Open Call for Contributions/Participation

Call for contributions: Decolonial figures in the history of German democracy

We cordially invite you to participate in our initiative to research and recognise decolonial personalities in the history of German democracy. Over the past centuries, numerous people from different backgrounds have made significant contributions to the development and promotion of democratic values in Germany. Unfortunately, the stories and achievements of many decolonial personalities have often been overshadowed. The person- and place-related appreciation of German democratic history is selective, and a critical examination of colonial references is lacking. This applies, among others, to the Paulskirche, which plays a prominent role in the project “Places of the History of Democracy” and whose anniversary gives rise to the event “Frankfurt Days of Democracy”which occurred in May 2023. We have criticised the “100 Heads of Democracy” project for being selective in its culture of remembrance and excluding other BIPoC (Black, Indigenous and Person of Colour) personalities apart from the Black German activist May Ayim. Insufficient engagement also refers to the previous representation of colonial history in published texts. We see German colonialism as a central part of German national history and thus interwoven with the development of democracy in the country.

Thus, Frankfurt Postkolonial has proposed a post- and decolonial intervention in the context of the Paulskirche anniversary with our project “Dekoloniale Persönlichkeiten der Demokratie”. On our website we have gathered a number of personalities who have made and continue to make an anti- and decolonial as well as anti-racist contribution to an expanded understanding of democracy in German history and the present. We present these personalities as “decolonial personalities of democracy” with a portrait and a short biography on the homepage and thereby want to remind of their struggle against colonialism, imperialism and racism. However, the list of personalities is not complete and will be constantly extended by contributions from anti-racist, post- and decolonial networks and initiatives. We hope that this project will help to shed light on those people who are involved in the past, present and future of German democracy, but who are often faded out or ignored. Our aim is to fill these gaps and raise awareness of the significant contributions that decolonial figures have made to democratic development in Germany. We want to make their stories and achievements visible in order to create a broader awareness and recognition of their important contributions.

We are looking for contributions that will help us research, document and share these personalities and their role in the German history of democracy. We encourage you to contribute your own ideas and suggestions and help us gather a wide range of perspectives and personalities who have been involved in the democratic process over the course of German history. Regardless of your background, expertise or level of experience, you are welcome to share your insights and knowledge with us.

Please submit your contributions by [date]. Send your proposals, research papers or completed contributions to We will carefully review and select your contributions to create a diverse and comprehensive collection of decolonial figures in German democratic history.

Together, we can help promote a more balanced and inclusive understanding of the German history of democracy and highlight the important contributions of decolonial personalities throughout history.