The idea for the series came to me one day as I thought about how little people know about life in Germany as a Black person - or how dated this knowledge is. Even within Germany, discourse around ethnicity and diversity goes something like this: "if the foreigners learn German, they will integrate then there will be no problems". And yet, Black people have lived in Germany for over 300 years. Black Germans can be found in all fields from science to art, from education to sport, from music to entrepreneurship. Where there are problems, these rarely have to do with lack of proficiency in the German language.
It is also incredible how little voice Black people within Germany have, despite decades of activism, academic research, creative publications and performances.
So I thought - fine! If we don't find recognition within Germany, we surely can on an international stage.
The Witnessed book series aims to enable English-speaking readers to access literature by Black authors who live (or have lived) in Germany and are from (or residing in) English-speaking countries, which bear witness to the experience of being Black in Germany.
The gaze is reversed.
Witnessed will be launched - with the publication of "Imagine Black Artists Actually Mattered?" (http://www.edition-assemblage.de/imagine/) - in Autumn 2012.
Witnessed will issue two publications annually. The first of the series will be published in Autumn 2012. It is called "Imagine if Black Artists Actually Mattered? Visions of Euality in Germany."
The authors - who are free to choose how to share their stories - will participate in readings and cultural events. For selected works, educational materials will be developed to support the introduction of the literature in schools and universities.
The series will contain:
- Novels / Novellas
- Collections of short stories
- Poetry compilations
- Biographies / Autobiographies
- Critical essays
The authors will be representative of Black English-speaking peoples regarding gender, sexual orientation, political views, class, religion, nationality, illegalisation status and ability status.
This is such a positive, exciting project - wouldn't it be a big shame if I could not get it off the ground?
The authors are ready, I have connections with universities, I am active in the German Black community, I love literature...I am rich in all the essentials - except Euros.
In fact, this project *will* happen - so the answer to the question really why should I support this project really is:: you will be sad not to be able to say to those proverbial grandchildren "I was one of the original team who made Witnessed what it is today" :-)
We need a minimum of 600,00 € to cover the costs of copy editing & proofreading, layout and design for the first publication of Witnessed.
The publication (successfully financed through startnext.de) will then be used as a reference project in applications to other funding bodies, foundations and private sponsors in order to fund further publications in the series.
In the event that more than 600 € is raised here, the excess funds will go towards the funding of a reading event for this publication.
I am Sharon, a committed mother, Blacktivist and author. Listen to me performing one of my own short stories here:
I really enjoy writing. My first novella "the things I am thinking while smiling politely" has already been published in edition assemblage (http://www.edition-assemblage.de/the-things-i-am-thinking-while-smiling-politely/).
I am also really nice, friendly, reliable and good at creative empowerment projects.
I like money. I have some. I would like more. That's where you come in...
Um alle aktuellen Infos über die Witnessed-Reihe zu bekommen besuchen sie bitte den Blog: http://witnessed-series.blogspot.de
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Endorsed by the Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland (Initiative of Black People in Germany).