Speaker –

New perceptions through a change of perspective

Exile Newsletter


The speakers’ work mainly covers topics from the Global South. With their art, their works as well as their intercultural competence and their narratives, they offer a change of perspective – a new view of diverse cultures. They provide access for their listeners and viewers to the life experiences of people in and from other countries and continents.

Ruth Weiss

Contemporary Witness and Expert

Ruth Weiss was an early campaigner against racism and apartheid in South Africa. She had close contacts with Nelson Mandela and many other comrades-in-arms of the African freedom movement. She is one of the important African voices against racism, misogyny and anti-Semitism.

Her witnessing and profound knowledge of both Jewish history and persecution in Africa continues to be a great enrichment for many people. She inspires with her convincing commitment to human rights and the equality of all people. She can illustrate the historical data with personal experiences and is happy to share her knowledge and experiences in events at schools, further education institutions and evening events.

Thematic and content focus of her lectures:

  • Historical and current processes in South Africa
  • Apartheid
  • Learning and preserving democratisation
  • Human rights

Dr. phil. Lutz van Dijk

In early 2001, he founded the aid organisation HOKISA (Homes for Kids in South Africa) in Cape Town, South Africa, together with Karin Chubb. The project cares for children and young people affected by HIV/AIDS. He also addresses the topic of HIV/AIDS in his books Township Blues and Themba. The novel “Township Blues”, which tells the story of a girl suffering from HIV in South Africa, was awarded the renowned Gustav Heinemann Peace Prize for Children’s and Youth Literature in 2001.


Lutz van Dijk’s novel “Themba” was made into a film in 2009 with ex-national goalkeeper Jens Lehmann in a supporting role. The film was presented in Germany for the first time at the Berlinale and received several awards, including the UNICEF Children’s Rights Prize.

Other books and thematic content by Lutz van Dijk on Africa include

“The History of Africa”, which provides a general overview of the African continent, “Romeo and Jabulile”, which addresses the issue of xenophobia, and African Kids with photos and stories from South African townships.

His current novel “Kampala – Hamburg” was published in 2020 and is based on true events. It addresses the persecution of sexual minorities in Uganda. Even today, there are efforts in parliament to introduce the death penalty for homosexuals.

Thematic and content focus of his lectures:

  • History of Africa
  • HIV/AIDS in Africa
  • Current political development in South Africa
  • Xenophobia (in South Africa)

Educational material (german): Download

He is available as an attentive observer of current affairs, informative discussion partner and speaker for events in schools and further education institutions, evening events and interviews.

Anthony Thompson

Actor, director, filmmaker and cultural consultant from Ghana, has lived and worked in Germany since 1970, currently in Bonn.

He worked as an actor and assistant director at various German-speaking theatres in Germany, Austria and Switzerland from 1974–2000. His debut production of the three-person play “Statements after an Arrest under the Immorality Act” by the South African author Athol Fugard was performed several times between 1983 and 1991 on various stages in Germany, Austria and Switzerland due to its success. As a “cultural ambassador” and board member of the partnership association “Partnerschaft Bonn-Cape Coast e.V.”, he has also been involved in establishing the partnership between the cities of Bonn and Cape Coast (Ghana).

Under the motto “In Africa, they don’t just drum”, he takes his audience on a fascinating journey into the fairytale world of Africa. With stories, drama elements, drum rhythms, songs and dance, he enables his audience to have a multifaceted encounter with the richness of African culture and the African oral storytelling tradition.

He offers listeners of different age groups an informative and at the same time strongly artistic event as an attentive observer and connoisseur of Africa.

He also offers lectures on topics such as “How does the cocoa bean get into chocolate”, “Coffee from Africa”, “Football in Africa”, “Art from Africa” and “Consequences of globalisation for African youth”.

Thematic and content focus of his lectures:

  • Multifaceted encounters with the richness of West African culture, HIV/AIDS, fair trade (e.g. chocolate from Ghana)
  • Everyday aspects of life in Africa: e.g. traditional and modern ways of life, nutrition, water supply, education, child labour
  • African Diaspora in Germany