Racial ProfilingID–without colors: Project Idea of Riccardo Valsecchi

18. Mai 2012by KOP Importer0

Short Summary

On March 27, 2012, the administrative court of Koblenz, in Western Germany, dismissed a complaint by a black German man who was asked to show his papers while travelling by train. The judges ruled that skin color was reasonable grounds on which to carry out ID checks. While Germany has been emerging not only economically but also culturally as the lead country in Europe, there are many social issues, which are still not resolved. Among them, racism.

Berlin has been often described as the emerging European capital. Many people from all around the world are coming to the German city in order to enjoy the artistic and cultural atmosphere. Among the 3.451.000 citizens, 457.800 are the foreigners. Furthermore, due to the fact that Berlin is still a “poor” city with a 14% unemployment rate and an enormous debt contracted with the other German States for the reconstruction of the former East Berlin, tensions between German citizens—who are living in peripheral areas as Marzahn or Lichtenberg and usually don’t have a regular job and vote for the far right National Democratic Party (NPD)—and foreigners are increasing day in day out.

Otherwise, while the local government publicizes Berlin as an example of tolerance and coexistence between different cultures, a lingering anti-foreigner sentiment is in the air. A former government spokesman said that dark-skinned visitors to Germany should consider avoiding the east part of the city where racism runs high. It is also reported that German police “routinely ignore racist attacks.”

What We Need & What You Get

“ID – without colors” is a photo/video project based in Berlin.

The projects concerns a series of nine 36×24” B/W prints mounted on aluminium, a 22 min. documentary film—which will be presented to the main international film festivals—and 50 copies of a fine-art book.

The cost of the project includes:

– 9 copies of 36×24” prints mounted on aluminium

– 50 copies of fine-art book, 30-40 pg.

– Video editing

The Impact

While Berlin is a tremendous city in terms of artistic and cultural proposals, few works are showing its true social life and contradictions. Berlin has been described by the media as the new venue for fashion and culture, as well as an example of a perfect integration between different traditions. This is a façade which hid many difficulties. Even when social issues emerge, people who have the opportunity to express themselves on the media through interviews and op-eds are always either Germans or well-integrated migrants. How many times do we forget that the protagonists of racism are not us, not the well-integrated migrants, but common people, men and women of the street, which suffer more than anyone the abuse of the ethnical prejudice with no possibility of defending themselves?

The goal of the project is to give a voice to all of the people who may be subjected to the ID checks due to the color of their skin; particularly people that are randomly met on Berlin’s streets. The interviews concern their life in the German capital city, what they think about the decision of Koblenz judges, and how this decision will affect their life. The range of the people interviewed regards not only immigrants and foreigners, but also German and European people with non-European heritage. The participants are depicted with a valid document, which is able to prove their legal status on the German ground.

Other Ways You Can Help

We are not looking just for grants! If you work in the media and you find this project interesting, please feel free to share this page. If you want to write about this project or publish some of the pictures, contact us as well. We would like to share it with more people than we can. Also, if you are an art director, gallery director, curator, or if you have a space where you would like to show this project, please contact us. We would be happy to reply as soon as possible.

And, last but not least, use the Indiegogo share tools in order to spread the project. Anyway, we thank you for reading those few notes.


more information: http://www.indiegogo.com/idwithoutcolors

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