Photo: Quinn Dombrowski, (CC BY-SA 2.0), via Flickr

Austria′s president and the Islamophobia debate

The courage of one man | By criticising the fear of Islam that is rife in Austria, the country's new president, Alexander Van der Bellen, is sending out an important signal of opposition to both the racism that has become socially acceptable once again in Europe and the stigmatisation of Muslims. By Farid Hafez

Photo: Aida Muluneh Departure 2016 Courtesy of Artist and David Krut Projects

7th Print Issue Is Out Now

C& / ifa | On the occasion of documenta 14: Curriculum of connections, the latest print issue is focused on education. 

Photo: ifa / Grimke


Journalists from German Minorities Link up in Prague

ifa | In May 2017, journalists from German minorities’ newspapers and radio stations in Central and South Eastern Europe, as well as Russia and Kazakhstan, came together for a (net)working meeting. Most met in person for the first time, but the majority has known one another before, thanks to their collaboration with Mind_Netz. Since November 2016, journalists from the German minorities’ media have been cooperating on the joint social media platform, in partnership with Mind_Netz’s editors at the ifa in Stuttgart. On its facebook, VK, and Twitter presences, Mind_Netz curates the most intriguing contributions from German minorities’ media, targeting a young and international audience.

Photo: Elena Bolcekova & Alice Horvathova (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), via Flickr


How culture and the arts can promote intercultural Dialogue in the context of Migratory and refugee crisis

ifa | The publication shares various case studies by the working group of EU member states' experts on intercultural dialogue. Focusing on empowerment, integration ,and evaluation, the report wants to show how culture and the arts can promote intercultural dialogue.

Photo: Markus Petriz (CC0 1.0), via Unsplash

Emancipation in Afghanistan

Breaking down cyber barriers | By teaching girls programming and computer literacy, two sisters in Afghanistan have triggered something of a digital revolution.

Photo: Robert Zunikoff (CC0 1.0) via unsplash


Chaos world? Douard Glissant and the question of universality

ifa | For the exhibiton "Untie to Tie" by the ifa gallery in Berlin, Markus Messling from the Centre Marc Bloch Berlin, wrote an essay about the writer, literary theorist, and philosopher Édouard Glissant.

Photo gallery

Dabkeh Flash Mob in Bremen

ifa | Dance as an instrument to learn more about living in the Palestinian Territories: Osama Awwad, dancer, choreographer, and dramaturge from Bethlehem is using the Arabic folk dance Dabkeh as a flash mob in Bremen. Various places in the city, like the town square and the main station, become a stage.  Therefore, the dance can start conversations about daily Palestinian life.

Queen Silvia of Sweden; photo Rosie Alm, ©

Theodor Wanner Award 2017

Laureate: Queen Silvia of Sweden

ifa | The ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) is bestowing the 2017 Theodor Wanner Award for peace, freedom and human rights upon Queen Silvia of Sweden. With her multifaceted, longstanding and transnational engagement, she actively and concretely contributes to the broad implementation of human rights, dialogue between different social groups, and thusly, to peace and social cohesion.

The 'Future Perfect' exhibition arrives in Guadalajara © Fototeca Musa / Nayeli Huizar

ifa exhibitions in Mexico

From Oaxaca to Monterrey

ifa | During the Year of Germany in Mexico 2016-2017 the ifa presents alltogether seven exhibitions in different Mexican cities. Currently 'Sibylle Bergemann. Photographies' and 'Future Perfect' are to be seen in Oaxaca and in Guadalajara respectively. On 8 June the 'Otto Dix. Social Criticism' exhibition will open in Guadalajara. One week later 'Music from an Unknown Source' with 40 gouaches by Sigmar Polke will start in Oaxaca.

