Although racism is an issue that affects all areas of Swiss society, it is not easy to talk about it. Nobody wants to be seen as a racist and most people steer well clear of the term. While racists operate with conscious racist intent, we are all affected by «racist socialisation», or internalised, often unconscious, systemic racism. Discussing racism and our own participation in this system is a vital first step in the fight against racism.

Tupoka Ogette and Stephen Lawson are experts for diversity and anti-discrimination and run workshops in cultural organisations and various other fields. Their approach ensures an engaging, interactive and appreciative atmosphere. Their aim is to sensitise and inspire people to develop and integrate a critical perspective on racism into both their private and work environment in a real and practical way. In this lecture, Tupoka Ogette reflects on the prerequisites, opportunities and conditions for change in cultural and other organisations that seek to become more diverse and less racist.


Tupoka Ogette was born in Leipzig in 1980 and studied African Studies and Economics. She works as a consultant throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland encouraging a more critical approach to racism at institutional, organizational, corporate and individual level. Moreover, she runs workshops on racism and its impact on society in German-speaking countries and is also active as a speaker and author.

Stephen Lawson, a sculptor and artist, is Tupoka Ogette’s husband. He is responsible for the conceptual and artistic direction of the «Exit Racism» projects. For many years Stephen Lawson has been active both in the art world and the field of racism-critical education. He has been running workshops together with Tupoka Ogette since 2016.

This talk is part of the racism-critical work at Dampfzentrale Bern. Further information here.

Masks mandatory in the performance venue. Admission only with a digital Covid certificate (Swiss Covid certificate or EU/EFTA Digital Covid Certificate) and official ID (ID, passport, driving license). Further information here.