7th Annual Summer School on BLACK EUROPE

Thank you for the reminder Angela Shaw. Every year I say I am going to take this course one summer. I have to ensure that it comes to pass.

Black Europe

7th Annual Summer School on Black Europe
Interrogating Citizenship, Race and Ethnic Relations

Amsterdam, Netherlands – June 23 – July 4, 2014

The Summer School on Black Europe is an intensive two week course offered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The 7th annual Summer School on Black Europe will take place from June 23rd to July 4th, 2014 in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) in collaboration with The Center of Study and Investigation for Global Dialogues (Barcelona, Spain).*

The Summer School on Black Europe will be held at:

International Institute for Research and Education (IIRE)
Lombokstraat 40, 1094 AL Amsterdam, The Netherlands


The overall goal of this course is to examine the contemporary circumstances of the African Diaspora (and “other” immigrants of color) in Europe. We will focus on and discuss the origins of Black Europe and investigate the impact of these legacies on policies, social organizations and legislation today. This course will begin with a historical overview of the African Diaspora in Europe that traces the involvement of European nations in the colonization of the Americas. We will address the migration and settlement of Blacks in Europe, and examine immigration and citizenship laws that regulated their settlement. We will also look at anti-discrimination laws as they have arisen in various European countries. We compare the history of regulation and management of race and ethnic relations and the discourse surrounding the concept of Blackness and self-identification. Historically, social forces and social movements within Europe have given rise to policies to combat racism. We will trace the chain of events following social and civil conflicts that prompted these policies and analyze the legislative and intellectual discourse produced in the aftermath. In addition, we will explore notions of Blackness as official categorization; as a social construction employed by the dominant groups to indicate (non) belonging; as a Diaspora living within Europe; and as a contestation of the dominant (White) paradigm. In this way, we examine the social mobilization of Blacks to resist domination.

The above issues will be considered in light of the immediacy of contemporary global and European forces, including competing issues and discourses on Islamophobia, increased non-Black migration into and across Europe, and the debt crisis in the European Union.

This course will also seek to address the dimensions of race and ethnic relations that are unique to Europe; examining the ways in which conceptions of the “other” are institutionalized and reproduced; the rise of xenophobia in various EU countries; issues such as global racisms, everyday racism and epistemic racism; the legal definitions and discourse surrounding the conceptualized “other”; and examining the ways in which each country has dealt with issues of race and national identity. To this effect guest speakers for the 2013 program will be drawn from Germany, Italy and Portugal for case studies in those countries.

Affiliated Faculty Members include:


(More Faculty Info)



The tuition for this course is € 1600 (or € 1300 without housing) .

Tuition includes housing, the opening reception, lunches on all class days, weekly get-togethers with faculty, a course reader, a public transportation pass, and travel costs and entrance to museums and exhibitions during excursions (excluding an optional excursion to Paris).

The Paris excursion includes participation in a workshop on Migration and Social Movements at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (MSH) in Paris.

Tuition does not include travel to and from Amsterdam.

For more information over the Summer School, please email:
blackeurope [at] dialogoglobal.com

K. Nimako, Director
Email: obee [at] telfort.nl

Mano Delea, Project Manager
Email: mano.delea [at] gmail.com

Camilla Hawthorne, Coordinator North America
Email: camilla.hawthorne [at] Berkeley.edu

Giovanni Picker, Coordinator East/Central Europe & Russia
Email: giovanni.picker [at] gmail.com


About the Center

Logo Dialogo Global


DIÀLEG GLOBAL (Center of Study and Investigation for Global Dialogues) is a non-profit and non-governmental organization promoting research, knowledge-making, education (through seminars, workshops, exhibits, round-tables discussions, publications and video-making) and public policy to invent and work towards non-competitive horizons of life, of socio-economic organization and international relations. Non-profit and non-governmental organizations emerge from within civil and political society to address issues that are not supported or attended to by government and corporations. Their function is crucial in building futures that are beyond the regulations of States or the needs of the Corporations. In order for civil and political society to become relevant actors in social transformation and pointing out the limits of corporate values and state regulation, it is necessary to create institutions of knowledge-making not at the service of the state or corporations, but to the benefit of the civil society.

For further inquiries and information, please send e-mail to blackeurope [at] dialogoglobal.com.
Find us also on Facebook!

During the Summer School, we will also be hosting the International Symposium on Black Europe 2014. The 2013 Symposium on Black Europe was titled, Inside Black Europe: Racial Configurations in the Post 9/11 Era (in Europe). Click here for information on the 2012 Symposium.


