Film Screening 05.06.2024 Reclaiming the Narrative: Utilizing Film as a Safe Space for Healing from Colonial Trauma

Film screening and discussion with Joel Haikali, filmmaker, Namibia

5 June 2024, 10-12 AM

Oxfordstr. 15 – Room 1.002

Joel Haikali is one of the most renowned filmmakers in Namibia. His recent project is documenting the process of connecting with cultural belongings which returned from Berlin to Namibia in 2022. The film is part of the collaborative research, curation and restitution project “Confronting  Colonial Pasts, Envisioning Creative Futures” (funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation) and “Artistic Research and Communal Knowledge” (funded by the Heinrich Böll Foundation). Both projects aim to develop more equitable and sustainable ways of returning cultural belongings from Europe to the African continent. In his film screening and talk, Joel will explore the multifaceted role of film in addressing colonial trauma, with a particular focus on Namibian perspectives. Through film, he seeks to provide a safe space for individuals to express their experiences and stories on screen, asserting their agency and challenge dominant narratives. Joel Haikali: “As a filmmaker, I believe in the power of film as a potent tool in confronting and reconciling with the colonial past from Namibian perspectives. It can shape collective memory, fostering empathy and understanding, and advocate for restorative justice. Film can reach a wider audience and through screenings, discussions, and educational initiatives, we can spark meaningful conversations about colonialism and its enduring impact. I believe that through storytelling, we can embark on a journey of healing, reconciliation, and solidarity- one frame at a time”.

Joel Haikali is a Namibian film producer, director and co-founder of Joe Vision Production (JVP).  His latest works include the feature film “PEPE” that won the Silver Bear award at the Berlinale in 2024.  His previous short film, ‘Invisibles’ earned a spot on the Oscar shortlist . He was one of the Namibian executive producer for the German  film “Der Vermessene Mensch” in 2023. More info:; Joel holds a Masters on Media: ‘sustainable development of the Namibian film industry”. His publications include “Understanding Liminality and Intangible Difficult Heritage through Film” (Leeds University’s The Historic Environment: Policy& Pratice: ).

The event is part of the seminar series “Restitution, Repair, Reimagining? Memory Politics, the Arts and Communal Knowledge in Europe and Africa” by Jun.-Prof. Dr. Julia Binter, University of Bonn, Dr. Napandulwe Shiweda, University of Namibia, and Golda Ha-Eiros, University of Namibia/ National Museum of Namibia.

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