2016 Year End Update | 2016 Spring News | 2014 Year End Update | 2014 Winter | 2013 Tour | 2012 Tour
“The message of Audre Lorde is becoming increasingly important. It is now frequently being quoted as a call for resistance. So much more important that her message will continue to be seen on the screen. And with that I mean, of course, also in my theater!”
With these words Elisa Rosi, the owner of Lichtblick Kino, a small communal theater in Berlin, asked to screen Audre Lorde – The Berlin Years 1984 to 1992 every third Tuesday of the month in 2017! She had already shown the film six times since August.
More screenings take place in Moviemento Kino, another Berlin theater, in December, one of them as part of the Berlin Art Film Festival. Encouraged by this surge of interest, which may be attributed to the political situation, we are presently contacting other theaters in Germany.
These have been amazing months for the film. Since August, we have had 18 screenings, two of them as far away as in Glasgow, Scotland and in Nicosia, Cyprus. In Nicosia, the ILGA (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association) showed the film at their annual European conference.
A broad variety of organizations showed the film:
We have received enthusiastic reports from the organizers of these events. Screenings are already being organized in Leipzig, Nürnberg, Prague and at New College in Sarasota, Florida for the beginning of 2017.
Here the link to short videos of Audre Lorde in Berlin, including several in which she reflects on her poetic work two months before her passing – www.vimeo.com/audrelordeinberlin
On the film web site you can link to our YouTube channel with a number of videos of Audre as well as many interviews with viewers of the film.
The other big news is the launching of the digital Audre Lorde Berlin City Tour (http://audrelordeberlin.com)
You do not have to be in Berlin to experience Audre in many of the places which she lived in, worked, and enjoyed time with friends. You hear and see Audre recite poems and discuss the meaning of one of her poems, you hear her talk about her relationship with Black Germans, encourage Afro-germans to write, give her view on the fall of the wall and German racism, discuss organizing with South-African author and activist Ellen Kuzwayo, offer us her political credo, reminisce on her childhood. You see her shopping with street vendors, dancing, paddling a boat on a lake. You can visit all the places where Audre lived, as you move around in the Berlin of the 1980s and early 1990s.
The City Tour has proved to be a useful tool to introduce students to Audre Lorde and to Berlin. Teachers can choose from the many locations as a vivid introduction to discussions on Audre Lorde and her work, on German politics, on Black Germans, on anti-semitism and racism in Germany, on (white) feminism, on the challenges we were facing in the 90s and are facing now.
Here a few examples of comments we received:
Priscilla Dionne Layne, University of North Carolina “This is awesome! Thanks so much for sending this. I am currently teaching an undergraduate course in German on Berlin. I will definitely share this with my students and ask them to write a paragraph reaction to it. I can share their reactions with you in a few weeks.”
Asma-Esmeralda AbdAllah-Portales, Hannover and Cuba “There is wonderful footage contained and invaluable information. It definitely supports and enriches the already existing documentary films and archives of Audre Lorde in the world. We all shall be able to pass her legacy on to our children and grand-children and great-grand-children!”
Anna Weitemeyer, Berlin “Thank you so much - this is an amazing website: I see that I will learn new things not only about Audre but also about Berlin!”
Ana Marija Sobocan, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia “A wonderful initiative, a beautiful website and what a wealth of photos, memories and live history! Congratulations to the makers, this is a real gem!”
Henry Louis Gates, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., US “This is wonderful news and a fitting tribute to a great writer.”
We have not only expanded the City Tour, but also made it more manageable. Attached find a table of contents for all the locations!
Please share the Tour with friends and colleagues! And please use the Contact page and let us know your critical comments. Audre Lorde’s words, her visions, her ways of relating and acting, continue to be ever more relevant! For all of us!
Follow the Audre Lorde Berlin City Tour!
Audre Lorde, the renowned African-american poet, author and activist, lived from 1984 to 1992 weeks and months each year in Berlin. Are you interested in the time Audre Lorde spent in Berlin with her comrades and friends? Want to visit the places where she lived, taught?
All of this you can experience in the Audre Lorde Berlin City Tour— a self-guided digital tour containing photos, videos and sound clips. Check it out on your computer or on your smart phone at www.audrelordeberlin.com. Tell everyone interested in Audre Lorde, and in Berlin, about it!