* Previous sessions of the Summer School on Black Europe were organized in Amsterdam, in collaboration with the University of Amsterdam, the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and NiNsee, the National Institute for the study of Dutch Slavery and its Legacy.

Lola Odusoga-Wallinkoski – Powerful woman

Lola Odusoga-Wallinkoski

Lola Odusoga-Wallinkoski – Finland – Lifestyle – Former Miss Finland 1996, former Miss Scandinavia 1997, 2nd runner-up Miss Universe 1996

Lola Odusoga Wallinkoski – Finland
Lola Odusoga Wallinkoski – Finland - Lifestyle (Photo: Wikimedia)

Lola Remilekun Odusoga Wallinkoski was born in Turku, Finland and is a Finnish model and Miss Finland 1996. In 1997, she won the crown of Miss Scandinavia. On 17 June 1996 at the Miss Universe competition she was second-runner up. She is a television presenter.

Saido Mohamed – Powerful woman

Saido Mohamed

Saido Mohamed – Finland – Social Activism – Refugee Woman of the Year, Deputy Chairwoman of the Finnish Somalia Network

Source: Helsinki Times

Saido Mohamed – Finland – Social Activism
Saido Mohamed – Finland – Social Activism

Somali-born special nurse Saido Mohamed has volunteered with bodies such as the Finnish Somali Association and carried out preliminary outreach work for the youth organization Kanava Nuorisory, in which adult Somalis are on call on week nights and weekends in areas affected by unrest by young Somalis. Mohamed worked with the Finnish League for Human Rights in 2002 on the KokoNainen project, a preventative initiative against female circumcision. Saido Mohamed currently serves as the deputy chairwoman of the Finnish Somalia Network, and is the only woman serving on the network’s board. Over the last ten years she has also cooperated on a voluntary basis with the association Sahedry, serving as chairwoman of the board this year.


Saido Mohamed video
Saido Mohamed video


Get one-on-one help learning French or Spanish: Conquering Babel

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Feeling lucky? Enter a competition and post your reasons for learning a language and potentially to win a copy of the Conquering Babel.

Saido Mohamed is the Refugee Woman of the Year for 2011 in Finland

Source: Helsinki Times

THE FINNISH Refugee Council has nominated Somali-born special nurse Saido Mohamed as Refugee Woman of the Year for 2011. This year the prize was awarded to a female refugee who has performed outstanding voluntary work.

Saido Mohamed

Saido Mohamed, 36, has volunteered with bodies such as the Finnish Somali Association and carried out preliminary outreach work for the youth organisation Kanava Nuoriso ry, in which adult Somalis are on call on week nights and weekends in areas affected by unrest by young Somalis. Mohamed worked with the Finnish League for Human Rights in 2002 on the KokoNainen project, a preventative initiative against female circumcision.

Saido Mohamed currently serves as the deputy chairwoman of the Finnish Somalia Network, and is the only woman serving on the network’s board. Over the last ten years she has also cooperated on a voluntary basis with the association Sahed ry, serving as chairwoman of the board this year.

“As Refugee Woman of the Year I want to continue with the voluntary work I’ve undertaken so far. I also want to draw people’s attention to the large number of young men and women from different walks of life who perform important, grassroots-level work with young people of different cultural backgrounds. There are so many people in this country whose voices are not currently heard,” Saido Mohamed says.


From the African Women in Cinema Blog – An interview with Wanjiku wa Ngugi, creator of the Helsinki African Film Festival

Wanjiku wa Ngugi, founder and director of the Helsinki African Film Festival which runs from 12-15 May 2011, talks about representations of Africa in Finland, this year’s festival theme “Women’s Voices and Visions”, and future goals for the festival to play a larger cultural role in Finland.

Helsinki African Film Festival

Wanjiku, please talk a bit about yourself and the creation of the Helsinki African Film Festival.

I was born and raised in Kenya. After high school, I attended New York University (NYU) where I studied Sociology and Political Science. It was actually here that I first met Dr. Manthia Diawara, a film-maker and critic, who was also the head of the Institute of African-American Affairs at NYU. I got a job assisting in his office and thus begun my introduction to African films. Growing up in Kenya, all we got to watch were Hollywood films and seeing black people on the big screen was a very rare occasion if ever. Anyway, a few years back I moved to Helsinki and was surprised at the level of misinformation about African people, both in the continent and the Diaspora. Even Finland has not escaped the Hollywood machine and the chronically negative representation of Africa in the News, so information about Africans is largely informed through the same narrow prisms. Hollywood has not exactly done any justice to the story of Africans, as most of their films—I am thinking here of popular films such as The Last King of Scotland or Blood Diamonds for example, are replete with stereotypes about Africa and Africans. And basically this is how HAFF was born—out of this need to deconstruct the depiction of Africa as this Dark Continent that only produces dark images, one-sided stories, and dehumanised people who should be pitied. Africa is not a country; I want to repeat this over and over again! We wanted to show the diversity of this continent, and begin a different conversation, one informed by a more realistic view as told by the Africans themselves.

