Racism, Colonialism and Soljanka

„This is our war! Every help you offer only reinforces your white superiority which we’re about to fight!“ This sentence, quoted freely from the short documentary „Fuck white tears“ became a central topic during our preparation seminar here at the Werbellinsee near Berlin. All of us volunteers are brought together on this immense area to participate in various lectures and interactive workshops in order to be confronted with everything that probably will cross our way during our stay abroad. From teaching methods to the right handling of ethical issues we come together daily to gather new perspectives on topics that at the same time are omnipresent in today’s media but rarely are profoundly analyzed without a specific reason.

The seminar offers all kind of support and sensibilizes us for anything unfamiliar we will most definitely encounter in our new working spaces. A special focus is kept on our role as German volunteers in a country which usually is defined as politically and economically inferior. Instead of serving the prejudices of colonial continuity, our function as an ambassador in cultural exchange rather involves strengthening the international relationships by bilateral communication.

World peace – something unachievable if you believe South African students protesting against discriminating laws: „You always say there are other ways to solve conflicts, for example by talking. But we’ve experienced centuries of cruelty and oppression. Our only response that expresses our anger in an adequate way is violence.“ I personally don’t believe in that! Although I neither believe in utopian concepts, I’m strongly convinced that organizations such as kulturweit and their partners such as the Goethe Institute, PASCH and many more contribute significantly to get closer to our common vision of a world in harmony.

Although I still have 4 days left, I already had the chance to talk to an amazing amount of diverse people that allowed me insights into their personal ways of thinking. Visiting the city of Berlin led by a refugee,  spending 24h a day in the middle of 330 dedicated people and speeches by the organisation team, trainers and politicians make me appreciate the program here a lot. I’m very thankful for this kind of preparation and I’m looking forward to the upcoming days!

~ Jenny

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