First responses to the City Tour have been enthusiastic—here a few examples II’ve just posted this on the FB page:
A wonderful initiative, a beautiful website and what a wealth of photos, memories and live history! Congratulations to the makers, this is a real gem! Ana Marija Sobocan, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia This is wonderful news and a fitting tribute to a great writer. ~ Prof. Henry Louis Gates, Harvard University, USA
Dagmar, Congratulations—an amazing tour with/for/about Audre and what she gave and received in her Berlin years. We have enjoyed tripping through the sites and videos with Audre and Gloria, you and Ika. Very moving assemblage of image, landscape, courage, memory. We will view it again and again for heart and inspiration. ~ Clare Coss and Blanche Wiesen Cook
…There is wonderful footage contained and invaluable information. It definitely supports and enriches the already existing films and archives of Audre Lorde in the world…Thank you ever so much! ~ Asma-Esmeralda AbdAllah-Portales, Hannover, Germany
…This is awesome! I am currently teaching an undergraduate course in German on Berlin. I will definitely share this with my students and ask them to write a paragraph reaction to it. ~ Prof. Priscilla Layne, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, US
Merci Dagmar, je viens de regarde le “city tour,” très intéressant! Je fais circuler l’information. ~ Suzette Robichon, Paris, France
And more exciting news:
The film Audre Lorde – The Berlin Years 1984 to 1992 was screened at four more festivals in 2015/16 in Glasgow, UK, in Jakarta, Indonesia and in Lagos, Nigeria, and it received two Gold Awards as best documentary at the festivals in Indonesia. This means that the film has been shown at 68 festivals and has received seven awards! (Details on the website www.audrelorde-theberlinyears.com)
There have been numerous screenings at various venues—we know only of the 17 which we were informed of, and they took place in Italy, Belgium, the UK, the US, Austria, Germany and Nigeria. Special, not only for us, was the recent screening at the Kehilla Community Synagogue in Oakland, California on March 26—to our knowledge the first screening by and at a synagogue. Ika Hügel-Marshall and I attended. About 200 people came. The film received a standing ovation and comments such as:
Second viewing – this time I was so appreciative of the skill and love that went into the editing. ~ Lisa Cohen
Very good film for everyone to see! Thank you! ~ Liz Ng
Beautiful, inspiring, wise film. ~ Jenn Bienn
There are two new publications on Audre Lorde. Last July, the anthology Audre Lorde’s Transnational Legacies ed. Stella Bolaki and Sabine Broeck, was published by the University of Massachussetts Press (the publisher of the book, Showing Our Colors. Afro-German women speak out, the English edition of Farbe Bekennen. Afro-deutsche Frauen auf den Spuren ihrer Geschichte). The book investigates Lorde’s worldwide academic and activist influence. (It includes an article on the making of the film.) http://www.umass.edu/umpress/title/audre-lorde
Gloria I. Joseph’s great bio/anthology The Wind is Spirit: The Life, Love and Legacy of Audre Lorde is of a more personal nature. Joseph combines her own voice with many others. The book was launched in New York by her and the publisher villarosa media on Lorde’s birthday February 18 and has received strong positive responses.
I want to close this newsletter with the words of the singer and performer Shishani Vranckx:
Dear Dagmar, we met at Massimadi Festival 2014 (Festival des films et des arts LGBTQ in Brussels). Earlier this month I performed at an event in Amsterdam, honouring Audre Lorde’s work. I knew of Audre’s work through the movie screening (Audre Lorde – The Berlin Years) at Massimadi. I felt a resonance in her life through mine. I forgot about it. Now, with the show I had to prepare two of her poems and interpret them, and I’ve been glued to every publication of her since, and I’m continuing my “work” – as we all should – together. I hope you are well, and I’m sending lots of love.
You can see/hear Shishani’s beautiful rendition of Audre’s poems “Dream/Songs from the Moon of Beulah Land iV” and “A Litany for Survival” at the event “Grote Denkers: Audre Lorde.” She performs at the very beginning and the very end. Here the link—scroll to Zondag March 6: http://www.debalie.nl/de-balie-tv
May Audre’s words continue to inspire and encourage people worldwide!
~ Dagmar Schultz
On the international level the film was in the US at the Kansas City LGBT Film Festival and in Helsinki, Finland at an antiracism event organized by the city of Helsinki. In the United Kingdom it was shown as part of the Black History Month in in Sheffield and at London South Bank University’s annual Rage and Desire program featuring cultural, artistic and political work. Reactions from the organizer in Sheffield:
“Screening went really well, thanks! We had a good audience in and a fantastic introduction by a local post-graduate student.“ ~ Joan Parsons
In London renowned poet Dorothea Smartt and Black German london-based author Olumide Popoola led the discussion.
“The event went very well...those who attended seem to have had a great experience...folks really enjoyed the film and the discussion that followed.” ~ Dr. Antoine Rogers
Highlights of these months were screenings in Sarajevo, Bosnia and in Vancouver,
Canada. In Sarajevo, women from the six regions of ex-Jugoslavia met for the 9th PitchWise:
Festival of Women Arts and Activism from 11- 14 September 2014.
The festival brings together artists, theorists, feminists and all those interested in women's rights in Bosnia & Herzegovina and the region. The main theme of the PitchWise 2014 was “Waves of feminism—woman’s history and feministic heritage in the 21st century,” and the motto “Misogyny, step back!”
City of Sarajevo © Dagmar Schultz
Lepa Mladjenovic © Dagmar Schultz
Dagmar and Lepa Mladjenovic © Dagmar Schultz
Dagmar, Lepa, Jovana, and Ika © Dagmar Schultz
Lobby of theatre © Dagmar Schultz
Ptichwise poster © Dagmar Schultz
Courtyard of theatre © Dagmar Schultz
More than 50 female artists, musicians, theoreticians, workshop leaders, writers and feminist activists from B&H, Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia and Kosovo, including about 20 Roma women, and from Mexico, Germany, Sweden, Great Britain and Lebanon presented their works and exchanged their political experiences. Ika Hügel-Marshall, co-author of the film script, and who also appeared in the film, attended the festival with me. which also included a screening and the exhibit of my photos of Audre Lorde.
