The Films of Branwen Okpako: CfP for a GSA Panel Series

Posted in Europe, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers, Women on 2022-02-21 23:00Z by Steven

The Films of Branwen Okpako: CfP for a GSA Panel Series

DEFA Film Library

January 2022

We invite contributions for a series of panels on Branwen Okpako’s films, for the 2022 GSA conference, September 15-18, 2022. Co-sponsored by the Black German Heritage & Research Association (BGHRA) and the DEFA Film Library, these panels seek to explore the range of stories and rich imagery in the films of this groundbreaking director.

The deadline for submission is 2022-02-28.

Relevant topics might include:

  • Afro-Germanness and Afro-German creativity and artistic production;
  • Form, filmmaking, and aesthetics;
  • Postcolonial and feminist consciousness at the intersections of multiple cultural and familial
  • traditions, norms, values;
  • Regimes of the body; femininity and gender;
  • Engagement with disciplinary regimes, e.g. the police, political regimes, or language;
  • German reunification and its repercussion on discourses of racialization, positionality and representation in Europe and Germany;
  • Family his- and herstories;
  • Affiliation and belonging;
  • Political activism and self-empowerment; and
  • The reception of Branwen Okpako’s films.

For more information, click here.

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Posted in Europe, Media Archive, Videos on 2012-03-16 21:46Z by Steven


DEFA Film Library
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
85 minutes, b/w (English subtitles)
West Germany

Robert A. Stemmle, Director

A five-year-old girl suddenly appears on the doorstep of a well-to-do Hamburg family. The members of the multi-generational, white household react differently to the arrival of Toxi, who is black, the daughter of an African-American G.I. and a white German woman who has died. Eventually Toxi works her way into the hearts of this German family, but then her father returns, hoping to take Toxi back to America with him.

In West Germany at the time of the film’s release, there were nearly 100,000 children of Allied paternity born since WWII; of these, fewer than 5,000 were of colored paternity. Toxi was the first feature-length film to explore the subject of “black occupation children” in postwar Germany. It premiered in 1952 as part of a plan to raise public awareness, as these children began entering German schools. Known for his unique blend of social realism and melodrama, Robert A. Stemmle—one of in West Germany’s most popular directors—brought together an exceptionally renowned group of classic German actors with very diverse experiences of the Nazi era, including Paul Bildt, Johanna Hofer and Elisabeth Flickenschildt.

Special Features

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