Guided City Walk. Postcolonial traces at the Überseestadt
Monday, September 12th, 2022
Location: Will be announced in the conference office.
Language: If participants who are English-speaking, but not German-speaking, are present, the guided tour will be in English.
Today’s Überseestadt n Bremen is located in the area of the former Bremen ports and bears many traces of German colonialism and colonial overseas trade. Among other things, street names directly recall colonial actors and indirectly refer to the colonial-revisionist movement of the 1920s and 1930s, in which German nationalist merchants, politicians and citizens were committed to the recovery of colonies ‘lost’ in the First World War.Our city tour takes up these and other traces and shows the development of the ports of the city of Bremen and how it is interwoven with European expansion and German colonialism. We talk about the trade with colonial goods, such as coffee, tobacco and cotton, for its cultivation people in Africa and the Americas were enslaved, forced to work or forced into wage labor. For Bremen merchants, this was a profitable business and some of the companies from the colonial period are still active today.
The tour invites participants* to ask critical questions about the relationship between trade history and port construction, urban politics and colonialism along the built structures of the Überseestadt and between symbolically charged sites: How did Bremen become the German coffee capital? How was cotton trade organized and how did Bremen maintain its prominent position in the cotton trade? What do natural domination and the construction of port infrastructures have to do with the colonial project?