We had a chance to hear and see accounts of the genocide in Srebenica and of the siege of Sarajevo by Serbs, which lasted from 1992 to 1996, in the Museum of Genocide. Meeting the young and widely renowned artist Adela Jusic, who had lived through the siege as a girl, made the images so much more real.
Reactions to our film reflected its significance to people from a war-stricken country:
“What is important is the issue of trauma. There is not only racism and homophobia, but there is this horrible war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the four-year siege of Sarajevo. It is very important that this trauma becomes socially transparent like issues of gender identity and lesbian existence…. This movie opens up all these layers.“ (Lepa Mladjenovic)
“There is one sentence in the film…it goes something like this: It is not altruistic: it is the most important thing when you understand you have to speak up about who you are – both for all of those who were traumatized, because war is a collective trauma, and for ourselves, because if I suppress it , it grows and my anger gets bigger. Audre was speaking about her personal experience, and because of that, she connected with all the people she met.“ (young activist in Sarajevo)
Dagmar and Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs
In Vancouver the film was screened by the University of British Columbia at a downtown theater. Dr. Annette Henry, professor at the University of British Columbia led the discussion with me and with Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs, who had given a talk on Audre Lorde the day before.
Again the film received some very enthusiastic responses. Poet and artist Fabiola Bahiyya Nabil Naguib wrote:
“Thank you for your loving tribute to Audre's life, work and loved ones - those she touched and those that clearly touched her. Your film is such a contribution to legacy, the legacy of witnessing, sharing, gathering, re/membering and loving!”
Finally, on December 16 the film will be presented at the Merlinka International Queer Film Festival in Belgrade, Serbia. Dagmar Schultz will be present for a round table organized by Lepa Mladjenovic on “Multiple discrimination of lesbians and gay men” after the film.
|Dr. Annette Henry, Dagmar, and Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumb in Victoria October 16, 2014|
See also the article by Dagmar Schultz, The Reception of Audre Lorde - The Berlin Years 1984-1992 Voice from around the World," in the Feminist Wire.
The DVD has over 70 minutes of extra material, including Audre reading her poetry and reflecting on her literary work. In addition to Facebook and Twitter we have a YouTube channel with clips from discussions and interviews made by director Dagmar Schultz during tours in Hawaii, throughout the US, Canada, the UK, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Germany. Take a moment to listen to a most diverse group voice their experiences, inspiration and renewed motivation to action after a viewing.
Street theater of the festival in front of the Cathedral. In the background the poster of the Srebenica exhibit. © Dagmar Schultz
Keep up to date via FaceBook. By now the film has been screened in 64 festivals and has received five awards (!) as well as at over 135 screenings around the world! We want the film Audre Lorde - The Berlin Years, 1984 to1992 to continue its amazing journey. We want many more people to have the chance to be touched and empowered by Audre Lorde.
Please introduce the film to friends, colleagues, groups and organizations; get institutions to order the DVD; encourage teachers to use it in their classes (a Study Guide is on the web site (also in German).
wish you a wonderful holiday and a smooth transition into a year that hopefully will bring more
insight and less violence and suffering!
Dagmar and the film team and JB from Draga Design
Click HERE to
purchase your North American DVD (NTSC) today.
Click HERE for the film’s Press Kit
The European DVD (PAL) is available from www.jcp.de. The DVD is in English with subtitles in German, French and Spanish. Orders from outside Europe and the United States must be placed directly with the producer Dagmar Schultz.
It has been a long time since I shared news about our journeys with Audre Lorde – The Berlin Years. February was Audre’s birth month and The Feminist Wire devoted the whole month to a wonderful array of articles on Audre and to two long video interviews with her partner Dr. Gloria I. Joseph and her daughter Elizabeth Lorde-Rollins. I contributed many photos and an article on the making of the film. Check out The Feminist Wire and enjoy the many memories, views and thoughts of friends, colleagues and followers of Audre!
|UC Berkeley Professor Paola Bacchetta, Gender
and Women's Studies, co-sponsored both our screenings at CCA and
UC Berkeley [February]. Thank you Paola!
Karen Fiss, CCA, Dagmar Schultz, Jewelle Gomez, Pratibha Pamar, JB and Marion Gerlind were on the panel.
|Elizabeth Lorde-Rollins, Judy Boals,Blanche Wiesen Cook, Clare Coss|
In February I had the great opportunity to screen the film at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. After the screening, which was organized by Professor Karen Fiss, we had a panel with Pratibha Parmar, director of the film on Alice Walker Beauty in Truth, Jewelle Gomez, playwright, author and friend of Audre’s, JB of DRAGA design who distributes the home video and is our webmistress, and Marion Gerlind of the Gerlind Institute for Cultural Studies. The lively exchange with about 100 students and community persons, was recorded on video and eventually we will have clips of it on our YouTube channel. Marion Gerlind organized a second screening at German Studies at the Berkeley campus in cooperation with Paola Bacchetta, professor in the Department of Gender & Women’s Studies—again attended by a very diverse group.
