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We start this page with (anti)racism, but hope that in the future other topics like ability, classism and sexism will be reflected here as well.
Anti-racist and active in solidarity
No climate justice without anti-racism! Racism is everywhere.
Contrary to the narrative “something like this would only exist on the right wing”, racism is rooted in the most diverse social groups in Germany. Even structures critical of power that reject exclusion and discrimination are not free of racism and colonial-ideological continuities. This also affects actors of the German climate (justice) movement, such as Ende Gelände, Fridays for Future and Co.
To ensure that criticism is no longer just empty words, these problems must be worked through and dismantled. This concerns questions like:
- Who talks to the press?
- Who sets the agenda?
- Who can participate in in the actions? who is excluded?
- Which language is used?
- Where are my needs as BIPoC ignored?
- Who addresses the topic racism?
- Which strategies do we develop in and around actions to create spaces for protection and empowerment?
- When do I take space and when is it time to hand over the microphone?
- What demands are called for by parts of the alliance that mainly benefit white people make?
It has long been time for critical self-reflection. Especially white people have a lifelong process ahead of them in which they deal with internalized racism.
Here you will find a small (!) collection of materials that have been (mainly) formulated, written and spoken by BIPoC. They can support you to take the first steps on the path of this debate.
These topics await you:
- Racism in the climate justice movement in Germany
- Indigenous perspectives on climate justice
- White Saviourism
- Cultural appropriation
- (Anti)racism in actions
- Legal assistance and anti-racism
This is a small selection. Of course there are many more analyses, texts and materials. You will find a more detailed list soon on the homepage of Decolonize Climate Action: https://decolonizeclimateaction.noblogs.org
Meet, read together, discuss and gladly give feedback on the format or content to: decolonizeclimateaction [at] riseup.net
1. Racism in the climate justice movement in Germany
- Open letter from BIPoC to the Klimacamp Rheinland and others (in German)
Here BIPoCs describe their experiences at climate camps with regard to racism. They make demands on how anti-racism can become (more) reality in the climate justice movement.
Open letter from BIPoCs to the climate camp and others (PDF)
- “Fridays for Past, Present and Future” Interview with Rebecca Abena Kennedy-Asante (in German)
For whom do we make actual demands with our actions? How do these demands come about? Whose life realities are reflected in these demands?
Rebecca Abena Kennedy-Asante explains in this article why the climate crisis is already hitting black people, indigenous peoples and people of color.
- “How white is (German) climate activism?” by “Kanackische Welle” – Podcast (in German)
In this episode of the great podcast “Kanackische Welle” the presenters Marcel Aburakia and Malcolm Ohanwe talk to Aaliyah Bah-Traoré, Shaylı Kartal and Aminata Touré. They discuss the lack of diversity in the climate movement, whether whites are actually more interested in animals than in people, and how to get more people of color in the fight for a better world. Duration ca. 77 min
- “Fridays for Future: too white?” by Karakaya Talk – talk show (in German)
In this episode of the wonderful talk show Karakaya Talk, Sarah-Lee Heinrich (Green Youth), Imeh Ituen (BPoC Environmental Climate Justice Collective Berlin), Quang Anh Paasch (Fridays For Future), Yasmine M’Barek (journalist) together with the host Esra Karakaya talk about the question “To what extent is climate activism actually white and privileged? Duration ca. 42 min
2. Indigenous perspectives on climate justice
- “White Allies, Let’s Be Honest About Decolonization” by Kyle Powys White (in English)
In this article, the author Kyle Whyte problematizes the different conceptualizations by privileged climate activists of Indigenous knowledge and communities (romantization vs. same-boat) and gives some perspectives on different forms of allyship, relevant knowledge and common traps.
- “Decolonization Starts Inside of You” by Josué Rivas (in English)
Photographer Josué Rivas spent seven months living at Standing Rock, documenting the gathering force of Native Americans and their allies. He says it wasn’t just a protest; it was an awakening.
- Less Greta Thunberg, more Autumn Peltier (among others..) (in English)
In European-American reports on resistant practices, Greta Thunberg is all too often portrayed as a pioneer of the climate movement. This gives the impression that resistance is a native Euro-American phenomenon that was initiated by people who are white. On the one hand, this negates the long non-European and BI_PoC history in resistance against exploitation and destruction of the world. On the other hand, only white-positioned people are offered a role model, while numerous comrades-in-arms are ignored. In this article, attention is drawn to the then 15-year-old Autumn Peltier, a Wiikwemkoong First Nation activist who is committed to clean water for all.
