On July 3, 2020, the Second Anti-racism Network meeting took place. After the first online meeting, we were happy to be able to meet again in person at Karlstorbahnhof in Heidelberg. We were able to accommodate over 30 people from different organizations and initiatives and discussed four different topics. We asked the participants: What would you need from an Anti-racist Network, and what should be avoided? The group discussed what an anti-racist city should look like and how institutions need to change within the city.
We evaluated the current situation of actions and campaigns being planned by the different participating groups or which are already taking place in the region. Also, we talked about where these need support. Finally, we discussed the decolonization of Heidelberg and what resources are necessary for this process. The outcomes of the workshop gave us a lot of insight and motivation to continue with the work and with the network. The next meeting will be happening soon!
On June 5th, 2020 the first Anti-racism Network meeting took place. On full power after the Day of Resistance (8th May 2020), we met to focus on the anti-racism work in Heidelberg. Stuck by the idea of a movement which is pushed by people with racism experience but goes along with everyone.
People and initiatives from Heidelberg got together in an online meeting to think together about what does anti-racism work in Heidelberg need and how we can implement the demands of the Day of Resistance in the long term.
At the beginning, the question asked was: What does it mean to be racist? As a result, several groups were formed and the participants had the opportunity to discuss about the following three questions:
- Upfuck, what frustrates you?
- Well done: what am I proud of? What has been achieved so far?
- Make a wish: What do I wish/ expect from the future?
The results were precious, the participants could report about their own experiences and exchange with each other. A next meeting is already planned! #KeinSchlussstrich
On May 18th, 2020, we got together for an Internal Education workshop on Taboos. Our intern, Julianne Lopes, who does research on the topic and the implications of it for our everyday life, decided to dive into the history of the word, the studies about it, and, of course, explore her own taboos and the taboos of the team.
The result was a workshop where the participants had the opportunity to discuss different social norms and how the meaning of the word taboo developed from its Polynesian origin to its current use. The team also investigated the connections between taboos and power, offering examples about the taboos coming from their culture and/or religion.
For our work at Migration Hub Heidelberg, the Workshop created a safe space to talk about topics that are considered forbidden and/or sacred for many cultures and religions. The first step was to acknowledge our own boundaries and limitations in order to boost empathy and, therefore, be ready to provide the same safe space to the people and initiatives we work for and with.
On May 8, 2020, actions and protests took place throughout Germany from Kiel to Heidelberg as part of the Day of Resistance. On this occasion, migrant organisations and solidarity groups mobilised to commemorate the 75th anniversary of liberation from the Nazi regime, to draw attention to the persisting racism in Germany and the danger posed by right-wing political terror, and to remember the victims of racially motivated acts of violence.
We also participated together with other initiatives: At Bismarckplatz, Uniplatz and Kornmarkt, memorials awaited Heidelberg’s residents and visitors to commemorate the people murdered by a racist in Hanau on February 19, 2020; at Bismarckplatz, Uniplatz and Kornmarkt, memorials awaited Heidelberg’s residents and visitors to commemorate the people murdered by a racist in Hanau on February 19, 2020; the windows of several shops – many of them run by citizens with a history of migration – featured posters with graphics and lists of the names of these victims of right-wing terror; from Handschuhsheim to Rohrbach, the protest shouts “Hanau war kein Einzelfall” and “Kein Vergessen – Kein Schlussstrich” decorated the floor of the city. For this day we occupied the urban space to draw attention to racism. We are impressed by how we were able to organise this day together as Heidelberg’ s civil society in such a short time.
We would like to thank all those who have contributed to it, whether through memorials, posters, flowers, by sharing, liking or by giving their attention to this cause. Walking through Heidelberg and seeing the names and faces of Ferhat, Said, Kalojan, Gökhan, Mercedes, Vili, Hamza, Sedat and Fatih on shop windows, monuments and walls was incredible.