On my way back to Berlin I stopped in New York where Professor Blanche Wiesen Cook, Audre’s old friend, had organized a screening at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York which was attended by students, faculty, and old acquaintances of Audre. In New York I spent a lovely evening with Audre’s daughter Elizabeth Lorde-Rollins, her partner Judy Boals, and Audre’s oldest friends Blanche Wiesen Cook and Clare Coss.
In Manhattan I met Ekene Oboki, with whom I had been in email contact, and Carolyn Butts, who is working with The Reel Sister of the Diaspora and The African Voices, shortly before taking the super shuttle to the airport. Both had not known each other and were glad to meet and to plan joint projects.
Back in Berlin I travelled to the European Conference of the Women in Black, the international peace group, which took place in Leuven, Belgium May 1 to May 3. I have been associated with WIB since 1995. The conference was attended by women from 23 countries and many of them watched the film one night and felt truly inspired by it. A translation of Serbian subtitles is being planned.
During the conference I went to Brussels to attend the Massimadi Bruxelles - Festival des films LGBT d'Afrique et de ses diasporas where the film was shown and a discussion on questions of identity was introduced afterwards by Astride Charles from “I will always be me” and by Nawo Crawford.
A screening in Hannover, Germany followed, organized by Asma-Esmeralda AbdAllah-Portales and Sandra AbdAllah-Álvarez Ramírez…Ika Hügel-Marshall and I attended for the discussion.
Lina Render, Sunny Graff, Ika and me
We went to Frankfurt/M. in May for a screening organized by Sunny Graff, Ika’s Taekwondo teacher, and the Center Frauen in Bewegung. More screenings will follow in June: at the Gay Museum in Berlin, in Jena and in Halle in Germany. On June 19, the John-F.-Kennedy Institute for Northamerican Studies at the Free University of Berlin, where Audre taught as a guest professor in 1984, will have an event in her honor: Dr. Marion Kraft and I will give talks on Audre's times in Germany, there will be a photo exhibit of some of my photos and a display of a signed broadside of Audre's poem 'Sisters in Arms' as well as in introduction to the 'Audre Lorde Archive' by Birgit Rehse, the library's archivist."
Keep up to date via FaceBook. By now the film has been screened in 62 festivals and five awards (!) as well as over 125 other screenings around the world!
Good news! In February 2014 the film had its Asian premiere in Bangalore, India, followed in May by a screening at the Kashish Queer Film Festival in Mumbai.
Here some news on the Spring tour with the film undertaken by Marion Kraft and myself.
March 15, 2013: auditorium at the University of Toronto
The new tour with the film began at the University of Toronto on March 15. The room was packed—at least 400 people, all very excited and spirited. This was the second event in the two-week series entitled “The Contemporary Urgencies of Audre Lorde’s Legacy” the first on March 7 was a wonderfully creative night with music, installations, poetry, art and performances.
The film screening was followed by a panel which brought together transnational and local community voices: Gloria Wekker, professor coming from the Netherlands and founder of the women of color group “Sister Outsider,” Marion Kraft from Germany, translator of Lorde’s poetry and protagonist in the film, Carol Allain, African Canadian activist of the group “Sistering” drop-in services for disenfranchised women, Farrah Khan, activist and counselor in the field of violence against women and coordinator of Outburst! Young Muslim Women Safety Program and Susan Blight, Anishinaabe from Couchiching First Nation, a visual artist and educator. This was a very moving and enlightening podium discussion lasting late into the night.
Here are two comments on the event:
“I thought the documentary affirmed the amazing grassroots work Audre engaged in throughout her life.” And:
“I'm still beaming after last night's doc screening of Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years. Your film was a love letter to Audre & a heart-warming tribute to her influence, her joy & her humanity. The evening was perfectly orchestrated ~ panelists shared memories of Audre & linked this to contemporary social justice issues. I learned so much! But most of all, your film simply made me want to be a better, more courageous, more loving warrior.” ~ THANK YOU. Best, Salina, Toronto
Gloria Wekker, Marion Kraft, and Dagmar Schultz in Waterloo, Ontario at the Rainbow Reels Queer Film Festival
Our next station of the tour was the Rainbow Reels Queer Film Festival in Waterloo, Ontario on March 16. Marion and I went there by Greyhound Bus together with Gloria Wekker. A group of extremely friendly, high spirited young women received us and took care of us in a most beautiful way. The film was screened in a local theatre. The audience was small, about 45 persons, but very engaged and diverse in age and ethnic background. We had a lively and interesting discussion after the film and made some contacts which we feel will last.
On we flew to Indiana University where we had a most interesting guided tour in The
Kinsey Institute which houses the archives of sex researcher Alfred Kinsey and also a Manfred Hirschfeld Collection.The film was screened
on March 16 by the Black Film Institute in the Indiana University Cinema, a gorgeous theatre.
