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2. Transnational Herero & Nama Congress

Colonial Amnesia: Quo Vadis Hamburg?

2. Transnationaler Herero und Nama Kongress 2018

06.04.-08.04. in Hamburg

The negotiation of Hamburg’s difficult colonial past is receiving growing attention. Hamburg’s involvement in the history of racism includes participation in the transatlantic slave trade and a central role in Germany’s colonial empire - and has significant contemporary implications. The city’s complicity in facilitating the genocide against the resisting Ovaherero and Nama marks a heavy historic burden. The exceptional violence of colonial occupation resulted in a genocide, committed by the Germans between 1904 and 1908. The severe consequences continue to affect the Ovaherero and Nama up until today. Their representational bodies have therefore issued three key demands to the German government:

  • Recognition of the genocide and the debt that results from the colonial crimes and their immediate after-effects

  • A credible apology from the German government

  • Adequate reparations that responds to the magnitude of the first genocide of the 20th century

How did Hamburg contribute to the first genocide of the 20th century? Which urban traces continue to glorify colonialism and genocide, and what about the city’s many “blind spots” of colonial memory?

After a first congress in October 2016 in Berlin, the Ovaherero and Nama representatives will visit Hamburg to discuss these and other questions.

The congress will be held in German and English.


Organized by

sowie in Kooperation mit:


Podium 1

Podium 2

Podium 3

Podium 4

Podium 5


The conference will be held in German and English language. A translation will be available.

Friday, April 6th, 2018

MS Stubnitz Kirchenpauerkai 26, Hamburg

14:15 Doors open

14:45 – 15:00 Welcome, introductory comments

15:00 – 17:00 Panel 1 — „Postcolonial Memory Culture and Restorative Justice: Why today?”

The multi-layered violences of colonial amnesia: What are the objectives, ethics and pitfalls of postcolonial critique and practice in a globalised world?

Kwesi Aikins, Universität Kassel
Dr. Joy Alemazung, Engagement Global
Esther Muinjangue, Ovaherero / Ovambanderu Genocide Foundation Namibia
Israel Kaunatjike, Bündnis „Völkermord verjährt nicht!“
Ida Hoffmann, Nama Genocide Technical Committee Namibia
Chair: Meryem Choukri

17:00 – 17:30 Break

17:30 – 19:30 Panel 2 „Quo vadis, Hamburg? The Cultural Politics of Postcolonial Representation in Hamburg”

A city steeped into forgotten colonial legacy: What are the lines of conflict and opportunity for postcolonial politics? What expectations pose Herero and Nama representatives towards the city?

Millicent Adjei, Arca - Afrikanisches Bildungszentrum e.V.
Jürgen Zimmerer, University of Hamburg
Tahir Della, Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland e. V.
Dr. Ngondi Kamatuka, Association of the Ovaherero Genocide in the USA
Chair: Siri Keil

Saturday, April 7th, 2018

University of Hamburg, Edmund-Siemers-Allee 1, main building, Hamburg

10:00 Doors open

10:30 – 12:30 Panel 3 — „Colonial Amnesia — Hamburg as Profiteer of Colonial Occupation and Genocide.”

A historic time-travel.

Jan Kawlath, University of Hamburg
Tania Mancheno, University of Hamburg
Mbakumua Hengari, Ovaherero/Ovambanderu Genocide Foundation Namibia
Bernadus Swartbooi, Landless People's Movement-Namibia Leader
Chair: tba

12:30 – 13:30 Lunch break

13:30 – 15:30 Panel 4 – „Ovaherero and Nama Genocide: Recognition, Apology, Reparation“

Anything About Us Without Us Is Against Us!” Exposing Germany’s colonial legacy in the fight for restorative justice after colonial genocide.

Dr. Kavemuii Murangi, OvaHerero, Mbanderu and Nama Genocides Institute USA
Vepuka E. Kauari, Association of the Ovaherero Genocide in the USA
Kambanda Veii, Ovaherero/Ovambanderu Genocide Foundation Namibia
Paul Thomas, Nama Genocide Technical Committee Namibia
Chair: Christian Kopp

16:00-18:00 Panel 5 – „Remembrance ,from below’: Strategies and Politics of Postcolonial Civil Society“ 

Outside of, together with, or against the institution: Future perspectives of transcultural, postcolonial discourses and practices. How can we network beyond borders to organise decolonization and postcolonial remembrance? In which different ways do the legacies of a colonial past play out and affect us today?

Prof. Dr. Louis Henri Seukwa, HAW Hamburg
Jephta Nguherimo, OvaHerero, Mbanderu and Nama Genocides Institute USA
Elisabeth Kaneza, Kaneza Foundation e. V., UN
Hannimari Jokinen, artist, working-group Hamburg Postkolonial
Dr. Susann Lewerenz, Centre for Historical Studies, KZ-Gedenkstätte Neuengamme
Chair: Jonas Prinzleve

Sunday, April 8th, 2018

14:00 – 17:00 Remembrance Protest, meeting point St. Michael’s Church, Englische Planke 1, Hamburg


Find us at:

account for donations:

ISD-Bund e.V.
IBAN: DE55 2001 0020 0030 0572 00
bank: Postbank Hamburg
reference: QuoVadis Konferenz