A big THANK YOU goes to Mosaik Deutschland, Chancen Gestalten, the Deutsch-Afrikanischer Verein, Eine-Welt-Zentrum, Über den Tellerrand Heidelberg and the Freie Basisgewerkschaft. Together we achieved our goal: Passers-by became curious, stopped, talked to each other. That was the intention: the awareness of the danger of racism and the memory of victims of right-wing violence must not be a matter of people with a history of migration, Jewish people, Sinti*ze and Rom*nja, People of Colour and BIPoC – it concerns us all.
The grief about the human lives we have lost to racist ideologies, from which we have not yet been freed in over 75 years and will not be for a long time, must be carried into the public space. Racism is a problem for the whole of society, because it affects everyone.It is therefore up to all of us to maintain the memory of the victims and to call for the necessary changes collectively and constantly. It is therefore up to all of us to uphold the memory of the victims and to call for the necessary changes collectively and constantly. On 8 May put down an important marker against racism – now the work must continue!
On 19th February 2020, 9 people were killed by a racist in Hanau. The names of the murdered victims are:
|Gökhan Gültekin||Hamza Kurtović|
Said Nesar Hasehmi
|Kalojan Velkow||Vili Viorel Păun||
Two months have passed since and all memory of it has been repressed, similar to other racist acts of violence in the past. But for those affected, for people from a migrant background, Jews, Sinti*ze and Roma*nja, Black people, People of Colour and BIPoC forgetting is simply not possible; the grief remains and so does the threat of becoming a victim of racism. This threat is even bigger in the current state of emergency due to the pandemic.
This is why autonomousmigrant organisations in Hanau called for a Day of Resistance on the 8th of May 2020. They urge all people targeted by racism and all those who stand in solidarity to take a public stand against the ongoing racist terror. We are also showing our solidarity with everyone affected by racist violence and want to position ourselves by taking a clear stand against racism. The families of the victims have already stated their demands, such as Serpil Temiz, Ferhat Unvar’s mother, who asks for a full and thorough investigation of the crime, life-long support for the victims’ families and founding of a government-funded foundation or charity against racism.
Our further demands are based on those of the Streikbündnis. We call for:
- Fast, unconditional and appropriate financial compensation for victims of right-wing, anti-semitic, anti-black, anti-Roma and anti-Sinti, anti-Muslim and all other forms of racist violence
- Protection of meeting places and places of worship of racialised people and Jewish communities
- Binding, directive commissions against racism and anti-Semitism, organised by civil society
- The full and thorough investigation of the NSU-murders, release of all classified documents relating to the murders, consistent prosecution of all persons involved, as well as the establishment of investigation committees in all federal states
- The full and thorough investigation of all attacks, murders and others acts of violence against racialised people, Black people, refugees, migrants, muslims and Jewish people
- The full and thorough investigation of all unsolved deaths under police and state custody and compensation for the families of the victims, e.g. Tonou Mbobda, Yaya Jabbi, Achidi John, N’deye Mareame Sarr, Christy Schwundeck, Oury Jalloh…
- An end to all practices of racial profiling by police, courts and authorities. Strengthening the rights of victims of racial profiling and consistent penalties for racial profiling practices
- The systematic collectionand publication of data on systemic racisms in government action, the work of authorities, schools, on the job and housing market
- A Germany-wide and comprehensive increase in the financing for consulting services for victims of right-wing, racist and anti-semitic violence
- Obligatory training in anti-racism for all persons in government offices, police and jurisdiction as well as the education system
- The obligatory and binding incorporation of colonialism and neo-colonialism, the historical roots of racism, anti-Semitism and their various historical forms and continuous effects on society as a whole, as well as the effects of privileges into the curricula
- A stronger positioning of the city of Heidelberg against racism
- Strengthening the governmental and non-governmental support systems for those targeted by racist violence in Heidelberg
- An increase in financial support for autonomous migrant organisations in Heidelberg
To make sure that these demands get the attention they deserve and that the atrocities committed against people from a migrant background, Jews, Sinti*ze and Roma*nja, Black people, People of Colour and BIPoC will never be forgotten, we need you! Join in and become part of the actions on the 8th of May 2020!
How can you participate?
