Colonial Repercussions. Subservient Ghosts (Dienstbare Geister)
In 1905 a destitute young woman leaves Berlin and immigrates to Cameroon, a German colony. Her social advance comes about at the expense of native neighbours and servants who persistently resist their German colonial masters, but in vain – among other things against land theft and being forced to work by the threat of a whip. In 2015 a young man sets out from Cameroon headed toward Germany. He sees no alternative for himself but to go to Europe, which is affluent. He fights for and finally manages to get a permanent job in Berlin through persistent selfexploitation, while increasingly losing contact with his homeland. But one day he is expected to do his boss a favour and he takes an assignment in Cameroon.
Based on diary entries of women who went to colonially occupied areas at the turn of the 20th century, as well as current interviews with refugees, Paul Plamper constructs two migration stories. In this work, the linguistic nuances of usurpation and humiliation, but also of political correctness and a misguided helper syndrome can be traced. The stories do not focus on wrongdoers, but on taking part in a daily life in which naivety and dependencies are trapped in an abysmal relationship with one another.
Written and directed by: Paul Plamper
Collaboration and research: Jelka Plate
Dramaturgical consultation: Richard Djif, Péguy Takou Ndie
Voices: Sandra Hüller, Olivier Djommou, Cristin König, Richard Djif, Fabian Hinrichs et al.
A production of WDR with BR, DLF Kultur, MDR and Ruhrtriennale
Followed by a talks with Richard Djif, Paul Plamper, Jelka Plate, Peggy Piesche