Program Thursday

For the conference program please register by  11th June 2017 using this tool.

The arts and cultural education field illustrates perfectly the disparity at hand: refugees are in most cases project participants but rarely project leaders. Structures of exclusion and discrimination are the main underlying factors at play here.But what happens when refugees take the situation into their own hands by becoming the initiators of arts and cultural projects?
Kontext Asyl is a critical field study of arts and cultural education programs led by and for refugees. Through participant observation and further research, this study looks at the work of Berlin-Mondiale, and other key projects in the field, and presents practical recommendations for action.

6.oo pm

Recent years have seen an increase in arts and cultural education projects addressing forced migration and refuge/asylum. Discussions have arisen around how and by whom these projects are organised. Buzz words such as ‘at eye level’ (Augenhöhe) and ‘diversity’ are often used in such debates and seem to be becoming more and more anchored as accepted concepts. At the same time we see a dominant discourse that assumes that cultural and political work can and should be handled separately from eachother. This separation results in the marginalisation and misunderstanding of (self-organised) projects, also in arts and culture, that critically address and oppose Asylum regimes and their impact (racism, border control, deportation etc.).

The question arises here as to whether it is at all possible to have an apolitical approach to arts and cultural education within the context of forced migration and asylum. This is an especially poignant question given that this sector purports to take the experiences of refugees, in all their complexity, seriously. What does it mean to be political and to exercise a critique of power within the arts and cultural education sector working in refugee contexts? What does ‘diversity’ and to work ‘at eye level’ mean in this field? What challenges to practitioners face in working with the cultural and political as intertwined realms?

Representatives of self-organised refugee projects and organisations will be in discussion and report on their work in practice.

There will be time following the discussion to network with participants on-site.

In dissussion (fish-bowl method): Club Al-Hakawati, CommUnity Carnival Gruppe (former MyRight is YourRight), Ferdos Mirabadi  (kargah e.V.), Sandra Selimovic (Become Flüchtling)

8.00 pm

The GRIPS Theater opens the doors of the Podewil in collaboration with Jugendliche Ohne Grenzen for newly arrived and long-time Berliners. On the stage in the foyer this evening will be filled with singing, dancing, reading, playing and reciting together. We want to connect young Berlin artists and provide them with a platform for their contributions. What is special about this evening is the exchange between different cultures. Here, refugees from initial registration facilities and young Berliners from the artist scene meet. Not only does an artistic exchange take place here, but the buffet offers the opportunity to get to know and to network so that “Mensch, willkommen!” does not remain an empty shell.

The best-of-program is presented at the Interventionen.