- Build little memorial sites in front of your doorsteps or your businesses for the victims of Hanau
Take pictures of your actions and use the following hashtags
- #HanauWarKeinEinzelfall #Wirtrauern #080520 #TagDesWiderstandes #SayTheirNames #KeinVergessen #KeinSchlussstrich
Protest from your window/ balcony
- Hang your signs or posters with our demands on your windows or balconies
Minute of silence
- At 9:30 pm, put candles on your window sills and hold a minute of silence for all victims
We join forces against racism and anti-Semitism! Join in! We will continue the fight together!
We hereby invite you to our first meeting on the 5th of June 2020 at 6pm in order to discuss our further steps to realise our demands.
If you have any questions, or need any material, feel free to write an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook: Migration Hub Heidelberg.
For more information on the Germany-wide Generalstreik: https://wirstreiken0805.wordpress.com/english/
On February 21st, one day after the shocking terrorist attack in Hanau, ca. 400 participants met at Kalkscheune, Berlin. Those participants were aware that what happened in Hanau could have affected them as well, since most of the presents were BIPoC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) or had a migration background. Day by day, they commit to a society in which Hanau’s attack would not have happened. While the participants, individually or in groups, were filling the room, tension and sadness arose between us: “What happened hurts us”, “We’re happy to be here”, “We’re afraid”, “It’s good to see these faces all around us here”. A complicated atmosphere on a very complicated day.
Regardless of all this, the “post-migrant summit” – as the organizers named it – managed to transform the paradoxical feelings into warmth and power during the day. This transformation was possible because the organizers did not ignore the attack. On the contrary, the conference began with a non-planned open dialogue, the ndo’s board gave the participants the opportunity and the time to share their frustration, fear, and anger. They created a safe space and gave us all room to grieve. It was the only way to go ahead in the shadows of Hanau. For this: our thanks!
Exciting panel discussions and dialogues followed, in which international guests such as Simon Wooley participated. In his keynote speech, the UK based activist encouraged the participants to not ask for justice but to claim it. Wooley called on those present to convert their pain into something special and to use the network’s combined power in order to formulate a collective response. Naika Foroutan also appealed to us to use the moment and look for new ways and forms of resistance.
Idil Baydar, known under the artist name of Jilet Ayse, provided especially humor and joy with her moderation. She tested the guests on the stage with critical questions and pilloried everyone who holds decisive positions. With Idil’s moderation, we felt safe, seen and yes, powerful. She showed how anger and determination can work together with empathy and delicacy in the endeavor towards a racist-free society.
The second day of the conference was planned for partners of the ndo’s network. The ndo sees itself primarily as a network of various (post)migrant associations, organizations and projects from all over Germany – we should, now, experience the synergies of such an alliance. In an open space format, the participants set up the agenda of the day: we brought our requests and questions and sat in small groups of interested people in order to share them. From this activity, topics such as “Collective trauma – how can we create more self-care for us?”, “Developing sustainable structures”, ”How does antiracism work in solidarity look like?”, “Equality of opportunities in education” and more came out. It enriched us a lot to bring requests from our association’s work from Heidelberg to Berlin and to discuss them with committed people and activists – some of them with decades of experience -, and gain fresh perspectives from younger groups.
In the two days of the congress not only did we experience empowerment and a community feeling but we also took much for our work: practical recommendations for action, contacts, and ideas. We saw, right before our eyes, how many people carry on the struggle for a fair and free society quietly, loudly, visibly and invisibly every day. So many people are committed to a non-discriminatory Germany on all fronts, be it in education, the judiciary or science against racism. That motivates us to continue with them. These alliances are essential and we as Migration Hub Heidelberg are happy to have found such a community in the new German organizations!
Do you want to be part of the ndo Network too? Organizations and initiatives can become part of the ndo Network if:
- between the team members, board and office the majority is People of Color, Black People or persons who are labeled as foreigners or non-German, and see themselves as an integral part of German society;
- they campaign for an inclusive society, with equal participation and equal opportunities;
- they oppose racism, national chauvinism, anti-Semitism, violence and any discrimination based on religion and belief, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender, social status, age, and disabilities;
- they reject the use of violence to solve problems.