- “Indigenous Climate Change Studies: Indigenizing Futures, Decolonizing the Anthropocene” by Kyle Whyte (in English)
This article introduces the term “Indigenous Climate Change Studies” and argues for a multiplication of perspectives on climate change, as well as for a multiplication of criticisms and imperatives for action. It offers concrete possibilities to go beyond self-reflection and to actively engage with further discourses and practices.
3. White Saviourism
- “White Savior Complex: Strong criticism of Stefanie Giesinger’s recent Instagram Photos” by Nadja Ayoub – Article (in German)
Who benefits when white celebrities from the Global North post photos with children from a country in the Global South?
Using Stefanie Giesinger’s Instagram photos from her trip to Malawi as an example, the book explains what White Saviourism is and why well-intentioned is very often not well done.
- “The White-Savior Industrial Complex” by Teju Cole (in English)
In this article Teju Cole talks about his opinion and reaction to the phenomenon of the White Savior Complex.By appearing in any media form, this phenomenon can be described, according to Teju Cole, as a White-Savior Industrial Complex.
- “The movement is not a perfect world” Interview with LaToya Manly-Spain (in German)
An interview with the refugee activist LaToya Manly-Spain and about the oppression of women, white privileges and why terms like “supporter” can be problematic.
- “White Saviourism – Why well-meant is often not helpful” by Alice Hasters & Maxi Häcke – Podcast (in German)
This podcast episode of Feuer & Brot deals with the topic of White Saviorism. It talks about the occurrence of influencers*, about @NoWhiteSaviors and White Saviorism in movies.
- “The Guide to Allyship” (in English)
Introduction to ‘Allyship’ – explains how alliances between different communities can be formed and the personal reflection processes on which this is based.
- How to Be an Ally if You Are a Person with Privilege (in English)
Introduction to alliance strategies and allyship with concrete recommendations for action and possibilities for reflection in order to use one’s own role as a white person in a productive and solidary way.
- White Accomplices (in English)
Explains conceptual differences between three white roles “actor” “ally” “accomplice” and develops action strategies and resources for each.
- “Unsettling allyship, unlearning and learning towards decolonising solidarity” by Jenalee Kluttz, Jude Walker & Pierre Walter
In: Unsettling allyship, unlearning and learning towards decolonising solidarity, Studies in the Education of Adults, 52:1, 49-66
5. Cultural appropriation
- “Cultural Appropriation, Blackfishing and ‘Digital Blackface'” by Alice Hasters and Maxi Häcke – Podcast (in German)
In the 33rd episode of their podcast Feuer & Brot, Alice Hasters and Maximiliane Häcke talk in detail about various examples of cultural appropriation. They vividly explain the historical and structural background and what exactly is so problematic about cultural appropriation.
- “Black resistance symbols on white heads” by Viruletta (in German)
In this text Viruletta from the girls’ team writes about locks of white people. Viruletta explains self-critically why white locks are cultural appropriation. Viruletta writes about the history of locks and why they have no place on white heads.
- “Fusion Revisited: Carnival of the Cultureless” by Hengameh Yaghoobifarah (in German)
In this text Hengameh Yaghoobifarah writes about cultural appropriation in the festival context.
- “Yellowfacing” – Podcast episode of the podcast “Rice and Shine” by Minh Thu Tran & Vanessa Vu (in German)
In this episode of their great podcast Rice and Shine, Minh Thu Tran and Vanessa Vu talk to Dan Thy Nguyen about anti-Asian racism in the form of “yellowfacing” and, among other things, why white people like to dress up as “Chinese”.
- “Cultural appropriation and colonial violence” by Noah Ha (in German)
Cultural appropriation” cannot be debated without talking about colonial continuities. So here is this great text by Noah Ha for you.
- Antiracist Info Mail #3
The anti-racist Infomail #3 of the AntiRa AG from Ende Gelände Berlin is about what cultural appropriation is and what the connection to the climate justice movement is.
The anti-racist Infomail #2 from the AntiRa AG from Ende Gelände Berlin would like to problematize tokenism at Ende Gelände and in the German climate justice movement as a whole and encourage people to inform themselves about the concept.
7. (Anti)racism in actions
How can actions deal with the topic of (anti)racism? Information and references to white and BIPoC people in actions.
8. Legal assistance and anti-racism
In our legal assistance brochure we give an overview of repression and anti-racism in the preface: www.ende-gelaende.org/en/legal-infos-en/