Berlin / Kiel (dpa) – Poetry, politics and autobiography: three levels that seem difficult to bring together. An unusual combination for a first political book, but Aminata Touré herself is also an unusual politician.
The 28-year-old green politician became known to a majority in Germany in 2019. Around this time, she became the first African-German woman vice-president of a German state parliament in Kiel. His first book “We can be more” was published Thursday.
“My entry into politics is the exception,” writes Touré. She sees it every day in people’s reactions: “The rule is that there are hardly any young black women in the rooms where I live. But there must be more politicians, “who can fall back on different origins and experiences, immigrants, the poor or people from other marginalized groups”.
Touré’s book is shaped by elements of its own history. “I want to write down what it means to be young, black and female,” the book says. In return, the author lets his readers get as close as possible to personal moments. Her parents fled Mali to Germany, her sisters and they grew up in refugee accommodation.
In the 1990s, housing for refugees in Germany was attacked and set on fire. “My mother told me about the partner of a friend who had lost his entire family, wife and children, in one of the attacks. They were all burned, ”writes the 28-year-old. “Mariam [Anm.: ihre Schwester] told me about my mother’s fear of fire, which passed on to herself. The open flames made her uncomfortable. “Experiences shape Touré.” In fact, I never wanted to broach the subject of flight and asylum again in my life, I swore that afterwards have obtained German citizenship, ”the book says.
It happens differently: an internship brings Touré to politics and finally to the Greens. For a long time she argued with the concept of political parties. “To be honest, I don’t care if people are in a party, NGO or whatever, I know where. But I also describe in my book that I always find it important not to completely neglect this category of politics and institutions, ”the politician said in an interview with the German news agency. “Many decisions for our society, whether climate policy, socio-political, economic policy, etc., take place precisely in these spaces. And that’s why it doesn’t make sense to avoid it altogether. “
Aminata Touré has set a big goal with her book: she wants to inspire people to get involved politically. “I often meet people who cannot imagine assuming political office,” describes the author. “In this book I would like to tell you about my work as a politician, because I have often had the experience that with a little knowledge, many reservations based on rumors and assumptions dissolve.”
Reaching out to young people, denouncing political grievances and working on their own experiences, the green politician dares a lot in her book by bringing all this together. It becomes a challenge for the readers. The politician skips stories from kindergarten to party lectures and goes back to elementary school. We sometimes speak to young people, diverse and in a situation of exclusion, then again to the conservative majority society.
The poems that can be found between the chapters of the book are also unusual. “Then sometimes I wasn’t so sure I really should do it because a lot of people don’t have access to poetry at all,” Touré said in an interview. “Most of them still imagine love poems when they hear poetry. But that’s not what I describe in my book, it’s about political poetry. “And Touré therefore ends with a political poem by the Afro-German poet May Ayim, which ends thus:” I want to stay limitless and scandalous.
– Aminata Touré: We can be more. The power of diversity. Kiwi-Verlag, 2021, 272 pages, ISBN: 978-3-462-00061-0. 14.00 euros.