Rosemarie Trockel: Reclining Nude, 2000 © (Rosemarie Trockel) VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, 2003; photo: Bernhard Schaub

Cooperation in Europe

Rosemarie Trockel exhibition in Romania

ifa | 25 years ago former Federal Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher and his Romanian ministerial colleague Adrian Năstase signed the German-Romanian Treaty on Friendly Cooperation. During the anniversary year various events on the cooperation of the two countries are taking place. In Timișoara the German Cultural Days are celebrated. On May 25, the ifa-exhibition 'Rosemarie Trockel' opens at the Museum of Art of the West Romanian town. The Centrul Cultural German Timişoara presents the exhibition 'International Relations. Young Architectes from Germany' up to 9 June.

Kaiwan Mehta, photo: ifa / Gögelmann

A World in the City

The worlds within... what is found there?

ifa | We are all familiar with something we call Natural History, but what would be the history of Natural History? Where I specifically would see Natural History as forms of relationships that human beings and human civilisations share with nature and Nature. This relationship is akin to a world view that people and civilisations develop and live with.
By Kaiwan Mehta

[Translate to English:] © ifa / Kerzel

Picture Gallery

Up-and-coming Journalists

ifa | 15 pupils had the chance to learn more about their own town of Sanktanna in Western Rumania, when they participated in a journalistic workshop in May. The main focus of the workshop was interviewing people with traditional professions like a mason, a blacksmith, or a upholsterer. Concluding the workshop, they gathered all their information and wrote short articles that are published on May 17th in the German Newspaper for Romania on a double page.
Pictures by Florian Kerzel (Manager Cultural-ifa)

Johannes Dnaliew: Holi Festival Dortmund (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies

The Import of 'cultural goods' and emigration: an unexplored relation

RSCAS | The paper within the EUI Working Papers series analyses the effect of the import of cultural goods, be it cultural heritage, performance, visual arts, or other on emigration decisions. 'The import of cultural goods, by affecting individual preferences, reduces the cost of any migration move and favours outflows towards exporting countries.' In a gravity model 33 OECD destination countries and 184 sending countries have been examined.
By Mauro Lanati and Alessandra Venturini

Photo: Martin Dörsch (CC0 1.0), via Unsplash


'Shrinking space for civil society: the EU response'

European Parliament | 'The global clampdown on civil society has deepened and accelerated in recent years. Over a hundred governments have introduced restrictive laws limiting the operations of civil society organisations (CSOs),' states the study pulished by the European Parliament this year. It presents EU mechanisms against this phenomena and offers some strategic guidelines. 

Photo: Roman Kraft (CC0 1.0), via Unsplash


European Commemoration

ifa | What are the correlations between national, transnational and European perspectives? Is there a difference between a European perspective and multiperspectivity? What can and what should be the goal of historical education concerning the First World War? The contributions in this anthology reflect on these questions, reveal blind spots and present new approaches and projects to European Commemoration of the First World War.

Populism in Europe on the rise. Photo: (CC0), via Pixabay

Special Press Review

Target Europe

ifa | Populism is on the rise in Europe. Anti-European parties and protectionist movements are enforcing nationalistic ideas. The new ifa’s Special Review ''Target Europe'' addresses the revival of nationalist thinking in Europe, its impact on the arts, culture, the media and science as well as the latters' responsibility  to fight back against oversimplifying populist narratives.

Exhibition "Politics of Sharing" at ifa Gallery Berlin, 2016 © ifa / Tomaschko


Politics of Sharing – On Collective Wisdom

ifa | As a result of an international research and exhibition project the publication Politics of Sharing – On Collective Wisdom presents perspectives that aim to activate our collective knowledge, our experience and our practices of sharing in the context of contemporary art and visual culture.

Peter P. (CC BY-NC 2.0), via Flickr

Simulation game on European cultural policy

Giving Europe a Home

ifa | The European Union is rife with crisis and discord. Instead of solidarity and cohesion, self-interest and protectionism dominate the discourse between its member states. Internally as well as externally, the project EU is as unattractive as never before. Hence, the European Commission ventures to act big: a new pan-European idea is needed.


CrossCulture Workshop 2016

ifa | In August 2016, we met three CCP fellows at the workshop in Stuttgart. We wanted to know: 'Why does intercultural knowledge matter?'

