Black Media Networks in the African Diaspora
World wide progress between the colonialism of the Berlin Congo Conference 1884 and concepts of Afrofuturism in the Black Atlantic
In Cooperation with:
Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, ISD BUND e.V., HKW
Location: House of World Cultures Berlin
The Black Media Network (BMN) was co-founded in 2002 by cyberNomads and ISD Berlin e.V. to address the misrepresentation of minorities in the media and the stereotypical use of images of people of African descent. But also to increase the number of voices and debates concerned with positive change in a multi-cultural society.
BMN vision is to network with socially conscious media professionals around the globe. We view the increasing numbers of artists, journalists of African descent as an important part of creating socially conscious media professionals who pursue storytelling about people, places, and issues typically ignored by the mainstream media. The marginalized black history of resistance in our communities can be unearthed with the power of online media and global network events.
Black Media Congress Berlin 2004
Storytelling and Cultural Equality
BMN seeks also to recapture the lost and emerging stories outside the mainstream media. It views this work as critical for these communities and serves as an outlet for new forms of cultural _expression_. Legitimizing these voices gives them authority, places them on equal footing with the myriad of voices that make up the fabric of German society. The authentication of these disparate voices advances our communities and society as a whole.
Inspiration is everywhere…
Nothing gets your juices flowing like seeing what others are doing well. To ignite some passion of your own, check out Diasporic success stories. Who knows, you might be there to inspire someone else someday. Everyone involved in a Black Media Network program gains something from the experience.
A) Professionals: by building positive experiences and a greater Black Diasporic knowledge – precise information about media projects and initiatives – building new contacts and learn from case studies
B) Observers: get an overview of case studies and can lobby for support, spread the word, be informed about positive change
C) Community: discussions and strategies for the implementation of a Black Media Watchdog as part of European community spirit against racism and xenophobia
What’s the online presence of cyberNomads?
If you are familiar with our activities you may have noticed that our website www.cyberNomads.de is in the process of being upgraded and redesigned over the last months. We are in the process of publishing an on line dossier with the title African Diaspora Presence in Germany. Together with partners from embassies, Black media and NGO’s from our German community, we will use the website as a platform for information, education and networking.
The on line coverage for Black Media Congress Berlin 2004 will generate a political debate and provides input for our cultural archive that is the first digital databank of its kind in Europe.
For access to the entire site go to www.cyberNomads.de, new users, group leaders and individuals should go to ecommunity/ cyberpass and Sign Up.
Michael Küppers-Adebisi under:love@cyberNomads.de
Tel. +49-(0)177 935 77 23
The beginnings of cyberNomads
The diasporic experiences of the cybernomads team served as a pool for a variety of contacts around Europe. The name cyberNomads was chosen in 2001, Contacting various organisations, all started pretty soon with an old 300 MHz Pentium computer, which was used to draft the first ideas for the project. Contacting various organisations, all started in spring 2001 with an old 300 MHz Pentium computer, which was used to draft the first ideas for the project. Love´s long term passion for the documtation of the diasporic experience and his private archive together with the concept for an internet presence dating back to as early as 1996 enabled them to rather rapidly develop a working concept. The final pitch for the project was forwarded (a 66 pages proposal called Afro Media Online) to the Head of Multimedia at BpB (Federal department for Political Education in Germany) in summer 2001. In the fall of 2001 BpB decided to co-fund the realisation of the digital architecture for www.cyberNomads.de – a community project for ISD Berlin e.V (Initiative Black Germans and Blacks in Germany). On January the 1st in 2002 cyberNomads went to work in the old Jewish quarter in the heart of East Berlin. A strategy plan for the community involvement was developed. In anyMotion GmbH a company was found that supplied the software for a professional content management system to start a platform uniting the various isolated platforms in the fragmented diaspora of Germany. Simultaneously the Bertelsmann Foundation invited the project as one of the 15 best social business ideas from over 600 entries worldwide.
The Mothership Databank Archive was launched in the autumn of 2002. In January 2003 cyberNomads had to give up its office due to government spending cuts. Since then cyberNomads maintain the website voluntarily from home and spend lots of hours for the necessary editorial work.
cyberNomads vision and long term goals
Our long-term goal is to establish a powerful lobby and platform for survival and interaction among euro-centric power structures that divide and rule various fragmented black, migrant and gender communities. There is demand for innovation, best practive but also resistance and networking. The idea of the cyberNomads Online “Mothership” Databank can be successful because of the living people who create the network. The students, journalists, educators and users are all responsible for its growth. This project has the chance to be successful because it is, truly, a grassroots community.
This community will digitally reflect and publish information about their activities online and has the chance to become a brain pool for new ideas. The participants them self enhance and understand the vitality and complex issues that face our communities.
The publishers have a pride in ownership which no preconceived „top-down“ organization can engender. We want to offer community support for those in need, and further universal understanding about the challenges facing people of African descent in Europe.
cyberNomads operates to develope the cultural and spiritual aspects of community and supports the creative uses of 21st Century technology to self-empower the community and enable it to interact as competent and valued citizens. cyberNomads works at enhancing a cultural Black perspective using untold stories and a platform for sharing and discussion in a changing global market place.
cybernomads acquisition of content for cultural databank
Starting as early as in 2001 cyberNomads travelled to various events of importance for the African Diaspora in Germany. cyberNomads documented on audio and video using Mini DV and MiniDisc. As a result cyberNomads accommodates probably the largest Afro-German Multi Media Archive for people of African descent. The archive went online midsummer 2004.
In spring 2003 cyberNomads succesfully developed and realised a Multi Media Spoken Word Performance in Berlin’s rather prestigious museum Martin Gropius Bau. cyberNomads thus introduced spoken word by people of African descent to a major german mainstream art institution.
During summer 2003 cyberNomads conceptualized an Online Dossier that features academic experts, community activists and artists, establishing an overview on history, media, academia and art of Afro Germania. Topics range from the presence of African civil servants during the middle ages until the latest formation of the refugee movements or HipHop collective like Brothers Keepers.
The Online Dossier is called „African Presence in Germany“ and will be featured on the website of the Federal Department for Political Education http://www.bpb.de/as well as on www.cyberNomads.de. It can be used in schools, universities and other educational institutions around Germany.
Another community project – May Ayim Award – the first German International Literary prize for the African Diaspora – is officially announced in cooperation with the House of World Cultures at Black Media Congress Berlin 2004.
The Black Media Congress Berlin 2002 had the title „Soul Power and Cyberspace“ aimed at mainly German speaking grassroots activists and media professionals of African descent.
The Black Media Congress Berlin 2003 under the heading „Network Europe – Best Practices from Grassroots to Mainstream“ aimed at a Pan African Diaspora Media network in Europe. Speakers from England, France, Holland and Germany informed a crowd of 60 interested media professionals, artists, activists and students on the cultural shifts around Europe.
The Black Media Congress Berlin 2004 thus will logically focus on a world wide diasporic community. The team of cyberNomads continues to grow beyond the focus of education and politics and embraces a diasporic community that works in tandem with our efforts to self-empower and correct racist stereotypes. Our long-term goal is to establish a powerful lobby and online platform.