More information on: https://neuedeutsche.org/de/ueber-uns/mitmachen/
Every six weeks the Migration Hub Heidelberg team gets together for the Internal Education event. Besides providing training for our personnel, the idea is to increase the engagement of the team members, who can propose topics, design and host the event. In January, it was the turn of our -at that time- intern, Victoria, who prepared a Workshop about Power Dynamics, a topic proposed by our First Chairwoman, Kübra.
In the first part of the Workshop, the participants discussed the vocabulary related to the topic and the definitions of terms, such as “power”, “privilege”, and “oppression”. The next step was to set, together, the goal of the event: to understand the relationship between power and privilege, and how to use one’s privilege for the benefit of those who do not enjoy it. The following activities invited the participants to share their identities – personal and social -, and to answer leading questions, like: “Which part of your identity faces oppression more often?”.
The findings were valuable, the participants learned more about themselves, about their colleagues and acknowledged the differences within the team, understanding that it is possible, at the same time, to enjoy privileges but, also, face oppressions. To close the Workshop, the participants discussed how to use privileges to support each other, as a team, as an organization, as human beings.
The Makerspace opened its door to the first Migration Hub Community Event of the year, with the motto “Ihr seid Migration Hub Heidelberg!”.
The initiative EDUgration run by Rosy and Sarah came to see us and we had the pleasure of hearing all about their experiences, challenges and successes of the past few months. It gave us important insight into their current needs and helped to facilitate a partnership. Eventually, Rosy and Sarah signed the contract and are now officially onboarded onto the Migration Hub Heidelberg Network. We thank them very much for coming to the Community Event and we are looking forward to working with them!
We are eagerly waiting for the next Community Event, hoping to hear from our other close friends in our network. If you and your initiative are also interested in being part of our network and our support system, please don’t hesitate to contact us; we would love to hear what’s up in your team!
On the 21.10.2019, our 5th Networking Event took place at the Makerspace of DAI, which hosted 16 people from 9 initiatives: Mosaik Deutschland, Chancen gestalten Heidelberg, Amt für Chancengleichheit, Diakonie Heidelberg, Asylarbeitskreis Heidelberg, Deutsch-Afrikanischer Verein, Agentur für Arbeit Heidelberg, Über den Tellerrand Heidelberg, Mehrgenerationenhaus Heidelberg.
To begin with, the projects shared their news. Next, we split into small groups to discuss the topic “why networking?”. The results of the brainstorming were shared, enabling a stronger feeling of Co-Work in order to reach bigger successes together! After all the positive feedback, we got together and had nice conversations and good food.
We would like to thank all the initiatives who participated and we are looking forward to meet with you again!
“I arrived in Heidelberg and I don’t have a piano. I miss playing music and playing together with friends. I don’t really know a lot of places where I can practise music.” This is how our summer intern, Michelle, a migrant from Hong Kong, began her project: Music Tank, in offering a platform for people to share their music and connecting musicians and audience.
On September 20th we held Music Tank, a music-sharing evening in Palais Rischer Heidelberg. Musicians came and performed. We had Cantonese, Taiwanese, English songs, a Deutsch poem freshly written on the day, and jamming. Music is a tool to bring people together. It transcends spoken languages and cultures. A participant enquired about the Taiwanese song played and said she loved the song even though she did not understand the lyrics at all.
Music also brings back memories and symbolizes moments of life. We had songs that talk about dreams, the rain of a city, and a mother’s love. Sharing these empower people. Performers get to experience the sentiments again; and audience get to share a piece of someone’s life. A listener responded after the event that she realizes how much more we need music and art in our daily life.
We also had a jamming session, where piano, double bass, cajón, drums meet. These musicians met for the first time and they played together. Jamming does not require perfection. It relies on interactions, call and response. Migrants arriving in Heidelberg may as well do jamming like this. Sometimes it is just a matter of a spontaneous call and bold response to begin a fantastic piece of music. You can always call or respond.