Working side by side, Florian Börner and Ahmed Al-Shaikhli. Working side by side, Florian Börner and Ahmed Al-Shaikhli. Photo: © Sascha Montag, Zeitenspiegel


Two heads are better than one

ifa | The living room is vast, easily big enough to accommodate a football pitch – and at the moment a couple of dozen refugees. In Berlin-Spandau, 750 refugees live in the Stadtmission refugee centre, a former cigarette factory comprising a number of production areas. In this surrounding Florian Börner and Ahmed Al-Shaikhli are working side by side, discussing problems and finding solutions.
By Jan Rübel

Is there an of switch for asymmetrical power constellations? Photo: Sylvain Naudin (CC BY-SA 2.0), via Flickr

ifa Edition Culture and Foreign Policy

Can Asymmetrical Cooperation be Legitimised?

ifa | Is there a chance of balanced power constellations between the global north and the global south? How can uneven cooperations be justified?  This research will investigate whether asymmetric cooperation may nonetheless be legitimised if it leads to effective problem-solving or generates emancipatory effects. This tension will be examined on the basis of a critical and reflexive analysis of the DAAD project "Tunisia in transition", involving collaboration between German and Tunisian universities.

Memorial to honour Gebran Tueni, Lebanese journalist who was killed in 2005. photo © ifa/Pfordte


From Amnesty to Amnesia

ifa | "In Lebanon, repression has become a permanent state of mind," says the journalist and Orientalist Monika Borgmann. With the archive "UMAM Documentation & Research", founded in 2004, she attempts to fill the gaps in the country's collective memory. In her latest documentary "Tadmor", former Lebanese detainees break their silence. The theatrical release at different cinemas in Switzerland starts on 9 March 2017.
Interview by Juliane Pfordte

Muna Abdelbaqi spent two months working with BORDA, the Bremen Overseas Research & Development Association. © Sascha Montag, Zeitenspiegel


Help without borders

ifa | A young engineer is utilising experience gained in Jordan, Iraq and Germany to tackle some of the technical problems faced by refugee camps. A portrait of Muna Abdelbaqi, fellow of the funding programme CCP Refugees and Migration.
By Jan Rübel

'In the Carpet': exhibition at ifa gallery Stuttgart, 2016 © ifa/Siri Gögelmann


Blooming Pencils and Woven Symbols

ifa | At the end of school holidays, Taysir Batniji as a young boy sharpened pencils for hours. Today, a field of pencil shavings is part of one of his most famous performances. The Palestinian artist was born 1966 in Gaza. With his installation 'Hannoun', Batniji is confronting two central dimensions of his life: the conflictive situation in Gaza, and living in exile. The installation is featured in the exhibition 'In the Carpet ǀ Über den Teppich'. Another work shown in the exhibition is from Amina Agueznay. The Casablanca-born artist loves collaborating with Moroccan weavers and artisans from the countryside. With her textiles installations she deals with traditional motifs and craft techniques. In the interview they talk about the mutual influences between arts, crafts and culture.
Interview by Mustafa Yapakci and Siri Gögelmann

[] Sieben Wochen unterstützte Daad Ibrahim die Evangelische Kirchengemeinde in Stuttgart-Obertürkheim. © Christian Püschner, Zeitenspiegel


No fear of strangers

ifa | A Lebanese woman is keen to learn more about volunteering, so she comes to Germany. But the student also becomes a teacher. A portrait of Daad Ibrahim, fellow of the funding programme CCP Refugess and Migration.
Von Birte Fuchs

Photo: Aaron Burden (CC0 1.0), via Unsplash

Special Press Review

Culture Shock Trump?

How U.S. Policies Influence the Arts, Culture and Science

ifa | Within just a few days of taking office, President Donald Trump has begun to change the political scenery of the U.S., decree by decree. His policies affect the arts, culture and science: Universities are to suffer financial cutbacks; the immigration ban for individuals from seven majority-Muslim countries threatens to damage the international exchange in the arts, culture and science. Still, Trump's executive orders do not go unchallenged: Museums and universities refuse to accept this growing isolation without a fight.

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