Ojibwe playwriter, author & filmmaker Drew Hayden Taylor is visiting Germany again, filming for his upcoming documentary on the continuing Winnetou phenomenon, stereotyping…and playing of “Native” by Germans and other Europeans. I was interviewed for a segment in the eventual production, on why I’m in Germany and also making a film, but mine is more on why it’s time to Forget Winnetou, due to the German societal issues of racism, neo-colonialism and stereotyping directly contributing to strife and intercultural turmoil. Afterwards, we walked to a local café and had casual conversation and coffee with the crew.
Drew’s bio: Taylor is a prolific author and playwright with over 27 published books and numerous writing awards to his credit. He was born and raised on the Curve Lake First Nation in Ontario Canada and still lives there. Learn more about his current trip here.
Pleased to announce our Forget Winnetou- A Documentary Film trailer selected for screening at Avanca Film Festival, 26-30 July 2017!
To view our first official trailer, you can do so here.
“What does a world that respects Indigenous peoples look like, that’s working towards ending racism, colonialism, and other intersecting oppression on a global scale?” -Andrea Marcos
Most films about Native Americans focus exclusively on Native experience in North America, however stereotypes of the original peoples of Turtle Island have spread around the world even as more Natives are living or working abroad. And Germany has one of the most notorious and beloved, sometimes fiercely defended symbol named “Winnetou”, a stereotypical American Indian created by German author Karl May in the late 19th century.
Decades later, despite its inherent racism and colonial nature, the heavily Eurocentrized fictional native and his pseudo Apache tribe are still recreated in films spreading misinformation to new generations. Although surely not the intention, it is still culturally abusive practices that deliberately ignore Natives and others who object, and minimize and/or dismiss multiple research studies on the harm of such behaviors to everyone in society. This must end.
“Just because it’s fiction, doesn’t mean it’s harmless.”
“Reeducating the resistant.”
Recent promotional interviews:
June 2nd at Saarland University, Red Haircrow will be giving a presentation at the Indigenous Pop Culture conference, topic is native films and filmmakers and going beyond the stereotypical limitations of Hollywood or other non-Native industries by representation their cultures, peoples, history and future, fiction or non-fiction. Read more about the conference and participants at their website.
On June 2nd, Red Haircrow will give a presentation at the “Indigenous Popular Culture Conference” at Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany. The conference is titled: “A Long Time Ago on a Reservation Far, Far Away: Contemporary Indigenous Popular Culture across the Globe.”
ABSTRACT: “While many people express growing boredom with Hollywood and other western film studios producing sub-standard, unoriginal movies or rebooting television series or films of the past, the Native indie film industry is booming. Despite the low ebb of unique productions to which even Hollywood admits, scripts by people of color, including Natives, continue to be rejected and ignored primarily because they don’t fit the stereotypical material usually churned out about them by others.
Thus, more Native filmmakers today than ever before are writing, filming and sharing their own work, by Natives for everyone, representing and presenting themselves and their stories, whether fiction or non-fiction. More Native artists and filmmakers are collaborating and coming together in events, such as the Indigenous Comic-Con whose inaugural celebration took place in November 2016, to encourage and promote each other. It is also open to the public, and all are welcome.
Discussion will include why films about Natives made by Natives so important; what the issues and benefits are both for Native individuals, nations and communities, and non-Natives; and the intersectionality of native films with social justice, activism and sovereignty. Material will include visual examples of contemporary native films, filmmakers, production companies and organizations, such as A Tribe Called Geek that report on, encourage and promote contemporary artists and filmmakers.”
More details about the event, here.
From German jazz piano extraordinaire, Uli Lenz, the original composition by Mr. Lenz performed live in solo concert on Dec. 12, 2016 at Piano Salon Christophori in Berlin, Germany. With a fast moving, fun tempo, the music was set to pace in the video created by Flying With Red Haircrow Productions and titled, “City to Seaside.”
Uli Lenz is a well renown jazz pianist and musical ambassador from Germany, who has played around the world. In Kenya, he was called “The man who dances on the keys” due to his energetic style and superb skills, having a particularly strong left hand. Lenz is considered a brilliant technician, and has worked with such legendary musicians such as: Victor Jones on drums, Joe Chambers and Horacio El Negro Hernandez, Cecil McBee on bass, Ira Coleman and Ed Schuller, as well as artists such as Steve Grossman, Hannibal Marvin Peterson and François Jeanneau. Discography, biography and “where to buy” links are available at his website http://ulilenz.com/.