February in Berlin

Black history and berlinale
The Berlinale posters are already up at Potsdamer Platz. Here’s a poster for Black History Month events in Berlin next month.

On Tuesday night, I got a call right around 8pm, Check out the thema-abend on Arte. So I did. The films shown were: Black Deutschland and Frankreich, Schwarzes Vaterland.

Irony from the French version of the Arte website:

Les Noirs d’Allemagne, qu’ils
soient ou non naturalisés, ont l’impression d’appartenir à une toute
petite minorité, que sa couleur de peau désigne comme "étrangère". //
German Blacks/Blacks in Germany, whether naturalized or not,

Funny. I don’t remember the first film mentioning naturalization at
all. Maybe I missed something.  Compared to France, Germany’s laws on
naturalization/dual citizenship are quite strict. Children born in
Germany to foreign parents receive citizenship only if one parent has
been living in Germany for at least 8 years with a valid resident
permit to account for that time. And that’s only a pretty recently
change (2000). Dual citizenship for naturalized adults is only allowed
in special cases. So who are the naturalized people? 

I thought it was supposed to be self-evident that the Germans in the
film were not naturalized. Wasn’t that central to the whole point?
None of the non-German Black people said nary a word about being
interested in German citizenship.  If the French side of ARTE’s head
couldn’t figure that one out, then the audience probably wasn’t doing
much better. Some context (historic/legal/biographic) and clarity would
have helped out. The jus solis/sanguinis difference between the two
countries seems pretty important to me.

The film on France brought me back to the days when I thought
Christiane Taubira was the only Black person on French TV not singing. Mohamed Dia is still making me shake my head, a day later.

I was waiting to see what Louis Georges Tin from the CRAN (Conseil
Répresentatif des Associations Noires) had to say in the fake debate at
the end. If that random dude from EHESS wasn’t there, the conversation
could have gotten interesting.


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