Music is such a great tool to break the language barrier and brings people together. We hope to host more evenings like this to allow music and interactions flow. How do you often connect with people? Don’t hesitate to tell us when you need space to connect. We can help you to realize a project like Music Tank!
Your friend starts to tell her stories. Listen attentively and do not make any verbal comment. Can you do that? This active listening was held in the opening of our exhibition “Arrival: Stories of Many”. We held the exhibition in Mehrgenerationenhaus Heidelberg and Adenauerplatz on 15th June and 6th July, as a part of the Road To_ festivals leading to the Begeisterhaus. Stories matter. Bicycle, VISA document, prayer mat, and many more personal objects were gathered to tell the arrival stories of migrants in Heidelberg. The exhibition created a platform not only for exhibitors to tell their arrival stories with objects and texts, but also for participants to reflect upon their lives. We set up a booth collecting life stories of participants and made space for participants exchanging stories. Tell your stories now, too!
On Monday June 3rd our startsocial scholarship was finalised in an award ceremony at the Bundeskanzleramt in Berlin. Over a period of four months startsocial and their experts consulted and coached our organisation to work more efficiently and sustainably towards our goals. At the end of this period, our members Clara and Mareike travelled to Berlin to receive our startsocial certificate from Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and Dr. Dieter Düsedau, founder of startsocial e.V., as an appreciation of our work. We are proud to have been on of 25 finalists for the award and congratulate this year‘s seven award winners! Thank you to startsocial for this valuable experience, which will aid us in our work to promote migrant’s voices.
The local press in Heidelberg wrote about us and our trip to Berlin, you can read the article here.
The next round of applications has started and you can now apply for a startsocial scholarship for your own organisation: https://t.co/dWIltgaqbO
Photo: startsocial e.V./Thomas Effinger
New and established initiatives alike have a hard time with good and sustainable public relations. To support the initiatives in our network, we’re cooperating with Plan W – Agentur für strategische Kommunikation and offer individual coaching for developing long-term public relations strategies. Our hubbers Synergie, Über den Tellerrand Heidelberg and the Deutsch-Afrikanischer Verein are already making use of this professional consulting.
If you, too, would like to know how to improve the public appearance of your initiative, or if you have concrete questions about public relations in your initiative, then our consulting hours for public relations strategy is just the thing for you!
All information regarding upcoming dates can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1075414995991593/
We organised another of our regular networking events on March 18th. It was a great success with 25 participants from 15 different organisations, initiatives and projects. We want to thank everyone who came and especially our four wonderful referees:
Johannah Illgner introduced us to the work of Plan W, an agency that offers public relations coaching;
Hanna Netzer explained the work of the Heidelberg anti-discrimination office HD.net-Respekt;
Georg Mildenberger (Reallabor Asyl) gave an overview on the results of the research project on refugees and civil society in Heidelberg;
and Jasper Schmidt (DAI Heidelberg) introduced the participants to the Begeisterhaus and the project leading there: “Road to__”. We also want to thank Sindbad for their yummie food!
Until next time!
As part of the International Weeks Against Racism Heidelberg we organised a theatre workshop together with the Mehrgenerationenhaus Heidelberg that took place on March 16th. It was a great success with different perspectives, experiences and opinions on the topic of “human dignity”. Thank you to Mehrgenerationenhaus Heidelberg for the wonderful collaboration and to everyone who participated!
How should I prepare for a job interview? What are common questions to be asked? How can I present myself in a convincing way? These questions were discussed during our workshop on job interviews “Bewerbungswerkstatt” last Saturday. The participants did not only get useful input on the topic but could also practice an actual job interview and receive feedback on their performance. Thank you to Bernd Nemetschek from “Leimen ist bunt e.V.” who lead the workshop and to everyone who came!
We are proud and excited to introduce our new big project! Together with Asylarbeitskreis Heidelberg, Caritasverband Heidelberg e.V. and Diakonie Heidelberg, we are creating a brochure that gives an overview on all relevant offices, institutions, organisations and authorities for refugees and migrants that just arrived to Heidelberg. On February 13th a joint meeting of all cooperating partners took place to update eachother and agree on the next steps. Stay tuned!
