EN · FR · DE
 
Musical "À nos morts"
AfricAvenir Projects Berlin - Africa in World War II

Africa in World in World War II

Between 1st and 20th September 2009, AfricAvenir presented a Festival on the vital role Africans played in World War II. Central to this more than necessary commemoration was the German Premiere of a Hip Hop Musical named "À nos morts" (The Forgotten Liberators), as well as many film screenings, lectures, workshops, exhibition tours and concerts. Framing this program, AfricAvenir presented the the most comprehensive exhibition to date on the topic of "The Third World in World War II"produced and curated by recherche international. The events took place at Uferhallen in Berlin-Wedding.

Background

The 1st September 1939 marks the beginninng of World War II – in Europe ! In Ethiopia, an international war was already going on since 1935, involving soldiers from 17 nations and 3 continents, and in Asia, the Japanese aggression against China had already begun in 1937. Until 1945, millions of soldiers from the Third World contributed significantly to the liberation of the world from European fascism and Japanese megalomania. They were Indian and Chinese, African and Latin-Americans, Philippinians and Polynesians, men and women voluntarily and forcefully recruited to work or fight for the respective colonial powers involved in the war. Many parts of the Third World – from the Latin-American coast to North Africa, the Near East and India – also served as battlefields and were completely destroyed without ever benefiting of any reconstruction program whatsoever. More civilians were killed during the liberation of Manila than in the bombings of Berlin or Dresden. All these facts do not feature as part of the official historiography of World War II. The exhibition as well as the manifold event series are aimed at making this suppressed chapter of world history known to a wider audience.

In order to live together in a culturally rich and diverse city like Berlin, it goes without saying that a diverse politics of memory is required. 

In the framework of this month which is entirely dedicated to the memory of the millions of men and women of the "Third World" and particularly from Africa who gave their lives in this war, we invite everybody irrespective of their origins to share their memories and stories of the Second World War. What is it that people remember of World War II in the different parts of the world? What have been the long-lasting consequences of this global war? Our aim is to bring together people from different backgrounds to share these memories and contribute to a more inclusive, less eurocentric and non-racist memory, worthy a multicultural city Berlin is and wants to be.

The historic fact that Maori, Senegalese, Brasilians and Indians made up great parts of the Allied Forces and were at the forefront in the struggle to liberate the world of fascism is little known - at least in Europe. Also, the destiny of these colonial soldiers (tirailleurs) and their contribution in the subsequent liberation struggles in Africa has no place in the official memory in Germany. World War II really was a global war.

People from nearly every single country - both men and women - were involved as soldiers, workers, agents, logisticians, carriers etc. in the Allied Forces or - under very different circumstances - on the side of Germany, Italy or Japan.

The exhibition presented in the framework of this project is based on the book "Our Victims do not Count - The Third World in World War II", published by recherche international in 2005 and which has been excellently reviewed. Guided tours, lectures and film screenings will accompany the exhibition during the whole month of September. Other organisations, like the Korean Association, have also been invited to join and present their perspectives on the topic. The programme aims at extending and widening our horizons and to interrogate Eurocentric perspectives.

Why is there no memory in Germany that recognises the immense contribution of the so-called "migrant population" and their forefathers in the liberation fron the Nazi regime and thus in the democratisation of the world?

Precisely these "forgotten liberators" were at the centre of the Hip Hop Musical which was staged as German Premiere to a sold out hall in the framework of the international literature festival berlin (ilb) at Haus der Berliner Festspiele on Sunday, 20th September 2009 at 8 p.m. The outstanding performance received minutes of standing ovations by the 700 people present.

Influenced by the Hip-Hop-Culture of the suburbs of Strasbourg, this performance melts poetic texts with urban sounds as well as with a contemporary dance choreography - all this is taking place to the backdrop of historical film and photo material. The production is reminiscent of the millions of colonial soldiers from the former french colonies who fought for France in 1914-18 and helped rid the world of fascism during the Second World War. The "Mémoires Vives"-Project pays tribute to those largely "forgotten soldiers" by dealing with the topic in a contemporary and modern way.

The creed of the post-World-War-era was "Never Again". In order to be able to learn from history we have to know it, and particularly this global dimension. Therefore the project "The Third World in World War II" is an invitation to dialogue and to the re-discovery of historic chapter that seemed all too evident.

