The Allianz Cultural Foundation is partnering with a wide variety of projects and events dealing with “Displacement & Migration” in a cultural or social context. The foundation opts to view the so-called “refugee crisis” as a lens through which the challenges and opportunities presented by the ongoing modernization of our society can be studied, and we aim to initiate solutions-oriented projects.
One main priority is to back young artists forced from their home countries in the face of undue pressure and/or imminent danger . The foundation wants to give these at-risk artists new opportunities in Germany, where they can further professionalize their practices, expand their networks and gain access to training and funding institutions. Additionally, this program is meant to actively involve displaced artists, journalists and social activists in public debates on “Displacement & Migration” – along with local representatives from civil society, culture and politics.
In the special program “AKA Integration”, the Allianz Cultural Foundation is giving its support to fun, engaging, accessible cultural projects and community events that invigorate social lives and increase participation, especially among displaced persons.
Special Program AKA Integration (DE)
The Allianz Cultural Foundation has joined forces with various cultural institutions across Europe to award residency grants to authors and artists from the Mediterranean region whose lives are at acute risk in their home countries. Residencies are hosted by various European cultural institutions, making it possible for at risk artists and authors to continue their work while simultaneously developing lasting connections to fellow artists in Europe.
The following authors and artists have been awarded grants to date:
Berlin writer Annika Reich and the activist coalition WIR MACHEN DAS (WE’RE DOING IT) started the nationwide series of events Meet Your Neighbours to initiate discussions and readings involving refugees and locals at neighborhood libraries and museums.
“We don’t talk about each other, we talk with each other.” With that as their slogan, people who’ve taken refuge in Germany and people who’ve been living here for a while, even their whole lives, tell each other their stories. In that way, Meet Your Neighbours makes use of available community spaces to give both newcomers and old hands alike an opportunity to enter into dialogue at multilingual storytelling salons and readings. Experience has shown that encounters make a difference. Stories connect people with each other and when paths cross, a lot of things can happen.
Read the report on the event on 03 May 2017 at Literaturhaus München here
Founded in 2015 in Berlin, Kiron University offers refugees worldwide access to a bachelor's program at one of the 27 accredited German universities through its two-year online learning programs (MOOCs). 30 Kiron students from different countries are currently undergoing a professional training in creative writing and journalistic work in order to work on the student magazine supported by Allianz Kulturstiftung. It is available both online and as a print version.
The symposium "The School of Everything" at documenta14 in Kassel and Athens is a continuation of the project "UNIVERSITAS". Artists, scientists and activists give an insight into their educational methods and develop new and easily managable formats of education. "The School of Everything" serves as example for a 21st-century university, which focuses on universal learning as a condition of existence and the essence of emancipation.
The symposiums' results will be presented at documenta14, collected and combined in a sculpture.
The ARTIST CAREER FORUM took place as part of the project “Artist Training: Refugee Class for Professionals”. Displaced artists and representatives of various Berlin cultural institutions were invited to participate. The symposium set out to identify preliminary steps toward effective communication and/or a platform allowing displaced artists and local institutions to come together more easily. As a result, the working group "Transnational Artist Council" has emerged from the "Fachtag", which aims to facilitate the access to networks and jobs in the German cultural industry for newcomer artists.
Over the course of six weeks, more than 30 events (talks, workshops, readings, concerts, and more) invited neighbors to spend time together , and to get to know each other and learn from each other in the process. Aside from livening up the community in the dead of winter, the program sparked effortless interaction between people with and without a refugee background. The Moabit culture marathon was designed to send out fresh impulses and act as a prototype for how lived integration can play out in a way that is both interesting and inspiring of imitation.
Inspired by diverse encounters and the influx of newcomers to the city, the Give Something Back to Berlin (GSBTB) network supports musicians, and helps them via the Open Music Platform to connect with other refugee musicians and well-established local professionals, to find music lessons and rehearsal spaces, to perform at concerts and to realize personal projects.
Bands such as Lomnava – Refugees & Friends, Wulaba – Refugees Voice, GRV – Global Refugee Voice and 143 Band were founded and supported over the course of 2016. They produced themselves at the Eastside Music Days Festival, Popraci Festival, Rixdorf, Sommer für Alle, Festival Neukölln as well as countless smaller gigs across the city and at GSBTB events.
This conference sought to stimulate thought and discussion on Europe's long tradition of emigration and immigration, as well as on the experience of exile as a common cultural thread in the Mediterranean. Artists, scholars, journalists and writers from Europe and the Mediterranean region joined in debate and talked about different opportunities and challenges ongoing waves of displacement are presenting for their respective societies. During the conference, the book "Europa. An Illustrated Introduction to Europe for Migrants and Refugees" was presented.
Guests at the Conference.
Panel I ‘Displacement, Place-Making and Writing: the Exile Gaze’ with Michael Kleeberg, Schriftsteller, Suleyman Al-Bassam, theatre director, Rosa Yaseen Hassan, author and human rights activist. Moderated by Alex Rühle (SZ).
Naika Foroutan, migration and integration researcher.
Suleyman Al-Bassam, theatre director.
Book presentation "Europe. An Illustrated Introduction to Europe for Migrants and Refugees"
with Alia Malek, author and Thomas Dworzak, photographer. Moderated by Astrid Frohloff
Music by the Damaskus String Quintet.
Keynote Speech ‘Guests and Hosts, Life in Exile’ by Petros Markaris, writer.
...with the best view on the Brandenburger Tor.