Essen, April 2016: Discussion about the historical meaning of German colonies in Africa
organized by: gesichter-afrikas / EXILE Kulturkoordination e.V.
Participants on the platform:
Prof. Bea Lundt, Historian, Ghana / Europe-University of Flensburg
Hanns Lessing, Speaker of „Weltgemeinschaft Reformierter Kirchen“
Israel Kaunatjike, “Völkermord verjährt nicht” / Berlin Postkolonial e.V.
Dr. Henning Melber, Dag Hammarskjöld foundation Uppsala (Sweden)
Claus Stäcker, Deutsche Welle
You will find the discussion-refort (in German) by Lisa-Marie Davies on:
You will get further information about the organizers:
Politischer Salon Essen: http://www.schauspiel-essen.de/extras/politischer-salon-essen.htm
EXILE Kulturkoordination e.V.:
March 2016: Cameroon in Berlin: Visit of Dr. Henry Kam Kah from Cameroon in Berlin
Over there we also met an „old known friend“ of Dr. Kam Kah: Dr. Pepetual Mforbe Chiangong. She was born in the same region in Cameroon as Dr. Kam Kah. She is currently working as scientific assistaint in the area of „African Literature and Culture“ since 2012 (DAAD).
It was very important for Dr. Kam Kah to visit „Wilhelmstraße“, the location where the „Berlin-Congo-Conference“ took place in 1884/1885. The building was demolished several years ago. A plaque still reminds visitors of this historical event.
Ghana, October 2015: Activities of supporting the German-Department of the UEW
in cooperation with DAAD and German Embassy Lomé and Accra; University of Lomé and actors of the experimental theatre Pilkentafel Flensburg
Since the end of August 2015 16 students and two lecturers from the Europe-University of Flensburg (Germany) are residing in Winneba for a study visit with different main focusses. Parts of this programme were also two excursions, which were carried out in cooperation with the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service). 16 German learning students from the UEW were invited to participate.
3-day-excursion to German-teaching schools in Accra
The students-group, consisting of German Students from Flensburg and Ghanaian Students from UEW, went to Accra from the 1st to the 3rd of October 2015. The excursion was prepared by Berit Stoppa, DAAD-representative for Ghana, Prof. Dr. Bea Lundt and Rebekka Junker, teaching assistant for German language at the University of Education Winneba. The main interest of this excursion was to visit German-teaching schools in Ghana.
The German-Swiss-International-School (GSIS) in Accra was built up in 1966. It is part of the 142 German foreign schools since 2012. The headmistress Ariane Pentz had arranged a programme for the guests. The school-children and their teachers were already waiting in the schoolyard. They performed songs and also the school-anthem to welcome the guests in their school. Divided in smaller groups the guests were participating classes during the lessons. Teaching-languages are German and English. Afterwards the students had the chance to discuss several questions with Ariane Pentz and the leader of the English branch, Dr. Elizabeth Shome Yeboa. The main interest of the students applied to possibilities of becoming teacher for German-language.
Afterwards the whole group visited the School “Accra-Academy”. As well as the school “Wesley Girls”, the Accra-Academy is one of the four PASCH-schools (Partner Schools for the future). PASCH schools are part of a worldwide network of excellent German teaching schools which are supported by the German government (around 1.700 schools worldwide).
The German-teacher of both schools in Accra (there are two more PASCH-schools in Kumasi), Desmond Hansen Sackey, introduced the guests to his students at Accra- Academy and presented the teaching concept. Students from one of his German-classes discussed a lot of questions with the students from Flensburg and Winneba and explained their motivation to learn the German-language. Professional perspectives were explained for African Teachers of the German language. The “Deutsch-Club”, organized by the students from Accra-Academy, has already expanded a social network between students and they expanded this when adding German-learning students from Winneba and naitive speakers from Flensburg to this online address.
The cultural parts of the programme in Accra were the visit of the Nkrumah-Memorial as well as the visit of the Art Centre.
The third and last day of the excursion was the participation of the “Deutscher-Tag” at the Goethe-Institut, the German cultural centre in Accra. A lot of German institutions working in Ghana were presented and gave several information about possibilities of funding-programmes for Ghanaian students. The event was accompanied with a lot of cultural and activities like music-performances or culinary specialities. All this was reasoned of the 3rd of October, the 25th anniversary of the German reunion. This historical event was documented by an exhibition of pictures and sources. The event was opened by the German ambassador, Rüdiger John.