Screening of „The Wedding Song/Le chant...

the wedding song

On Sunday, 2nd December 2012, at 5pm AfricAvenir, in cooperation with Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO), invites... |+| read article

Kollaborateure und Widersacher

In den letzten zehn Jahren hat ein sensibles Thema zunehmend an Aufmerksamkeit gewonnen: Araber als "Täter im Holocaust". Was... |+| read article

Prof. Dr. Maureen Maisha Eggers: Bloße...

Im Bemühen um eine konstruktive und (selbst)kritische Debatte rund um das Thema "Die Dritte Welt im Zweiten Weltkrieg" und die... |+| read article

Afrika in der NS-Planung eines...

Prof. Kum'a Ndumbe III.

Vortrag von Prof. Kum'a Ndumbe III. im Rahmen der Veranstaltungsreihe "Afrika im Zweiten Weltkrieg" in Berlin, am 2. September... |+| read article

La France et ses libérateurs africains

charles onana

Conférence de Charles Onana dans le cadre du projet «Le Tiers-Monde dans la 2ème Guerre Mondiale», Berlin, 16 septembre 2009 sur le... |+| read article

Wessen Krieg und wessen Ehre? Was...

Artikel von Charlotte Wiedemann, zuerst erschienen im Monde Diplomatique Nr. 9008 vom 9.10.2009, Seite 14-15, 706, Dokumentation. Wir... |+| read article

Film: Tage des Ruhms (Indigènes) von...

Tage des Ruhms - Indigènes

Im Rahmen des Begleitprogramms zur Ausstellung Die Dritte Welt im Zweiten Weltkrieg präsentieren AfricAvenir und das Babylon am... |+| read article

L’importance de la 2ème Guerre Mondiale...

Alice Cherki

Conférence tenue par Alice Cherki dans le cadre du projet «Le Tiers-Monde dans la 2ème Guerre Mondiale», Berlin, 11 septembre 2009. +++... |+| read article

German Premiere: The Forgotten Liberators

On Sunday 20 September 2009 at 8 p.m. AfricAvenir presented the Germany Premiere of the Hip Hop Musical "The Forgotten Liberators" (À nos morts) in the framework of the International Literature Festival Berlin (ilb) at Haus der Berliner Festspiele. Performed in french with German subtitles, the show received minutes long standing ovation by the more than 700 spectators in the sold out hall.

Hip Hop Musical: The Forgotten Liberators

Influenced by the Hip-Hop-Culture of the suburbs of Strasbourg, this performance melts poetic texts with urban sounds as well as with a contemporary dance choreography - all this is taking place to the backdrop of historical film and photo material. The production is reminiscent of the millions of colonial soldiers from the former french colonies who fought for France in 1914-18 and helped rid the world of fascism during the Second World War. The "Mémoires Vives"-Project pays tribute to those largely "forgotten soldiers" by dealing with the topic in a contemporary and modern way.

Compagnie Mémoires Vives

Remember and share the forgotten and neglected parts of our (colonial) histories in a society totally impregnated by international migration is the aim of "Compagnie Mémoires Vives". Artists, historians and social workers from different cultural background work together in order to mould this message into contemporary art and language. Influenced by Hip Hop culture and modern dance theater, the performances not only engender enthusiastic critics, but also stir standing ovations by the the young audiences in the banlieus.

AfricAvenir Projects Berlin Archive - Africa in World War II - The Third World in World War II

Exhibition on a Suppressed Chapter of History: The Third World in World War II

Between 1st and 20th September 2009, AfricAvenir and recherche international will present the most comprehensive exhibition to date on the topic of "The Third World in World War II" at the Uferhallen (Uferstr. 8-11, 13357 Berlin-Wedding, U8-Pankstr.). The exhibition opens with a Vernissage on the evening of the 1st September 2009 and is accompanied by a large program consisting of film screenings, lectures, readings and the spectacular.

Seminars, Guided Tours, Scholl Screenings & Workshops

The Berlin Programme includes various offers for both teachers and pupils or students. Through workshops, guided tours or special screenings, we offer room to reflect on "The Politics of Memory". Why has the central contribution of the "Third World" been overlooked or even consciously suppressed for so long? How can we talk of "global learning" while official positions and curricula continue perpetuating eurocentric perspectives.

Documentation of the Project "The Third World in World War II" in Berlin, 1-30th September 2009

On this page, we will publish the articles and speeches presented during the project "The Third World in World War II", as well as try to document the events in every possible form, pictures, audio, video. This page also features constructive-critical articles and contributions about the topic and project.

back to top