At lunch we met with a group of enthusiastic graduate students who were all involved in very interesting work projects.
In the afternoon, Dr. Marion Kraft gave a lecture in the theatre on “Bonds of sisterhood—Breaking of silences: How Audre Lorde inspired my work” and was interviewed by Dr. Tiffany Florvil who has written her dissertation on Black Germans.
The screening of the film took place in the evening and once again was followed by very positive comments.
Our final destination was New York where the film was shown by the Goethe Institut. As in Toronto we had an audience which included a majority of Black and people of color persons, including people who had known Audre personally. Everyone was deeply impressed by the film and many questions brought an interesting discussion.
As during the Fall tour with the Audre Lorde Legacy Cultural Festival I made a number of interviews with persons in the audience, and this will be my next project: publishing excerpts of the interviews as YouTube clips.
|Click the images to enlarge|
Jacqui Alexander, Gloria Wekker, Marion Kraft, Alissa Trotz in Toronto
March 15, 2013: Prof. Alissa Trotz with Marion Kraft and Dagmar Schultz, University of Toronto
Panel discussion at University of Toronto
|March 15, 2013: Altar for Audre Lorde, University of Toronto||Lunch with students at Indiana University||
Marion Kraft giving her lecture at Indiana University
March 18, 2013: Marion Kraft and Tiffany Florvil at Indiana University
Marion Kraft, Dagmar Schultz and Tiffany Florvil, Indiana University
March 20, 2013: from left to right: Sara Stevenson, program curator, Goethe-Institut, Marion Kraft, Dagmar Schultz, Tina Campt, Rosemarie Pena, Sheria Burch and ? in the Wyoming Building, Goethe Institut, New York
March 20, 2013: Marion Kraft with performer Vinie Burrows and writer David Henderson, Wyoming Building, New York
March 20, 2013: Marion Kraft, Vinie Burrows, Rashidah Ismaili Abu Bakr in New York after the screening
Riding in Central Park
March 20, 2013: Marion Kraft, Dagmar Schultz with Tina Campt, director of Africana Studies at Barnard College, at the Goethe Institut screening, New York
Dagmar with Blanche Wiesen Cook in New York
Final Leg—East Coast
The screening at Hunter College, the college where Audre Lorde was a professor of English literature, was a great closure of our tour. We were worried that hardly anyone would come since the second debate between Obama and Romney was on TV that evening. But about 30 persons, friends of Audre’s and others, did attend and they were completely enthusiastic in their responses during the Q & A. They felt that the film was especially inspiring at this time when the political situation is so complex and dismal on a global level. Several persons praised the skillful composition of the film, one saying that she was so impressed by the intimacy which the film created and had never seen a documentary using primarily home video having that effect. Audre's daughter Elizabeth Lorde-Rollins also came to the screening and we had a chance to be with her afterwards. I took no photos that evening but we want to share a few others from New York. We met with Audre’s old friends Blanche Wiesen Cook and Clare Coss and took a walk with Clare at the Hudson. And we had a wonderful first personal meeting with Rosemarie Pena, president of the Black German Heritage and Research Association.
Back in Berlin, I, Dagmar, and Ria Cheatom presented the film at the feminist intercultural project “Frauenkreise” in Berlin Friday, Oct. 19 and had a lively discussion on the her/history of Black Germans and Audre’s role in it.
Tomorrow, on the 20th, Ika and I will travel to the Hamburg LGBT Film Festival. The film will be screened there and finally editor Aletta von Vietinghoff will participate in the Q&A. They will will show the films “Passionate Politics. The Life and Work of Charlotte Bunch” by Tami Gold, “Lesbiana – a Parallel Revolution” by Myriam Fougère and “Ingen man i sikte” by Mette Aakerholm Gardell and “Audre Lorde - The Berlin Years 1984 to 1992” by Dagmar Schultz. In-between there will be a panel discussion with these film makers about lesbianism and politics in the past and present.
Dagmar and Ika
(Many more photos are on our FaceBook site! Click any of these images to enlarge them)
Dagmar interviewed Aba Cecile McHardy
On October 8 we arrived in Cambridge, a true university
town. On the 9th we went to the W.E.B.
Du Bois Institute which had invited
us for the reading and the screening of the film. The curator of the Institute’s
gallery gave us a wonderful tour of extraordinary artwork—paintings,
photography, posters and sculpture—by African American, Caribbean and
African artists exhibited on three floors of the building. In the afternoon
we met with a small—by comparison with previous venues—but very engaged
Tobe Levin, an old friend and comrade from Frankfurt/M. introduced
us. Afterwards I had a chance to interview a student working on developments
in the Netherlands and familiar with Audre Lorde’s influence there,
e.g. the group “Sister Outsider” and one of its founders
Gloria Wekker. I also interviewed Aba Cecile McHardy, an African American
buddhist who had met Audre and who talked of her as a sangoma. Plus,
I got reactions from Peggy
McInstosh, professor at Wellesley College,[an] anti-racist feminist
whom I have known for decades. She is the author of the widely known text White
Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, and she intends
to use the film in her National
SEED Project on Inclusive Curriculum (Seeking
Educational Equity & Diversity).