This is the second edition of the festival, what was the response at its inception in 2010?

Our first film festival held in May last year was a huge success. Even we were pleasantly surprised at the level of interest shown. But in hindsight, we should not have—we should have recognized that people here have over the years been moving away from the usual sorts of politics. Even though the recently held elections may speak otherwise, the truth is that there is indeed much more openness within the Finnish society. It was only a question of creating an opportunity to see a different view of Africa, and people seized it. (I think the government here also recognized this as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs supported this initiative.) Almost all the film screenings were sold out, with some people even sitting on the steps of the cinema. We have also attracted interest from other provinces in Finland as well, so this year some of the films will be traveling to the provincial towns of Kuopio, Oulu, Lahti and Tampere too.

Wanjiku wa Ngugi

The theme for this year is “Women’s Voices and Visions”. Why the focus on women? How does this focus reflect your own interest and experience as an African, Kenyan woman?

We wanted to not only celebrate women in film but also raise awareness about the African women’s experience, highlight the global economic and political issues that affect them. We also wanted to showcase the diversity of African women, as well as hopefully move away from the tendency to depict African women as weak, voiceless and always as victims. And even though African women, like their counterparts in most parts of the world, have and are still engaged in the struggle for equal rights, they are far from weak, and have been at the forefront of many struggles. For instance, the women who were part of the Mau Mau armed resistance against the British colonial government in Kenya, the women’s role in the Algerian revolution, and most recently women right at the forefront in the Egyptian uprising and pro-democracy movements, and so on.

In the mainstream media, popular films, etc., make African women invisible and this has largely informed how African women are viewed especially in the West. Not long ago I met a journalist who was going to interview me about the African woman’s experience and after some pleasantries, she remarked that she was surprised to meet me as she was under the impression she was coming to interview an African woman. I mean here I was, a black Kenyan woman. How else can anybody see me, except as an African woman—unless she had some preconceived notion about African women? And I have other such examples, but this goes to show how African women have been pigeonholed to fit certain stereotypes.

The festival includes an exciting selection of films. Could you detail the program and talk a bit about the films and filmmakers that are included?

We are showing fifteen films in total, three of which are documentary films. The documentaries showcase women advocating for change albeit in different settings. Sisters in Law, a brilliant film about a judge and prosecutor determined to change the lives of women in Cameroon in the courtroom. There is the film, Taking Root, about Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai’s struggle to plant trees in Kenya and how it became a national political force. We get to see how this eventually evolved into a powerful women’s movement that shook the dictatorial government in Kenya at that time.

Our guest director is Caroline Kamya from Uganda whose debut film Imani highlights class differences in present day Uganda as depicted by three characters in the course of just one day. We also have this year’s FESPACO winner Pegasus, which is a powerful and beautifully shot film about a psychologist investigating a young girl who has been the victim of incest.

We have the compelling drama Barakat! directed by Djamila Sahraoui from Algeria, which chronicles the journey of two women who confront contemporary religious limitations imposed on women. From a Whisper by Kenyan director Wanuri Kahiu is another must see film, and a moving tribute to the people who died following the US embassy bombings in Nairobi, Kenya.

Basically we have put together a cross-section of brilliant films covering different genres from across the continent. One definite highlight is the provocative sci-fi film Les Saignantes, in which two young femme fatales set out to rid a futuristic country of its powerful, corrupt and sexually obsessed men. It’s a completely unique film that is guaranteed to get people talking about Africa—and lots of other things too!

Film festivals at the same time venues for showing films, also serve as conduits for broader cultural initiatives. What are some of the future goals for the festival and other projects that focus on African culture and issues?

In the future we hope to screen more African films as our audience grows and to extend the cooperation with the regional film centres and everyone else interested in African cinema. We will continue to showcase progressive films that show the African people in motion and not in unrealistic and or subservient roles. We hope to incorporate more African art—music and literature. Of course all this is only possible if more funding channels are available, as right now we are producing the festival largely on a volunteer basis.

(Interview by Beti Ellerson, May 2011)