Performing oppression and empowerment in real life: Deutschland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Real life: Deutschland (2008) was a three-year theater project that focused on Black youth empowerment and brought Afro-German teenagers together for workshops. As participants in the YoungStars (the youth group affiliated with the project), the teenagers reenacted their experiences with racism and attempted to navigate their way through them. This chapter examines the ways real life: Deutschland combined theories from Augusto Boal's 'Theater of the Oppressed' and Paulo Freire's critical pedagogy with Afro-diasporic practices as a way to advance its goals of improvisation, collaboration and empowerment - goals that were essential to helping participants process and counteract their experiences of racism. Drawing on oral interviews with the project's organizers, as well as the project's Dokubroschüre, this chapter explores the YoungStars' contributions to anti-racist activism in contemporary Germany. I contend that the YoungStars created a safe space where participants were validated and recognized in their expression of anger about racism in Germany.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRethinking Black German Studies
Subtitle of host publicationApproaches, Interventions and Histories
PublisherPeter Lang AG
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)9781800799820
ISBN (Print)9781800799813
StatePublished - Sep 23 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Peter Lang Group AG 2022. All rights reserved.


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