Black or seing Black in Linz

It has been unfortunate that we have always spend our time and energy trying to prove or disprove the fact that the Black man in Austria ...

… can still do some thing else other than dealing with Drugs or committing crime. This attitude is predominant in most activities of the African activist in Austria. This constant struggle to prove oneself in an uncompromising environment has made us all outstanding and has been the strength and motivation for our work.

It is a very clear fact that the life of a Black African in Austria is a life filled with fear. The fear of police insult, fear of getting or losing ones job, fear of not getting Justice when it is needed, and fear of exercising the freedom of speech, movement, and active participation in the societal building and the fear of not to come in conflict with the law. Under this conditions it will not be overstatements or pessimistic to say that we see Schwarz in the Austrian society. Hence Black! oder Schwarz sehen in Linz

It has characterised our actions in our work places and even in the families, that most flag bearers of the African community have become more or less conformist as to be leaders of their groups. This fear of not to be marked as a revolutionary or kicking against the social order, paralyses the willingness of most Africans in partaking actively in their environmental building.

Among the important discoveries of this workshop is that it is this constant fear of not wanting to be associated with the common stereotyped attitude associated with the black people that give most willing Africans cold feet and wet hands when it comes to being active in the course of the rights of Black Africans in Austria. For many, these attitudes are normal.
Secondly, most have accustomed themselves with this fear, that they prefer living with it than making efforts to ignite a change around them.
Thirdly, it is clear that in the present Austrian society the presence of the Africans is always seen as threatening and is associated with crime, hunger and poverty. The average Austrian does not consider the idea that outside these problems there are also positive contributions made and are being made by people from the African community. It is also forgotten most often that, there are as well black Austrians, whose presence and identity does not receive a significant meaning and attention. Think of children from mixed relationships or people who only have African decent but have little or no contact with their decent.
It only takes a little courage to do but at last we were grateful and happy we did.

The Project is conceived to project and strengthen the self values of the Black population in Linz,
To give them the chance to present and represent themselves, to express themselves
To provide them an access to the community Radio making, as a means of assisting them in propagating their Ideas and disseminating the information that is within their community.

This Project is a success because its goals are being achieved.
The participants in this workshop discussed all these burning issues beginning from Integration and Racism, job problems and problem arising while looking for apartments, as it affect the Africans living in Linz and around, most of all the reasons behind these fears in the African community and how to live with it.

Out of these discussions and workshops, articles and pictures were produced, and these were converted into art by special Artist like Misses Grace Latigo , Petra Moser ,and Natalia Müller .
Through this project two of the participants are selected to attend a journalist training by Radio FRO which will enable them work in the online magazine (Frozine ) of the radio station FRO ( Freies Radio Oberösterreich).
The out come of this art work is been presented as exhibition at Arbeiterkammer Seminar center in Linz Jägermayrhof, it will last ,from 26th March 2007 till 4th May 2007 for the public.
Written by Ikechukwu Okafor

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