Sandrine Micossé-Aikins


December 4, 2013
A lot has been said and written in the recent months about the use of blackface in German theatre (and other cultural) productions. Mainstream positions that keep surfacing in these debates are based almost without exception on a deep lack of critical knowledge about Germany’s colonial past as well as the history of blackface, but also the complete underestimation of the power inherent to images and words. At the same time, the intensity of the reactions to anti-racist criticism in the cultural domain suggests, that there is indeed a, if subconscious, awareness of a historical “right” to psychological and corporeal violence against (former) colonial subjects that is now being endangered. This essay challenges four of the most popular misconceptions about this subject by taking a deeper look at the intrinsically linked mechanisms of identity, race and representation in Germany. read more