Ansar Ahmed Ullah
Contributing Editor, Shottobaniঃ Bonn, 27 August: Diaspora and development organisation BASUG and Seraji Foundation organised the first Art and Literature Festival against Racism and Discrimination in Bonn on 25 August. Documentary film, discussion, art exhibition, songs, poetry and short stories were the main festival attractions held in the MIGRApolis hall in Bonn, Germany.
ead of the Integration Department of Bonn City Corporation Coletta Manemann inaugurated the festival as chief guest, while BASUG Chairman Bikash Chowdhury Barua was in the chair. Representative of German-African Centre Klaus Thuesing and Administrative Chief of MIGRApolis Dr Hidir Eren Celik presented welcome address at the festival.
Speakers in the festival urged integrated and united effort, instead of sporadic activities, against racism and discrimination. They said, it is not enough that only some people voluntarily fight against racism and discrimination. Rather to make the society free from racism and discrimination we must have professional commitment with enough manpower and financial resources, we have to work from the primary schools to the highest level to make it a success.
Chief Guest Manemann added, tolerance is not enough, as it changes in course of time. Today you may tolerate somebody, and tomorrow you may not. So instead of tolerance we must have respect to other people. Moreover, diaspora organisations should also come forward with such activities to fight against racism and discrimination.
Documentary film ‘I go always silent’ by Dr Keith Hamaimbo was screened in the festival, with the financial support of the City Integration Centre, NRW Open World, Democracy Live and State Centre for Political Education NRW. German-African Centre and Bonn Network for Development were cooperation partners and international media organization Our Voice was the media partner of the event.
Paintings from Bangladeshi-German artist Maruf Ahmed, Mir Zabeda Yeasmin and Hossain Abdul Hai, German artist Carin Carola Paape and Senegalese artist Taaw-Ngagne Maleine Sene were exhibited in the festival. German-Turkish poet Dr Hidir Eren Celik, German poet Heike van den Bergh, Professor Dr Annakutty Valiamangalam, Mir Zabeda Yeasmin and Hossain Abdul Hai recited poetry. Hidir Eren Celik and Bernice Lysania Ekoula Akouala presented their short stories in the festival. At the end of the festival African-German singer Saico Augusto Balde and Bangladeshi-German singer Abdul Munim enchanted the audience with their humanitarian songs and music.
Moreover, poetry from Mobasswer Hossain Sumon and Planner Md Khurshid Hassan, half-yearly magazine ‘Die Grenze’ edited by Riazul Islam and other information materials were exhibited during the festival.