Monday, October 26, 2009
German reporter criticised for posing as black man in film
German reporter Günter Wallraff spent over a year travelling through Germany disguised as fictional Somalian man Kwami Ogonno for the film Schwarz auf Weiss ( Black on White ). His goal was to experience racisme at first hand, so he put on a blackface for the occasion.
And he succeeded. In East-Germany – of course - he was attacked by drunken youth. Read the full story here.
But Afro-German Noah Sow, author of Deutschland Black & White, criticised Walraff: “A painted white person is not a black person and cannot have the same experiences even if he thinks he can,” said Noah Sow, author of Everyday Racism in Germany . “Wallraff is earning money and respect on the backs of oppressed minorities.”
If you're not acquainted with Germany this film may seem as an eye opener, but racism in Germany doesn't need to be uncovered. Long before the 2006 FIFA World cup football tournament even the FIFA warned people of colour to stay away from the “rural areas” in East German Berlin.
And Günter? I think he wanted to be on the news again, but this time with a racism show with hidden cameras. If he really wanted to expose racism he could have used the black guy in the film. But I think the sole purpose of this black man was just to legitimate his blackface.
See shots of the film in the interview (German)