Black Brown Berlin
Live, Chile is an affirmation, an encouragement, a command whispering to us through the rustle of Gruenewald leaves, the rumbling of the U-bahn cars, from corners of colonial-named streets of a Berlin that has been home over centuries, to Black and Brown artists, intellectuals, aunties, and teachers who made ways and means for us to live, create, to thrive. Audre Lorde, May Ayim, and all our unnamed ancestral guides beckon us to believe that we belong everywhere, even when we choose not to remain, because as Nina Simone said, “freedom is having no fear,” and “I don’t blame you much for wanting to be free.”
This tribute and reflection on our ways of being, on our lives in the margins, spans not only the personal scope of our diasporic communities, but it widens to include the parallels found in the narrative of our current global pandemic. The micro and marco levels of the concept of distance challenge us to face realities of loss, historically and contemporarily: loss of oral tradition, loss of connection, loss of loved ones who “were hours and clouds away from our touch,” loss of ritual, loss of physical touch, loss of justice and equity. And yet, in all this loss we find familiarity in the eyes staring from above a mask, in the beat of the protest drum, in the sound of calling out “mama” and in the meandering, well-tread forest path.
About the artist
Established in 2018, Black Brown Berlin consists of the four BPoC co-founders Femi Oyewole, Chanel Knight, Tristan Littlejohn and Rhea Ramjohn. Black Brown Berlin is a multi platform organisation that builds and solidifies recognition of Black and Brown excellence that has been too long dismissed and appropriated. The goal is to reflect Berlin’s true diversity to ensure the active representation and inclusion of Berlin's Black and Brown communities as essential contributors to the cultural, social and economic development of the capital.