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Oct. 10 to 11
Our old friend Sara Lennox, emiritated professor at U Mass, and the woman who found Ika’s father in Chicago, had organized the reading and the screening of the film. Jamele Watkins, African American student who is doing research on Black consciousness in Germany, introduced Ika. Questions after the reading concerned today’s situation in Germany. A professor from African American Studies asked whether white partners are admitted at Black events such as the Bundestreffen, and another African American professor asked about the role of Black men in the German movement since it seemed that Black women had been most active. Ika explained that men do have a decisive position in the movement, but that women had taken the initiative in the beginning.
The next day Kevina King, whose mother lives in Berlin, and who left Germany at the age of 16, talked with us about her experiences as an Afro German in the US. She also told us about her talk on her life at the Second Annual Black German Convention, which took place at Barnard College in New York in September. Kevina took us to Bookmill, a lovely old bookstore/Café in the country where we bought a collection 360 Years of African American Writing as a present for her. The book includes information on the freedom fighter and feminist Sojourner Truth who had lived in North Hampton next to Amherst in the 19th century.
Ika with Kelvina King
The screening was in the evening on October 11 and again the audience reacted with enthusiasm. Sara Lennox introduced me, Dagmar, referring to our earliest common times organizing a teaching assistant union and strike at the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1968. And now I met another old acquaintance, Mike Thelwell, whom I knew in the 60s and who now is a retired professor [of] African American Studies at UMass. He gave me a book he had edited together with Stokeley Carmichael, and some texts on James Baldwin telling me about an event on James Baldwin at Hampshire College on October 13. We did go to the event and that way also got to see the world's largest Yiddish Library in buildings which are to remind of an Eastern European shtetl.
Union College, Schenectady, N.Y.
Erika Nelson, Professor of German, picked us up early in the morning at Sara Lennox’s house. After a two hour drive we arrived at Union College in Schenectady, a town near Albany, that once had been the Center of the General Electric company and declined after GE decided to move. Erika Nelson had organized a whole day in celebration of Audre Lorde, that is the three films on Audre, the Film on May Ayim and Ika's reading. .A highlight was that Professor Anne Adams, translator of Farbe Bekennen. Afrodeutsche Frauen auf den Spuren ihrer Geschichte (Showing Our Colors. Afro German Women Speak Out, U Mass Press) joined us for the screening and the Q & A afterwards!
Our tour with the Audre Lorde Legacy Cultural Festival has
taken us from the University
of Hawaii to UC
State University and the Berlin
and Beyond Film Festival of the Goethe-Institut in San Francisco to Chicago!
Sharing Audre Lorde's legacy with students, faculty and community people at the University
of Illinois at Chicago and at Northwestern
University in Evanston has been a
wonderful experience! Michelle Wright, professor in African American Studies
at Northwestern, gave a brilliant introduction to the film. Many had an intimate
knowledge of her work, others encountered her for the first time. People were
moved by discovering Audre's influence in Germany—an unknown chapter of Audre's
life—and her humor, her laughter, her very personal side as shown in the film
was new to everyone. For us it was especially good that people are inspired
by Audre's still so relevant words.
Last but not least, a student of Columbia college at Chicago identified himself at the screening at Northwestern, a college where I, Dagmar, had taught in 1969/70. In my surprise I mentioned that I had taught courses like "Sexism in the Media" and "Race and Class". After the screening a woman walked up to me and said that she had been a student in my class on "Sexism in the Media"! What a small world!
For me, Ika, Chicago always has a very special meaning. Here I found my father at the age of 46 and with him a large family. Audre would have been so happy if she could have shared this with me. One of my brothers and a brother in law came to my reading and to the screening of the film at UIC!
Finally we warmly thank Elizabeth Loentz, professor of German
at UIC and Anna Parkinson, professor of German at Northwestern for organizing
the events and taking great care of us. Special thanks to Anna Parkinson who
originally contacted us to invite us!"
Dagmar and Ika
Midwest Leg—Northwestern, University of Illinois, Chigago
This free two-day program celebrates the life and work of the African American poet, author, lesbian, feminist, and activist Audre Lorde. Hosted by the Northwestern Department of German, the program will feature film screenings, a book reading, discussions, and an in-person appearance by Dagmar Schultz, a friend of Lorde and the director of the documentary Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years 1984–1992.
AUDRE LORDE'S CULTURAL LEGACY is sponsored by the Northwestern Departments of African American Studies, of English, of German, and of History; the Comparative Literary, the American, and the Latino and Latina Studies Programs; the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities, the Graduate School, Poetry and Poetics Colloquium, School of Communication, and Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. Support provided by the Goethe-Institut, Chicago.
Michelle Wright (Northwestern)
photo: Carrie Maxwell
Activist, author, poet, and teacher Audre Lorde had a profound impact on the civil rights, feminist, and LGBTQ liberation movements in the United States and abroad.
