In early December 2022, two streets in the African Quarter of the Wedding district of Berlin Mitte which had previously honoured colonial criminals were renamed: the street that previously bore the name of Adolf Lüderitz, popularly known as »Lying Fritz« because he robbed the Southwest African Nama of their territory with fraudulent contracts, is now called Cornelius-Fredericks-Straße in recognition of the leader of the Nama uprising against German colonial rule.
And Manga-Bell-Platz (Manga-Bell Square), dedicated to the royal Duala couple Emily and Rudolf Manga Bell, is the new name for the previous Nachtigalplatz which referenced Imperial Commissioner Gustav Nachtigal, founder of the German »protectorate« in Togo and Cameroon which was then known as »German West Africa«. These renamings were the culmination of a 40-year campaign by activists in the Afro-German community and African and German civil society organisations.
Cédric Djedje’s theatre production »Vielleicht « (Maybe) at this year’s FIND is dedicated to this fight. In thematic connection with »Vielleicht«, this panel discussion aims to reflect on specific strategies of activism and artistic creation that can serve to help decolonise our urban spaces and, moreover, our lives. It will focus on two tools that are often used by the Black Diaspora in Germany: a stroll through public spaces and the activation of the imagination. These two concepts will be explored in a discussion at the intersection between activism and art: on the one hand, by two key figures in the fight to decolonise Berlin, Marianne Ballé Moudoumbou and Mnyaka Sururu Mboro, and on the other, by the actor and director of »Vielleicht«, Cédric Djedje.
(In English with simultaneous German translation)