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Conversation between Manu (12) und Peer (friend of Women* in Exile)

Excerpt from pages 142–144 of our book “Breaking Borders to Build Bridges“ available through Edition Assemblage

P.: Hello, Manu!

M: Hi!

P.: It’s nice that I can do an interview with you today for the book by Women in Exile because Women in Exile turns 20 next year.

M.: I’m happy to, and all the best! (laughs and raises a clenched fist)

P.: My first question is: which meetings or summer trips with Women in Exile do you remember? And what have you done with Women in Exile so far?

M.: Well, we did lots of bus tours and often went from one Lager and one place to another… Yeah, sure, it was lovely!

P.: Did you always go by bus or did you also go by boat or something?

M.: Often by bus, sometimes by car, and then – though not all that often – we sometimes did a raft tour. We went on a raft. I can’t remember ever going by boat, just on a raft.

P.: You mean kids were allowed on a raft? Wasn’t that too dangerous?

M.: No, it wasn’t dangerous. Sure kids were allowed on, even young kids. It wasn’t dangerous, but a bit risky, sort of. That’s why we wore life jackets, yeah… So it was safe enough.

P.: And how did you find the childcare at the meetings?

M.: It was cool, yeah. But sometimes we really mucked up and then we ran away, like. That wasn’t terribly helpful. (laughs)

P: Uh-huh, OK. Did you kids band together?

M.: Yeah, sure, hmm.

P.: Did you like going to demos in the past? Did you go to demos a lot?

M. (nods): In the past, yes. And you could say I liked it, but only because my mum carried me, and the others too. I wouldn’t have liked it if I’d had to walk myself, I don’t think. I was in the stroller or up on people’s shoulders the whole time, you know. So I was at a lot of demos. Sure. But now… not so many.

P.: Now you’re too big for anyone to carry on their shoulders anymore?

M: That’s right. I hardly go to any these days.

P.: Would you go to demos if you didn’t have to trudge along?

M.: Hm, maybe…

P.: I remember a demo in Hamburg [We’ll come united], with B.’s grandchildren, and there was a sound truck. You were all allowed to sit on the back and didn’t have to walk. Only the adults had to walk…

M.: Yeeeeah, that was sooo cool!

P.: Meaning something has to be organized for the kids so they don’t always have to walk, and then you’d be more interested in going to demos again?

M: Yeah, for sure! (nods)

P.: Do you know why Women in Exile organizes demos and actions? What do they actually do?

M.: Well, they kind of support people, like women* and stuff. And also dark-skinned people. And they go to demos, like, and make placards, and then: “Yeah, you guys are cool!” (raises her fist). And: “Yeah, we support black people and women*!”

P.: And how do demos work then? Is there music, or does someone talk?

M.: Well, people often talk, they talk a lot. With translation and everything. Yeah, and then there’s a lot of music playing. And the demos themselves – sometimes they’re big, and other times very small.

P.: Can you think of a slogan that’s often called out there?

M. (thinks briefly): O làlà, o lélé, solidarité… alek, alek? De sans-papiers!

P.: Yes… avec les sans-papiers! In French, right?

M: Yeah…

P.: What would you like to do again with Women in Exile if you could choose, if you had a wish?

M: A trip! A tour! I’d go on one straight away!

P: Where to? What would you most like to do?

M.: Oooh… well, first of all, I think I’d go on a bus tour with a raft tour. In case anyone’s afraid of water, like. And then Hamburg, Munich… see a bit of Germany.

P.: Uh-huh, OK… Is there anything else you’d like to say for the book, for Women in Exile?

M.: First of all, happy birthday, pre-dated. So, er, yeah.

P.: OK, thanks a lot for the interview.

M.: You’re welcome.

P: Bye!

M.: See ya!

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