The project “H&M Meets the World Mannheim” is still ongoing. They met for example for a fun culinary afternoon on February 5th. The big closing event will take place on Thursday, April 11th – watch this space!
We had a great time on January 11th at the Stipendiatentag of our Scholarship from startsocial e.V. in Berlin, where we attended very interesting workshops on impact measurement and strategic planning. We also had the chance to exchange with many wonderful social organizations from all over Germany. Thank you startsocial e.V. for this experience!
Our event on job applications “Bewerbungswerkstatt” took place on Saturday, 15th of December. The participants had an interesting day about where and how to apply for jobs. They learned what important criteria to consider when writing a CV or a job letter and could work on their own documents. Thank you to Bernd Nemetschek from “Leimen ist bunt e.V.” who lead the workshop and to everyone that came! A special thanks to KochKultur for the great lunch!
A school dress as a symbol for the experience of being abroad. Photographs that document a family history. A diary found on a beach in Lampedusa: Migration is accompanied and reflected by objects. On Saturday, 17. November we co-organised and hosted the workshop “Archives of Migration” by the department of Visual and Media Anthropology Heidelberg University at DAI Makerspace. Together with stakeholders from the the field of academics, arts and activism we discussed how such objects can be included and used to mediate migration experiences. The workshop was part of the kick-off conference for the Research Project “Entangled Histories of Art and Migration: Forms, Visibilities, Agents” It was a very interesting and fruitful day and we are looking forward to future collaborations!
We are very happy to having been elected as one of 100 initiatives to receive a scholarship by startsocial! Startsocial is an annual contest that aims for a sustaining civil society by bringing it together with the economy. On Wednesday, 31. October, we went to the scholarship kick-off in Frankfurt. It was a great event where we got important information on the programme and already had a chance to meet other elected initiatives from the region. Starting in November, we will receive an individual coaching by experienced experts and management for a period of four months. Furthermore, we will become part of an extensive, Germany-wide network of social start-ups and initiatives. We are looking forward to this opportunity!
Our 4th networking event took place on Monday, 22. October. It was a great evening with 18 initiatives dealing with migration in Heidelberg. During the event we talked about internal issues and strengths, the cooperation with the city of Heidelberg and if and how to enhance our political action. We were also really happy to welcome a representative of BASF that informed the participating initiatives about their funding opportunities. We really enjoyed the productive and positive atmosphere of the evening that was supported by the delicious food of one of our initiatives, KochKultur. Thank you to everyone that came!
On 15. October we invited municipal stakeholders, initiatives and migrants to discuss “Refugees’ Housing Problems in Heidelberg.” We learned from personal experiences of discrimination, poor living conditions, and the many obstacles migrants face when looking for a new home. Following this event, we will become part of the Wohnraumbündis to represent the housing problems of migrants, prepare a statement explaining the difficult housing market for migrant and refugees, and we plan to spread awareness of ‘testing’ renters. More on this to come!
On the 4th of July at migration Hub Heidelberg a presentation was given by Sophie, a longtime member of Migration Hub Heidelberg who is currently working in the public sector in the field of migration, more specifically refugee reception. Her talk shed light on the first few steps of the German asylum process. She focused on the structure of refugee reception in Baden-Württemberg and introduced the most important terms and definitions.
We welcomed our friends from the Transatlantic Refugee Resettlement Network, and together we hosted this event, which took place at Migration Hub Heidelberg on the 15th of June, where field of urban housing and integration related programs and practices were discussed. The speakers of this events were: Sara Boughedir (Urban Development Specialist, Center for Mediterranean Integration), Christina West, PhD (Research Associate and Coordinator at the Urban Office at the Institute of Geography, Heidelberg University in Germany and Carrie Mann (Founder of Transatlantic Refugee Resettlement Network), and the talk was moderated by Ana Maria Alvarez Monge (CEO & Founder of MHN).
