BLM Graz 2020 &
Birth of TANAKA
We, TANAKA, realize that systematic racism is a huge problem in Austria. However, we have also come to learn that it only has so much power over POC when we give it this power, especially with our attitudes and ways of life. Therefore, it is important that POC rethink their identity. There must be a detachment from the conventional attributions of identity to POC. We need to be able to determine what identity we adopt, and who and what we want to be and represent in the future. And that's exactly where TANAKA comes into play.
We are well aware that we will not be able to end the racist and discriminatory incidents directed at us any time soon, but we do not want to remain in the position of being at their mercy, we have decided to free ourselves from their grip. Simply put, the identity of a POC, a person of dark skin colour, or a person with a migrant background can hardly be seriously attacked if the person knows their own history and rights, and is also convinced of their potential.
We want to pass this empowerment and education about one's person, origin and cultural heritage on to young people who are often told that they don't belong where they are. We want to pass on the knowledge that we lacked at our younger ages and that we had to learn the hard way for ourselves so that the younger generation is better equipped than we were.
The strategy now is to build, strengthen and promote a community. Present contact persons, and make and maintain contacts outside of the community. Having a safe space, a place to laugh, to talk about serious things, to feel good and come back.
So we don't grab the bull by the horns but by the tail to bring it to a halt. Because racism and discrimination only live if they are nourished.