Knowledge is not white! Four Workshops on recognizing, changing, accessing and caring

Sa, 15.12.2018,
10:00 bis 19:00

10 am – 1 pm

Workshop A: Questioning the assumed production of today’s knowledge
with Steve Nwaogu

Workshop B: Understanding Racial Behavior & Engaging Positive Change through Empowerment
with Elaine Thomas

[1 pm – 2 pm break]

2 pm – 5 pm

Workshop C: Artspace - and where is my place?
with Maseho (Manuela Sedibe-Holzner)

Workshop D: Health in our New Environment
with Daniel Osayomore

[5 pm – 5:30 pm break]

5.30 pm – 7 pm

Get together: Final presentations of all workshops, feedback and conclusions

Detailed program:

Workshop A

Questioning the assumed production of today’s knowledge
Based on the current bureaucratic exclusion and exploitation of refugees, migrants and minority knowledge,
we the refugees and migrants in collaboration with the Silent University Hamburg, present this workshop to
question the assumed production of today's knowledge in our society.
The workshop will focus on the questions:
• What is knowledge?
• Who can produce recognized knowledge in our current educational system/ society
• Who are those allowed to access this recognized education?
Steve Nwaogu is an activist fighting for the recognition of refugee and migrant life’s and against the arbitrary detention and forced deportation of refugees and migrants. He is part of the group “Castaways Souls of Denmark/ Europe”, “Freedom of Movement” and “The Bridge Radio Denmark/ Hamburg”.
Organization: Abimbola Odugbesan - Coordinator at Silent University, Educator, Activist

Workshop B

Understanding Racial Behavior & Engaging Positive Change
through Empowerment
Racism is the belief that some races are more superior than others, and the actions which result from those
beliefs. Many People of Color today are faced with the effects of racism in society, without being fully aware of
it or of its background history. Sadly, biases still persist, most often taking the form of discrimination. Making
it difficult to be accepted or respected within the society, in which PoC and immigrants find themselves.
Elaine Thomas, Washington D.C., USA- educator, motivational coach, singer & spoken word poetess will give
a short talk on the structure of racism and share insights to her 40 years of experience of living as a black person in Germany and invite others to share their experiences as well. She will provide tips on practical empowerment and how to successfully navigate difficult conflicts, dealing with living in a new & challenging environment, positively handle racial profiling, and PTSD- (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).
(Camille) Elaine Thomas, Business English Lecturer & Professional Development Coach, Actress, Singer, Writer. She has been teaching for 12 years personal development through self-empowerment in many major companies, and universities. She has degrees in education, drama, stage management and psychology. She has also performed in over 25 theater plays and musicals in Germany, wrote 2 books of poetry and made 4 gospel & jazz CDs. She has 2 grown afro-German sons.
Organization: Salah Zater -TV Journalist, Activist & Coordinator at Silent University

Workshop C

Artspace - and where is my place?
This is probably the question many artists ask themselves who do not fit the image of a “German” artist for several reasons, although they are working in Germany and therefore, regardless of their ethnicity or nationality contribute to German art. The question is: Where do we find ourselves and under what premises are we allowed to partake? And on what level? Only as participants or as project leaders as well? When is our minority visibility requested and where is it objectified and unrequested? Do we have to limit our art to “our” themes (racism, xenophobia, islamophobia, tolerance, integration, etc.) or are we as well granted representative space when all our socio-cultural knowledge and competences are the integral of our individual artistic expression? “Grant us space” has been the constant (and mode many years overheard) demand for decades of Germany’s hegemonic PoC population. So how much further did we get? What infrastructures have we, who have been around for years, created for those who are new? Hamburg has finally declared to process her colonial history, but this is a very long-winded process. So, the question is what we can meanwhile do to extend our own space - in the real word as well as in the digital one. But who are we? And how do we interact with one another to be able to support one another effectively? We want to use these two hours to explore these questions to develop a basis for a structured guideline which will lead us, individually and collectively, on an effective and goal-oriented path.
Maseho (Manuela Sedibe-Holzner) is Black German artist (painting, poetry & formerly acting and dancing) of South African and Japanese-German parentage, born and raised in Hamburg. She looks back at a more than 30-year-long experience of being a marginalized artist of color in Germany and has actively participated in the collective struggle for space for PoCs. She had actively participated in the struggle for the creation of more inclusive spaces on the socio-political field. For main bread-winning, the learned bilingual correspondence secretary is involved in social management and project management. Her artistic focus at present, incorporates African calligraphic projects, mythological themes with Black feminist as a leitmotif.
Organization: Salah Zater -TV Journalist, Activist & Coordinator at Silent University

Workshop D
Health in our New Environment

  • Physical and Health Activity - What we need to know?
  • Mental Health - Difficulties in integration, how do we survive- ‘our jobs’, the weather situation, the journey to Europe, oh, we miss our loved ones!
  • Food and Nutrition - What, how and when do we eat? Think about Obesity and Diabetes!
  • Dental Healthcare - Caring for our teeth and entire mouth.
  • Hygiene - How clean is our living environment? How does it affect our health?
  • Healthcare in Germany - Finding a doctor, do they speak our language(s)? What about emergencies? Our health rights!

Conclusion - The foundation of success in life is good health: that is the substratum fortune; it is also the
basis of happiness. A person cannot accumulate a fortune very well when he is sick (P.T. Barnum).
Daniel Osayomore is a medical graduate from a reputable Nigerian university. He has worked for a couple of years with the USAIDs, ICRCs, FHI and other international organizations especially in the field of health promotion and prevention in some parts of Nigeria. Due to his motivation and interest in public health, he decided to move to Hamburg, Germany, for further studies where he has concentrated on migration and health with recorded attendance in several international conferences and symposiums focusing on migrant health. He has also been an active trainer and researcher on refugee health in the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences HAW-Hamburg, under the program ‘REFUGIUM – Migration and Health’ which was established by Prof. Dr. Christine Färber and a group in 2005.
Organization: Abimbola Odugbesan - Coordinator at Silent University, Educator, Activist

This event is organized by The Silent University Hamburg. The Silent University is an solidarity based knowledge exchange platform by refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. For further information please visit: or

Partners: Dock Europe, W3 – Werkstatt für internationale Kultur und Politik, Hamburg.
Funded by Hamburg Elbkulturfonds Ministry of Culture and Media


Silent University Hamburg at dock europe, Bodenstedtstr. 16, (entrance courtyard west), 22765 Hamburg

Workshops for free! (in English)