12th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art

Keynote: Jürgen Zimmerer. Naming the Crime of Colonialism: The German Example

Keynote within the framework of the conference Imperial Ecologies as part of the 12th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art on June 23, 2022 at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum der Gegenwart – Berlin.

Whilst a pointed and unambiguous vocabulary has been developed to discuss the crimes of the Third Reich, the debate about colonialism is still dominated by euphemisms. Terms such as “civilizing mission” or “development”—or the word “uprising” to refer to anti-colonial resistance—are often used where racism, enslavement, genocide, or crimes against humanity would be more suitable. The lecture discusses the consequences of these euphemisms and platitudes.

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