The motto of this year’s anti-racist festival "Dear White People“ (DWP) was "Let’s Break the Silence!“ and aims to make structural racism visible while opening up spaces and silencing no one. The organizing team made up of a volunteer board of 16 trustees, overwhelmingly BIPoC*, curated 44 events at 15 (cultural) venues, invited around 60 lecturers and took place in cooperation with 36 trans-regional partners.
In the festival’s 3rd edition, a number of intersectionally-entangled positions such as Palestinian voices were also given a chance to speak. The left wing Palestine Speaks-Freiburg (PS) was one of our 36 cooperation partners. After publicizing our program of events, we were put under tremendous pressure due to our cooperation with PS as well as for a planned presentation on "Anti-Palestinian racism in Germany". We have consequently been confronted with accusations of antisemitism
. This pressure systematically drained our collective capacity to carry out the festival.
Nevertheless, we persevered. We held the festival and stood solidly united with Palestinian voices. We are also committed to fighting antisemitism orienting our work and partnership around the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism (JDA). We are convinced that sticking to our conviction on this issue is an important step in the furtherance of anti-racist work. Besides the criticisms directed at us, we received a lot of solidarity from people and activists of different persuasions and positions. We do not stand alone in this.
Currently, promised funding to the tune of 36.922 Euros have been withdrawn or put on hold for review. This immense gap in our financing means that the association that organizes the festival, the non-profit association zusammen leben e.V. (zlev), is now massively in debt. As a consequence, zlev is on the brink of bankruptcy. Should some or all of the promised subsidies be reinstated after review, we will spend the money in accordance with the statues of zlev.
is an association operating locally in Freiburg, providing space for diverse encounters with a view to fostering togetherness. The association creates spaces of encounter between people of different backgrounds.
DWP is one of many offerings and programs of zlev in furtherance of this goal. Other projects include: employment services for people with disabilities; a qualification program in catering for people from non-EU countries; a social cafe; a community garden made up of a community of around 350 people; as well as a number of cultural and educational programs on sustainable development. Around 250 voluntary and 10 full-time persons work for zlev. The looming bankruptcy will spell our ruin.
Consistent anti-racist work needs to make all marginalized perspectives equally visible and audible. We therefore call for solidarity: please donate what you can afford and help us to save the association and its work.
We will not be divided!