The discussion was brought to a local level, we learned information about refugees’ living situation in the Middle East, and from Heidelberg: the challenges of integration in an urban society were discussed, particularly; how housing can be provided and why it is crucial to understand how we are living together. During the event, delicious Syrian food was provided by Sindbad (modern Syrian cuisine) one of our initiatives.
We invited women of all backgrounds on the 17th – 18th of March 2018 in Mehrgenerationen Haus Heidelberg,with child care program included, to take part in a two days theater workshop.
The weekend workshop with theater actress Ellen Muriel gave an opportunity for women with or without theater experience to come together, and to get to know each other and try something new. Through a combination of theater, music and dance we explored how we can use our bodies and voices to express ourselves, connect with other people and tell stories without language. Over the 2 days we tried theater games, movement improvisation exercises, body percussion and singing, and performed a small sharing at the end of what we’ve created.
On the 8th of march we could -for the first time- take part in shaping global processes! We were invited by the Bertelsmann Stiftung and Robert Bosch Stiftung to an exciting barcamp at Migration Hub Network Berlin with many of Germany’s active civil society in the field of migration and development. The focus was on the Global Compact for Migration and the Global Compact on Refugees. In the barcamps and workshops we worked on several impulses which were discussed with representatives of the german government on a panel at the end of the event. We met many different actors of the civil society and we had great ideas for future cooperation and projects together!
After the well-received and filled to the last drop two performances of Ellens play “You, Me and the distance between us” in december of 2017, we brought her back for a two day theatre and Empowerment workshop as a part of the International Weeks against Racism Heidelberg.
The captivating autobiographical one-woman show was created by the british actress based on her experiences of volunteering along Europe’s refugee route in Lesvos, Idomeni and Calais. She uses a unique blend of theatre, puppetry and song to bring to life the existential issues that surround the movement of people and encourages the audience to consider their own position within it.
The workshop was an opportunity for women with or without theatre experience to come together. Through a combination of theatre, music and dance they explored how they can use their bodies and voices to express themselves, connect with other people and tell stories without language through theatre games, movement improvisation exercises, body percussion and singing.
After a successful public crowdfunding campaign and through local sponsoring by Berlin hostels several volunteers of the Team Migration Hub Heidelberg and members of Heidelberg initiatives and organisations in the field of migration and refugee, could drive to Berlin for two days: To the Conference for Civil Empowerment: #InnovationKnowsNoBorders on the 21st of September 2017 at Migration Hub Berlin. The goal of the conference was to show the innovative power that comes with and lies in migration. The speakers of the 15-minute talks were social innovators and refugee entrepreneurs: Dashni Morad, Singer & Founder of Green Kids; Asem Hasna, 3D Printing Expert at Refugee Open Ware; Abdul Rahman Al Ashraf, Founder and CEO of FreeCom; Mohamed Jimale, Founder & CEO of Ari.farm; Nat Ware, Founder and Chairman of 180 Degrees Consulting; Fatuma Musa Afrah, Human rights activists & keynote speaker and Titus Molkenbur, Co-founder and Head of Operations at Jugend Rettet e.V. We were very inspired and thankful to attend such a diverse and uplifting conference full of motivated, compassionate and smart people.
The KALEIDOSCOPE project was a three day audio drama writing workshop which took place on the 31st of March until the 2nd of April 2017 in Heidelberg. Migration Hub Heidelberg invited the KALEIDOSCOPE team to Heidelberg after meeting them in Berlin. We cooperated with William, Charlotte Stirling and Liz Rigby, the award-winning BBC radio writer and creator of the BBC’s Afghan radio drama. The project was backed by the UNHCR, UNWOMEN and OXFAM.
The participants, 32 Syrian refugees and host community members from Heidelberg, created dramas that were artistically powerful and still educated people about what it means to be Syrian today. They learned how to write, create and present their stories and what has happened to them and their families in the form of 4 x 15 minute radio dramas in Arabic. Always a group of eight writer trainees worked on one script. The play was recorded and broadcasted on BBC in Arabic, and some in English and German, the Syrian radio station Radio SouriaLi and both English and Arabic radio stations in the Middle East.