Cultural Policy Hosting Panel Discussion Participation Event

Moderation of the kick-off event for the reappraisal of the (post)colonial heritage of the city of Cologne

The city of Cologne has set itself the goal of coming to terms with Cologne's colonial heritage in a process initially scheduled to last two years.

Together with actors from academia, politics, administration and civil society, the city administration would like to devote particular attention to the question of what effects and influence colonialism has on today's social coexistence.

Prasanna Oommen moderated the kick-off event for this process on October 8, 2021 at the VHS Forum. Initiatives from Cologne's civil society were involved in the event, each of which presented short statements and demands for the process of coming to terms with the past.

At the integrated panel discussion Prasanna Ommen talked with Nanette Snoep (Director of the Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum in Cologne), Prof. Dr. Marianne Bechhaus-Gerst (Professor of African Studies at the University of Cologne), Dr. Kien Nghi Ha (Cultural and Political Scientist as well as Research Associate at the Asia-Orient Institute of the University of Tübingen) & Tahir Della (Initiative Black People in Germany). Together they looked at the colonial history of the city of Cologne and how it can be dealt with in a sustainable way.

Among other things, they discussed the following questions: What persistent discrimination actually exists in the Cologne cityscape? How can something be changed in the long term? And how can a transparent and collective process of coming to terms with it be organized?

The entire event can be viewed here: