Black Feminist Art and Black Lives Matter in Germany 

Over the course of this year, and more as I completed this semester, I became aware of how our bodies are impacted by others. In an idyllic world, we would be the sole factor in determining what happens to our bodies. Only having to focus on how we personally control our emotions and actions. Although we do have innate control over ourselves, there are so many entities in society created to reduce this control. This reality stuck out to me as I experienced the lessons taught by Professor Fache and Professor Tamura.

During this semester, I had the privilege to attend two panels that centered around the topics of Black feminism and the Black Lives Matter movement in Germany. These panels opened my eyes to the reality of how others impact our bodies. As a Black female individual, I do not have as much control of what occurs to my body as a white male would. Listening to the panelist expanded my worldview and allowed me to see how these movements worked to help oppressed groups reclaim control of themselves.

Discussion and Q&A with Director Sheri Hagen:

Sheri Hagen is an Afro-German director and the founder of the production company Equality Film GmbH. During her panel, she provided insight to her career as a director in Germany, as well as a glimpse into the process behind creating the film “Auf den zweiten Blick”. Before coming to this discussion, I never gave much credit to the director who brain power went into crafting the movies I saw. Nor did I stop to consider the logistics and how the directors own background may have played a role into what I had just watched. However, after hearing the brilliance that was being spoken by Hagen, I felt my mind begin to expand. In many of Hagen’s films, she does not focus on her characters skin colors as the central point of plot, but instead on other characteristics—in Auf den zweiten Blick the limitation was eyesight. As a black director, it is assumed that would Hagen produce films centered around black individuals and their struggles; however, she uses her talent to create different types of films that are just as impactful.

Black Lives Matter in Germany:

As a black individual I knew about the BLM since its inception in 2013. However, I remained ignorant to the fact that the movement was worldwide until recently. I unknowingly had a very Americanized way of thinking where I only considered movements by how they related to life here in America. This semester I had the privilege to outgrow this ignorance by learning about how black individuals are viewed in other countries, specifically European nations. The Black Lives Matter in Germany panel had a roundtable filled with scholars, artists, and activists who each aided in the movement. These individuals each came from different backgrounds; however, they were all working in one movement cohesively. They not only discussed the current ongoing of their respective parts of the movement, but also their hopes for the future. Having the chance to hear the roundtable speak helped me to see just how impactful a movement I once thought was only national is to black individuals around the world.

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