Decolonize Berlin e.V.

Decolonize Berlin e.V. advocates for a critical examination of German colonialism and its continuities, such as racism within contemporary German society, a recognition and critical reappraisal of colonial injustices, and decolonization of German society as a whole.

In 2019, Decolonize Berlin transitioned from a civil society network of Black, diasporic, post-colonial and development policy groups in Berlin to a formally registered association. Its work is supported by more than 100 individual activists.

Through educational materials, events and partnerships, Decolonize Berlin e.V. campaigns for a critical culture of remembrance, with the aim of overcoming racism and other forms of discrimination.

We call on the state of Berlin and its districts to embed decolonialization as a cross-cutting issue in education, science, research, business, urban planning, justice and culture, and to actively promote decolonization of Berlin.

Organizational Structure

Decolonize Berlin e.V. consists of several civil society organizations and is supported by many dedicated individual activists.

At the members’general meeting the board is elected for a period of 2 years. Currently, the board consists of four people, each representing one organization:

  • Tahir Della (Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland, ISD)
  • Michael Küppers-Adebisi (AFROTAK TV cyberNomads)
  • Mnyaka Sururu Mboro (Berlin Postkolonial)
  • Sylvia Werther (Berliner Entwicklungspolitischer Ratschlag, BER)

Working groups

The conceptual work is produced by working groups, which are organized by topics.  In the working groups individuals, and civil society organizations exchange ideas, and plan projects on relevant themes. The working groups support the work of Decolonize Berlin e.V. in significant ways and coordinate any activities with the board. Each working group has a spokesperson.

Working groups are currently being set up and are open to anyone interested.

Every third Wednesday of the month, we meet to discuss current topics and upcoming activities. Until further notice, meetings are held digitally.

Our Members

Only organizations and groups can become full members of Decolonize Berlin e.V. and thus have voting rights at the general meeting.

We see ourselves as an association, which is in the process of expanding and are looking forward to interested associations and self-organized initiatives that want to become part of Decolonize Berlin e.V.

Individuals can support the work as a funding member, but have no voting rights.

Project for developing a city-wide memorial culture of Berlin’s colonial past

In August 2019, the Berlin state legislative agreed to develop a city-wide approach to remembering the state of Berlin’s (DS 18/1788) colonial history and its lasting effects on the Berlin of today.

The state of Berlin is therefore funding the development of a strategic concept, which addresses Berlin’s colonial past and will be implemented by Decolonize Berlin e.V.

The coordination office is responsible for the design of a participatory process, with the goal of producing a strategic concept outlining specific steps to further develop a critical analysis of the German colonial past, to anchor the topic in science and education, and to develop decolonial forms of remembrance.

Together with representatives from civil society, politics, the city and Berlin districts administration the concept will be completed by the end of 2021.

The strategic concept for the decolonization of Berlin cuts across different areas including culture, education, economy, science and research Moreover, it also aims to reactivate the partnership between the cities Berlin and Windhoek (Namibia). Research work is an integral part of the project.

At the kick-off event in January, participants from civil society, politics and administration discussed three broad areas, including education, city planning and the cultural sector.

Anab Awale and Merel Fuchs are responsible for the overall coordinating process and will also design the participatory process. Adel Oworu supports the team with accounting / administrative work while also supporting public relations work.

The project is funded by the Senate Department for Economic Affairs, Energy and Business.