„Ich hoffe, dass weiße Menschen verstehen – und hoffentlich gemeinsam mit uns für eine anti-rassistische Zukunft kämpfen.“
„I hope that white people understand – and hopefully will fight with us for an anti-racist future.“ (Dominik Lucha)
What you don’t see – if you read these words you can understand them in very different ways. Some will think it’s an accusation and some will see it as a justification: After all, the things you don’t see cannot be fought. If I cannot see you, you cannot see me – isn’t that what every child does, hiding under its covers? But burying one’s head in the sand can’t be the solution.
In the end, „What you don’t see“ is nothing but a fact. A fact, that white people don’t see what Black People have to endure every day in their daily lives, at school, at work: Racism.
It’s June, 2020. After George Floyd’s murder and the BlackLivesMatter protests Dominik Lucha starts with the project @wasihrnichtseht (what you don’t see). It’s a platform whose amount of followers has grown over 100.000 since then. Black People can use this platform to share their experiences of racism in Germany. White people can learn to become anti-racist – they can learn to „see“, to throw back the covers and take a look.
The shared experiences show without a doubt, that racism in Germany isn’t an exception, and neither is it just the fate of individuals, but a general problem in society. To reach as many people as possible in Germany – not just online, but offline as well – Dominik Lucha developed an exhibition using the posts on Instagram. The sub-project Souverän, the sub-project Mit Recht gegen Diskriminierung and the Landeskoordination of the IQ network of Schleswig-Holstein wanted to be a part of this and take a stand against racism and all forms of discrimination against refugees and of people with a migration background, especially at their place of work.
The opening of the exhibition took place on Monday, 2nd of May 2022 in the local library in Kiel. Approximately 22 people participated.
After a short greeting by Mrs. Farzaneh Vagdy-Voß1, Mrs. Samiah El Samadoni2 and Mrs. Tina Monkonjay Garway3 said a few words. Besides fact-based reports from their daily work, which showed how Black People are being discriminated every day, they also talked about their personal racial experiences. These very moving speeches strengthened the impression participants got by the exhibition itself: Racism is, as mentioned before, a general problem in society which affects Black People in every aspect of their lives – it is by far not individual cases.
The event was completed by the possibility to have a snack and a drink in the STATT-CAFÉ, while discussing the exhibition, the displayed quotations and talking about further individual experiences. Some of Dominic Lucha’s aspirations – to be seen, to be inspired, to reflect on Racism in Germany – surely were accomplished by the end of this evening.
Overall the exhibition could be seen from 02.05. – 14.05.2022, free of charge, in the rooms of the central library in Kiel. In addition to those visitors who stumbled upon the display while browsing for books, many came specifically to take a look around. Some of those belonged to a school class which visited together with their teacher. During their visit some students shared their own experiences, and the question: „Wo kommst du her?“ („Where do you come from?“) lead to some discussions on why this is racist.
Aside from the direct, positive feedback the employees received from visitors during their stay, there was also the possibility to leave anonymous comments, as in the following example:
Sehr gute Idee!!! (Very good idea!!!) #BlackLivesMatter #NoToRacism
Let’s finish with that.
1Coordinator of the Network of Schleswig-Holstein
2 Ombudswoman for Social Affairs and Leader of the Anti-Discrimination Office of Schleswig-Holstein
3 IQ department intercultural development of competences and anti-discrimination