
Construction of German Cabaret Culture”
12-1 pm             Lunch

1-3 pm               Daniel Kojo Schrade lecture and performance Blueberry Hill

3:30-5:30 pm     Roundtable discussion with Derek Goldman and Soyica Colbert (Georgetown
University), Kirsten Bowen and Peter Howard (Wolly Mammoth),
                                          Isaiah Wooden and Nehemia Markos (Black Theater Ensemble)

7:30 pm              screening: Dreckfresser/Dirt for Dinner (dir. Branwen Okpako, 73 mins)
Saturday, March 1, 2013

9:30-12 pm        PERFORMANCES
                                Katrin Sieg, “Contemporary Afro European Performance Art”
      Malik Gaines, Hunter College: “Race and Sexuality in Lothar Lambert’s 1 Berlin Harlem
Jamele Watkins, University of Massachusetts

11-12 pm           Lunch

12-2:30 pm       SCREENS
                                Branwen Okpako on Ich sehe was, was du nicht siehst?
Installation (13 min loop)
Angelica Fenner, University of Toronto, “The films of Branwen Okpako”
Barbara Mennel, University of Florida, Gainesville: “Black Masculinity and Ambivalent
Desire in Yavuz’s Kleine Freiheit and Qurbani’s Shahada.”

2:30 pm            Coffee break

3-5 pm              Public Screenings:
Dreckfresser/Dirt for Dinner (73 mins)
The Education of Auma Obama (80 mins)

5-6 pm              Concluding discussion 


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