The documentary film Audre Lorde—The Berlin Years 1984 to 1992 chronicles her time there, where she was instrumental in forming the Afro-German movement, encouraging activists and poets alike to give voice to their experience as people of color in Germany. Film director Dagmar Schultz will be present for the Midwest premier of the documentary and the program will be introduced by Michelle Wright, associate professor of African American Studies. Also on the program, a showing of Hope in My Heart, a short film about the German-Ghanaian poet May Ayim.
The Audre Lorde Cultural [Legacy] Festival is sponsored by the Northwestern Departments of African American Studies, of English, of German, and of History; the Comparative Literary, the American, and the Latino and Latina Studies Programs; Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities, Graduate School, Poetry and Poetics Colloquium, School of Communication, and Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. Support provided by the Goethe Institute of Chicago.
Dates: Oct 4 2012 - 6:00 p.m.
Location: Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, 40 Arts Circle Drive Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208
Reading at the Castro Theater in San Francisco
West Coast Universities + Berlin and Beyond
Sunday, September 30: San Francisco
What an event! We had a reading and a screening in our favored beautiful old Castro Theater in the gay district of San Francisco! We were very excited and also nervous. This was part of the Berlin and Beyond Film festival of the Goethe-Institut in San Francisco, co-sponsored by the northern California chapters of the American Association of Teachers of German, the Foreign Language Association, and the Gerlind Institute of Cultural Studies. My web designer, JB of DRAGA design, along with the Gerlind Institute for Cultural Studies, did a lot of the publicity. DRAGA design is also the distributor of the DVD of the film (USA home version). The DVD arrived just in time for the screening - great: with French, German and Spanish subtitles and with 73 minutes of interesting special features! Earlier, we were invited to a reception at the German Consulate.
There was a good crowd both for the reading and the screening. The German Consul General, Peter Rothen, came and was totally impressed by all the new things he learned about Germany. Some people emphasized that they liked hearing Ika’s story first and then seeing through the film what effects Audre had made. After the reading we had an intensive discussion in the Firewood Cafe—people wanted to know what had happened after the wall came down, what the situation of Black Germans in the East had been and was today, what anti-racist activities there are etc. Everyone agreed: the film Audre Lorde - The Berlin Years creates community. There is a flicker photostream of the Castro events, as well as photos on our FaceBook page.
Sunday, we celebrated the 45th birthday of the bookstore Modern Times, where we joined the Labor Chorus singing union songs and the Internationale before we went for a reception at the house of the director of the Goethe-Institut overlooking the city of San Francisco from her veranda on a gloriously clear and balmy day!
Tomorrow we fly to our next stop: Evanston, Illinois and Chicago.
Tuesday, September 25: UC Berkeley and Sonoma State University
We began the week with an on the air telephone interview at 6 a.m. and ended it with the film screening at UC Berkeley. Wednesday we had an interview at the old progressive radio station KPFA. Thursday morning we went to Sonoma State University a little more than an hour north of San Francisco - a ride through a beautiful landscape of rolling hills. The Spanish professor who picked us up, was keen on showing our film with the Spanish subtitles to her students. Professor Michaela Grobbel, a friend and committed organizer of the event, warmly received us. Ika had a reading at the university in front of over 100 students and in the evening we showed the film to at least as many people. Both events were followed by lively discussions. I was able to interview Dr. J.J. Wilson, a white retired professor who had been teaching Audre Lorde's work, and Dr. Kim Hester-Williams, an African American professor who is presently teaching [Audre Lorde]. Williams said that some students feel intimidated by Audre Lorde and find her work severe. She feels that this film should be part of the English literature canon because it humanizes Audre Lorde and therefore would make her work so much more accessible. A lovely lunch in a Nepalese Tibetan restaurant with profs, volunteers and students closed off the day."
Hawaii!—September 23, 2012
Aloha nui loa from Manoa valley! The two-day Audre Lorde Legacy Cultural Festival at UH Manoa turned out to be much more than a mere screening. In the Hawaiian tradition the festival was opened by traditional chants to acknowledge the spirits of the valley and nearby ocean, to invoke their protection, and ask for their blessing. Co-organized by Professors Christina Gerhardt (German dept.), Caroline Sinavaiana (English dept.), and Elisa Joy White (Ethnic Studies dept.), the festival began each day with personal testimonials by speakers who were deeply influenced by Lorde’s work. The Hawai`i premier of “Audre Lorde: the Berlin Years 1984 to 1992” was well-attended received. One immediate effect was that several student volunteers were inspired to begin planning a writing workshop for Pacific Islander LGBT persons and their friends, as well as an international conference for women in color in struggle. Audre would have loved to see such a result from the gathering. We also had the chance to experience the island and the warmth of the ocean, and to spend time with our old friend, Caroline Sinavaiana. Tomorrow, Monday, we’re off to San Francisco. For schedule of events, please see [the] calendar on the film’s web site:
Dagmar and Ika
After the reading and movie screening at the Castro Theatre, San Francisco Dagmar and Ika will be able to chat and answer questions at the Firewood Cafe on 18th Street—across from Mollie Stone's Market. The address is 4248 18th Street—just below the post office. They have pizza, salads, chicken, beer and wine. It is wheelchair accessible, quiet, friendly, and big enough for 25-35 folks. It is just 2 blocks from the theater, (two minutes walking distance) and easy, and FREE (entry is free, food and drinks will be your own cost).
