Indigenous communities across the world are marginalised within their specific regional and political contexts. Their cultures relate back in a variety of ways to the painful history of colonialism and its contemporary effects. The negotiation of indigenous cultural identity is shaped on the one hand by its need to assert itself in relation to the West’s cultural hegemony and lifestyle and, on the other hand, by taking on that very culture and lifestyle whilst still retaining a clear sense of self determination –  in other words not allowing its way of life to be governed by outside forces.

Furthermore, indigenous people are experiencing the realities of colonialist practices in their lives again.  Indigenous groups continue to be denied the right to their ancestral territory, nor are they even given the right to choose their own living environment. Now in the 21st century, both private and public stakeholders perpetrate the overexploitation of natural resources to further their own economic interests, which also leads directly to the forced displacement of indigenous communities.

Media representations of indigenous people present stereotypes and clichés of ‘wild people’; in film and television, indigenous people rarely have their own voice.

With Days of Indigenous Films we would like to generate interest in the culture and social experience of indigenous societies and to offer indigenous people a platform to present their world view from their own perspective. Exploring indigenous cultures can also help to change our world view and way of relating to the world, potentially even making the future prospect of constructive cooperation more possible on a level playing field.

This year's festival focuses on "educational opportunities". Indigenous communities around the world are living a variety of educational traditions and educational approaches. They complement or replace education in state or missionary institutions in their respective cultural contexts. Indigenous teaching methods and content are also of interest in societies where education is predominantly school-based. For the knowledge content of indigenous people, for example in the fields of environmental protection, plant science and community organization, Western scientific and political actors are interested and occasionally see them as contributing to mastering global challenges such as the further development of medicine or the encounter of anthropogenic climate change.

Indigenous adolescents, in addition to acquiring the knowledge of the respective cultural community, must deal with the school system of the majority society. However, access to education is restricted for indigenous people in many states. Higher education levels are more rarely achieved by indigenous people than by majority nationals, and are even less common among indigenous women than among indigenous men. Article 14 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples grants indigenous societies the right to set up and control their own education systems and to teach them in their own languages ​​and culture-specific teaching and learning methods.

Institutionalized education, however, is usually offered in state-run or religiously-supported schools in the official language, and the culture-specific learning methods of indigenous people are seldom taken into account. Due to the unequal starting conditions in the school, indigenous children are often confronted from the outset with their role as the others or learn that they are supposedly in deficit.

Not least, schools are an institution in which pupils are educated to become citizens. Thus, they are suitable as a place where the assimilation into the majority society can be promoted, which may run counter to the development of a self-confident indigenous identity.

The access of broad sections of the population to tertiary education is a financial challenge for poorer states. This ultimately leads to the one-sidedness of scientific and artistic discourses and not least the international film landscape, which are dominated by institutions of wealthier countries and in particular by actors and content of their major societies.

This year's festival aims to honor the contributions of indigenous filmmakers with documentary and feature films and workshops, and to invite them to engage in a sustainable discussion of indigenous life perspectives.

Films by and about representatives of indigenous groups are shown in completely different contexts.

It is again created the opportunity to get into conversation with each other and with present filmmakers.


All events take place at the Lichtspieltheater Wundervoll li.wu. take place at Friedrichstraße 23.

Moderated discussion following the demonstrations.

Up-to-date information

The days of indigenous film are an event of

elements. Education and Culture in the One World e.V. Rostock

in cooperation with the

Lichtspieltheater Wonderful li.wu. Rostock

22-24 Nov 2019





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