This excursion was funded by the money Prof. Dr. Bea Lundt (EUF) and Prof. Dr. Yaw Ofosu-Kusi (UEW) got for their teaching-award at the Europe-University of Flensburg. They received this prize for their cooperation about the best research-centered Master-course „Teaching Africa in Europe – from an african and an european perspective“ 2013/14. Prof. Ofosu-Kusi was DAAD guest professor for three terms at the EUF.
Ghana, October 2015: Excursion on colonialism and slavetrade
Around 1.500 students are learning German at the University of Lomé/ Togo. Every second year they carry out an one-week excursion to the German-colonial-places in Ghana. This programme is organized by the DAAD in cooperation with the German-department of the University of Lomé and funded by the German embassy in Togo. For the second time now this excursion was organized in cooperation with the Europe-University of Flensburg in 2015. 14 students from Togo resided in Ghana from the 4th to the 11th of October 2015. This excursion was prepared and accompaonied by the two German-lecturers from the University of Lomé, Prof. Dr. Adjai Paulin Oloukpona-Yinnon and Dr. Kokou Azamede as well as Ursula Logossou (DAAD-Lectress). During a reception at the University of Education Winneba on the 6th of October, the participants discussed about their experiences with building up a German-department. Prof. Dr. Bea Lundt gave a speech about German colonialism in Africa and the Prussian castle “Groß Friedrichsburg” in Ghana.
The main part of this activity with the students from Lomé, Winneba and Flensburg was the three-days-trip to this slavecastle. The students from Togo gave presentations about different topics of colonialism and performed a theatre-play about slavetrade at this place.
There were also German actors belonging to the experimental and political theatre “Pilkentafel” in Flensburg (Thorsten Schütte, Elisabeth Bode and Carsten Wiesel, a film-artist, who documented the visit of the actors with his camera). They organized and performed workshops in Winneba and Groß Friedrichsburg. These workshops were intended to handle the experiences of the excursion. As well as Groß Friedrichsburg also Cape Coast Castle and Elmina Castle were visited by the group. All of this slave castles at the West-African Coast are part of the UNESCO-world heritage.
The discussions showed the lack of treatment with these traumatic experiences made in the colonial times. Therefore it is important to broach this topic together from different perspectives.
Both activities concluded with a big party in Winneba. The excursion and the theatre-workshops for the Ghanaian and German members of the group were supported by the German Embassy in Accra.
Lomé (Togo)/ Cotonou (Benin), October 2015: Extension of cooperations with the Universities of Lomé (Togo) and Abomey-Calavi (Benin)
Part of the journey to West Africa was also a visit of Togo and Benin where the colonial influences, especially the German ones, are still noticeably by means of the about 1.500 German learning students at each University in Lomé and Abomey-Calavi.
This visite in 2015 was used to deepen the cooperations in research, conferences, exchanges of students and scholars, publications and mentorings of PhD projects as well as the extention of the German department at the University of Education Winneba (Ghana).
Besides discussions in case of cooperations the visti at the University of Abomey-Calavi was also used for different activities with German learning Students. Prof. Bea Lundt hold a discourse about possibilities of reappraise the mutual history. The actors Elisabeth Bode and Thorsten Schütte of the Theater „Pilkentafel“ in Flensburg also carried out workshops with the students about this topic.
Afterwards the visitors from Flensburg recieved a guided tour through the spiritual center of Benin, Quidah.This place constituted the center of West Africa in colonial times. Thousands of slaves were shipped to the caribbean „Virgin Islands“. The Voodoo-statues and the holy woods still remind of the past times.
Pictures of the journey to Togo and Benin
Buea (Cameroon), August 2015: A GERMAN PROFESSOR AND HER ASSISTANT VISITS CAMEROON
For one week a German Prof. and her assistant stayed in Buea to fasten cooperation with members of the Faculty of History. Basis of this visit was a five-year long cooperation with Dr. Henry Kam Kah and Dr. Walters Gam Nkwi, both teaching at the University of Buea, about German Colonialism in Africa. After a conference in Ghana about German Colonialism in West Africa and a publication of this conference, where both Historians from Buea participated and wrote Chapters, now it is intended to organise a conference and publish about the German Colonialism in Central-Africa focusing on Cameroon. There is a lack of research being done on this topic especially in this region. Kamerun became a German colony in July 1884 and by 1916 following the outbreak of the Fisrt World War she was defeated and pushed out from the colony. Although the territory became a league of Nations Mandate B territory, the German businessmen came back in 1924 to run the German plantations. This was because the British were unable to run the plantations and also because after auctioning the plantations the London businessmen never showed any interests. So effectively from 1924 while the British administered the territory, the economy was in the hands of the Germans.
Prof. Bea Lundt is historian with a focus on pre-Colonial times. She teaches at the Europe-University of Flensburg, a small University in the very north of Germany, near the Danish Border. She lives in Berlin. She stays in African countries since her own studies-time and since 2009 she comes every year for about three months to Africa. She received several visiting-professorships in West Africa and brings students from her University to Ghana every year. Her special interest is about cultural studies and Gender. That’s why she published the dissertation of Henry Kam Kah about the matri-linear Ethnic Groups in Laimbwe, North-Western Cameroon. “It is very important that we in Europe hear about the matri-linear organisations in Africa”, Prof. Lundt argues, “In a very convincing way and based on written sources and interviews with 150 people from that region Henry Kam Kah has shown the role of missionaries and colonialists in rejecting the local tradition, and the resistance especially of women against the roles these powers forced them to play in misunderstanding and destroying the traditional order. This gives us a totally new perspective on the survival-power and the elasticity of Matrilinearity.” Herr assistant, Nina Paarmann, has also stayed several times in African countries and already wrote her Bachelor-Thesis about an African Topic. She is now preparing her Master-Thesis about the impact of Colonialism on Gender structures in Africa and also prepares a dissertation about this topic.
Prof. Lundt was received by the head of department, Prof. Nol Alembong, and discussed with him about oral traditions and the historical function of story-telling in Africa. She had a meeting with members of the faculty and with students. They discussed about further scooperation. During her stay she and her assistant, Nina Paarmann, visited the archives of Buea and were informed about the sources especially about the colonial times still not being used in the necessary way. The archives harbours more than 300 documents in the German language still not translated. They were shown sites and relicts of German Colonialism like the the German Schloss (Prime Ministers lodge), Bismark’s Fountain, other German buildings. In Limbe former Victoria, they visited the Botanic Gardens which was the botanic laboratory of the Germans as well as the animal zoo. They also paid a visit to the imposing Edea bridge.
As a parting gift, while at the Douala International Airport on 11th August 2015, Prof Bea Lundt said: “Still most books about Colonialism are written on European desks and on the basis of sources found in London, Paris and Berlin. It is evident that they reproduce the colonial perspective of those times. It is really high time that the African Perspective of their own history is recognized in the Global discourse. I will do my best to help that. There are brillant qualified historians here doing professional teaching and creative research. I thank the collegues in Buea for that precious informations and challenging discussions and also their caring for us during our stay. They invited us to return. We will do so!!!”
Flensburg, July 2015: Exhibition about „education projects in West Africa – Ghana”
Students groups of the EUF are traveling to Ghana – supervised by Prof. Dr. Bea Lundt – to do their internships in West African schools since 2010.
A lot of further projects arose out of these internships, like boughts out of a tree: Research activities for Graduation Theses, PhD projects, conferences, publications or Guest Professorships.
For the 5th anniversary lecruters and students honored this commendable work by Prof. Dr. Bea Lundt by organizing an exhibition as a documentation of the last five years of projects in West Africa.
Pictures of the exhibition
Flensburg, Glücksburg, Copenhagen, June 2015: Seminar and excursion about Colonialism
2016/17 is the 100 anniversary of the danish „Virgin Islands“ handed over to the United States. In cooperation of Colonial Masters and local West African authorities Slaves were herded and shipped to the Caribbean Islands. The Slave Castles, especially along the so called „Gold Coast“ in colonial times, are an important world heritage to remind people of the mutual past of Africa, Europe and the Caribbean.
The Seminar was carried out in cooperation between Prof. Dr. Bea Lundt (EUF), Prof. Dr. Martin Krieger (University of Kiel) and Nicole Gifhorn (BEI Schleswig-Holstein).
The excursion went on from the 2nd to the 4th of June in 2015. The first days with theoretical work and background information took place at „artefact“, close to Glücksburg an was combinded with a visit of the „Schifffahrtsmuseum“ in Flensburg.
The trip to Danmark was dedicated for a visit at the Historical Museum in Copenhagen, where the students got to know a lot of information about Danish Colonialism in West Africa.
Pictures of the Excursion
Flensburg 2015: Teaching Award for Prof. Dr. Bea Lundt and Prof. Dr. Yaw Ofosu-Kusi