The award-winning African-American poet Audre Lorde (1934-1992), known as a fighter for the rights of black people, especially women, regularly visited Berlin in the last eight years of her life. There, she shaped the beginnings of the Afro-German movement and the anti-racism discourse among whites. Dagmar Schultz, then assistant professor at the John F. Kennedy Institute and publisher of Audre Lorde’s books in the Orlanda Verlag, brought her to the institute as a visiting professor and accompanied her during her stays in Germany, often with a sound recorder, camera or video camera. These recordings, complemented by current interviews with friends and fellow campaigners, form the basis of the documentary Audre Lorde - The Berlin Years, 1984-1992, which had its world premiere in the Panorama section of the Berlin Film Festival 2012. After producing the film, Dagmar Schultz donated the historical raw material for her film - audio and video recordings, photographs, letters and posters – to Freie Universität Berlin.
Through a joint project of the John F. Kennedy Institute and the University Archive, the extensive materials that include audio recordings of all seminar sessions and many poetry readings were indexed, archived and made accessible to the public. The original media are kept in the University Archive and can be viewed there. The Library of the John F. Kennedy Institute presents selected digitized collection items on this page.
Freie Universität Berlin thanks Prof. Dr. Dagmar Schultz for her generous donation.
Finding aid for the Audre Lorde archive with detailed information about the collection (in German)
Sound recordings from the Audre Lorde archive
Photographs from the Audre Lorde archive
The files may be downloaded, passed on and published for personal or academic purposes. Commercial use and alterations to the files are prohibited. The source "Freie Universität Berlin, University Archive, Lorde estate" is to be indicated in all publications. Additionally, Dagmar Schultz is to be credited as the photographer when photographies are reproduced.