Results containing the tag: Blackface
In this paper, which was also presented at the IRC symposium Blackface, Whiteness and the Power of Definition in Contemporary German Theatre, the author focusses on how whiteness is represented in modern German theatre, using Michael Thalheimer’s 2012 production of Dea Loher’s play Unschuld as an example. read more
This essay summarizes examples of the most common rhetoric figures, topoi and strategies of argumentation used in mainstream media by white journalists talking about blackface, the critique of blackface and the critics. read more
Based on a presentation during the IRC symposium Blackface, Whiteness and the Power of Definition in Contemporary German Theatre, this essay explores which set of filters are used by white artists and academics to (re)create race on the opera stage. In order to understand this nexus of practices and discourses, the essay employs the concept of racialization, focusing on three filters in particular: racialized dramaturgy, the racialized stage, and racialized embodiment. read more
Black artists, indeed all artists of color, are traditionally underrepresented in contemporary German theatre. This paper reflects on the debate on blackface in a broader context. It argues that the criteria used to justify blackface are similar to those explaining the underrepresentation of artists of color in German theatre in general. The three major questions posed are: Who is represented on stage? Whose perspective is shown? And for whom is this art made? read more
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
In her article “On the Myth of Authentic Representation: Blackface as Reenactment“ Joy Kristin Kalu examines the current blackface debate from the standpoint of appropriation art and reenactment. She argues that the strategic repetition of historically loaded, in this case even racist practices can potentially lead to re-signification and thereby undermine conventions. Instead of demonizing blackface per se, she suggests conceiving performance as a political space of negotiation, thus allowing for the possibility, perhaps through citation, to generate new meanings for old aesthetic processes. read more