Audre Lorde Legacy Festival & Hawaii Premier: Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years - 1984 to 1992 - Dir. Dagmar Schultz
Dear colleagues, staff and students,
Great news! Next month features the Hawai’i Premier of the documentary Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years - 1984 to 1992 with director Dagmar Schultz in attendance to discuss the documentary and Lorde’s impact on the Afro-German, feminist and LGBT communities, in Germany, the U.S. and elsewhere. The film screens as part of a two-day conference, honoring the legacy of Audre Lorde. (Details below.) Please feel free to forward, post to FB, tweet, tumblr, etc. etc.
With kindest thanks and best wishes to everyone for a wonderful new academic year and semester,
Audre Lorde Legacy Festival + Hawaii Premier: Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years - 1984 to 1992 - Dir. Dagmar Schultz
University of Hawaii at Manoa • September 20 + 21, 2012
The University of Hawai’i will host a two-day Audre Lorde Legacy Festival, Thursday, September 20 + Friday, September 21, 2012, featuring readings of Audre Lorde’s writings and screenings of earlier documentaries chronicling her work and influence in Germany, the U.S. and elsewhere.
On Thursday, September 20, 2012, the Audre Lorde Legacy Festival will feature the Hawaii premier of Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years - 1984 to 1992 with director Dagmar Schultz in attendance to discuss. This 2012 documentary premiered at the 2012 Berlin International Film Festival to critical acclaim.
The film chronicles Audre Lorde’s work with and impact on Afro-German, feminist and LGBT communities in Berlin and Germany from the mid-1980s to her passing in 1992. As other films in the two-day festival lay out, Lorde's work as an African-American poet, writer, professor and activist also impacted the African diaspora.
Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years - 1984 to 1992 will screen on Thurs. Sept. 20, 2012 at 7:00 pm at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM), in the Art Auditorium. Free.
Author and artist Ika Hügel-Marshall read from and discuss her autobiography Invisible Woman: Growing Up Black in Germany on Fri. Sept. 21, 2012 at 3:00 pm at UHM, Center for Korean Studies. Free.
For full conference program, please visit: manoa.hawaii.edu. For further information, contact Professor Christina Gerhardt
Conference Co-organizers: Professor Christina Gerhardt (LLEA/German),
Professor Elisa White (Ethnic Studies) and Professor Caroline Sinavaiana (English)
Generously co-sponsored by the German Consulate of San Francisco; Honorary Consul of Germany for the State of Hawai'i; Rosa Luxemburg Foundation; American Association of Teachers of German - Hawai'i Chapter; Epsilon Mu / National German Honorary Society - Hawaii Chapter; Academy of Creative Media; College of Languages, Linguistics and Literature; College of Arts and Humanities; College of Social Sciences; Department of American Studies; Department of Art and Art History; Department of English; Department of Ethnic Studies; Department of Languages and Literatures of Europe and the Americas; and Department of Women's Studies.
|University of Hawai’i||The complete
program of the
Contact: Professor Christina Gerhardt
|Sept. 20 & 21|
|University of California, Berkeley||Reading by Ika Hügel-Marshall from Invisible
Woman: Growing Up Black in Germany and screening of “Audre
Lorde – the Berlin Years 1984 to 1992”
Contact: Alisa Bierria
|Sonoma State University||Reading by Ika Hügel-Marshall from Invisible
Woman: Growing Up Black in Germany and screening of “Audre
Lorde – the Berlin Years 1984 to 1992”
Contact: Professor Michaela Grobbel
|Goethe-Institut, San Francisco
“Berlin and Beyond” film festival
|Reading by Ika Hügel-Marshall from Invisible
Woman: Growing Up Black in Germany and screening of “Audre
Lorde – the Berlin Years 1984 to 1992”
Film: Sabine Erlenwein, Director, Goethe-Insititut
Reading: Dr. Marion Gerlind, Gerlind Institute for Cultural Studies
|University of Illinois at Chicago||Reading by Ika Hügel-Marshall from Invisible
Woman: Growing Up Black in Germany Contact: Professor
|Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois||The complete
program of the Festival (download
the program flier)
Contact: Professor Anna Parkinson
|Oct. 3 & 4|
|Harvard University, DuBois Institute||
Reading by Ika Hügel-Marshall from Invisible Woman:
Growing Up Black in Germany and screening of “Audre Lorde
– the Berlin Years 1984 to 1992”
|University of Massachusetts||
Reading by Ika Hügel-Marshall from Invisible Woman:
Growing Up Black in Germany and screening of “Audre Lorde
– the Berlin Years 1984 to 1992”
Oct. 10 - Reading
|Union College, Schenectady, NY||Oct. 12|
|Hunter College, NY||Oct. 16|
(click here to download this schedule)
The complete Program of the festival includes:
The reading by Ika Hügel-Marshall from Invisible Woman: Growing Up Black in Germany