After a long time of preparation the opening of the exhibition “Bilder im Kopf” (pictures in mind) took place in the new town hall of Hannover on 6th January 2011.
The visitors arrived very early and shortly before 11 o’clock all seats were taken and nearly 200 visitors were waiting for the beginning.As the ambassador of Senegal arrived from Berlin the exhibition could start with a little delay.
After the greeting speech from the the chairman of the “Freundeskreis Tambacounda e.V.”, Abdou Karim Sané, the mayoress Ingrid Lange opened the exhibition with an impressive speech. She thanked Mr. Sané and the “Freundeskreis Tambacounda e. V.” that they have reached a change of the pictures in her mind and underlined the importance of the work of the “Freundeskreis Tambacounda e.V.” for the city of Hannover. The next speaker was the Senegalese ambassador Mr. Henri Turpin. It was his first journey inside Germany since he had become ambassador in Berlin and he was very grateful to take an active part in the opening of the exhibition. After the ambassador, the agent of the Protestant development service, Mrs. Cornelia Johnsdorf spoke. She underlined that it is very important to develop pictures in your mind but at the same time it is important that you get no wrong pictures in your mind. You always have to compare your own pictures with the reality and put your pictures into question.
The last speaker was Dr. Marianne Bechhaus-Gerst from the University of Cologne who also is member of the Institute for African Studies. She mentioned what it means to be hit by prejudices, no matter which skin colour you have. It was a good access for the topic of the exhibition. She said that in most cases the ideas you get every day from the magazines, on the street or from television would contribute to the development of wrong pictures. Terminologies are assumed without thinking about them and racist ideas are propagated. She emphasized the importance of projects like the exhibition “Bilder im Kopf”.
With her speech Mrs. Bechhaus-Gerst named the objectives of the “Freundeskreis Tambacounda e.V.”: to reduce prejudices and to call attention on daily discrimination.
After the speeches a performance of the integrated school IGS Vahrendheide followed. They had worked out a little play with music in a workshop. This performance finished the part with speeches and the exhibition could officially start. Many of the first visitors spoke very positively about the exhibition and they were surprised about the variety of the exhibits. At the weekend many families came to the exhibition and especially children were addressed through the interactive design.