Photo: Austin Ban (CC0), via Unsplash

Isatou Joof is taking care of women in need

"We Help Everyone"

ifa | People celebrate Halloween in autumn every year to scare off evil spirits. In the German reception centre of the Red Cross in Brandenburg, they are warded off every day: The 27-years-old Isatou Joof from Gambia is taking care of women in need. She is one of this year's fellows of the ifa CrossCulture Programme CCP Refugess and Migration.
By Jan Rübel

Photo: Benny Jackson (CC0 1.0), via Unsplash

Comment on European Development Policy

More Development – More Migration?

SWP | To what extent does socio-economic development promote or reduce migration? The so-called migration hump and its significance for European development policy co-operation with Sub-Saharan Africa is addressed in a paper recently published by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). As the authors point out, it is problematic when policy makers assume stopping development aid will stop migration. It is evident that migration decisions are also influenced by further factors.

CrossCulture fellow Nour Eddine Bellahbib in Stuttgart, July 2017. Photo: © ifa/ Kuhnle

CrossCulture fellow about his experience

Moroccan Perspective on Migration

ifa | As the first country in North Africa, Morocco started a regularization process, which gave migrants from sub-Sahara Africa the chance to apply for a residence permit.  CrossCulture fellow Nour Eddine Bellahbib works with those migrants and is an advocate for the improvement of their situation. At an intercultural Workshop in Stuttgart he talked about his work in Morocco as well as the expectations of his CrossCulture internship in Berlin.
Interview by Leontine Päßler

Baghdad, Photo: Abdulmomn Kadhim (CC0 1.0), via Pixabay

Book review: Sinan Antoon's "The Baghdad Eucharist"

Fading under fire

Qantara.de | 'To leave or not to leave Iraq?' is the central question of Antoon's novel "The Baghdad Eucharist". The story takes place after transnational militants entered the Church of Our Lady of Deliverance in Baghdad and opened fire. The attitude of the two protagonists’ Youssef and Maha is fundamentally different. Whereas the elderly Youssef has a nostalgic and optimistic view of Iraqi life, the young Maha is preparing herself for a future elsewhere. Antoon's novel was shortlisted for the 'International Prize for Arabic Fiction'. By Marcia Lynx Qualey.

Ahmad Kanbar  (CC0 1.0), via unsplash

The future of the Middle East

How about a Marshall Plan?

Qantara.de | If we are ever to break the modern Middle East′s cycle of crises, we must not lose sight of the future. Across the Arab world four trends are already brewing a new set of problems for the coming decade.
By Tarek Osman

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.

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

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. It was the place of work for Florian Börner and Ahmed Al-Shaikhli, former fellows of the CCP programme Refugees and Migration.
By Jan Rübel

Faustin Thuyambaze (CC0 1.0) via unsplash


Forced Migration and Global Citizenship: Why We Need an Educational Paradigm

ifa | I travelled to several West African countries trying to find a "home" away from home with the hope of a speedy return to complete my college education.
By Ahmed Khan

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 Refugess and Migration.
By Jan Rübel

Daad Ibrahim spent seven weeks at her host organisation, the Stuttgart-Obertürkheim Evangelical-Lutheran parish office. © Christoph 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

Mohamad Hajjaj, Beate Apelt, Jamshid Hussein und CCP-Stipendiatin Medea Daghstani (f.l.t.r.); photo: Wolfgang Borrs

CrossCulture Programme

'The biggest difference is the freedom'

ifa | What does it mean to arrive in a new country? How does being forced to flee your homeland affect your sense of identity? What prospects and opportunities await refugees in Germany? On 13 December 2016, representatives of civil society, politics and the media came together with Syrian refugees who had been granted ifa fellows at the Sharehaus Refugio in Berlin to discuss these questions.
Report by Neda Pouryekta

Crawford Ifland (CC0 1.0), via Unsplash

Culture Report, EUNIC Yearbook 2014/2015

A culture of exclusion

ifa | French urban ghettoes that originally had the character of 'transit' or 'passage' stations for new immigrants turned into 'spaces of relegation' once employment was deregulated, becoming precarious and volatile, and unemployment became durable. This eminent sociologist, born in Poznan in 1925, reveals how the resentment and animosity of the established population grew into a virtually impenetrable wall, locking out the newcomers-turned-outsiders.
By Zygmunt Bauman

Refugee camp in Zaatari; photo: European Commission DG Echo (CC BY-SA 2.0), via Flickr

Refuge. Point – Episode 2

"Each day is a struggle for the bare essentials"

Alumniportal Deutschland | The inflow of refugees to Germany has slowed. But that doesn’t mean that there are no refugees anymore; on the contrary, people are still fleeing from Syria. Some of those who are committed to looking after refugees have taken part in the CrossCulture Programme (CCP) "Refugees and Migration". 
By Verena Striebinger

Megumi Matsubara; © Matteo Lonardi

Fine arts and politics

"We are who we meet"

ifa | Does art have to be political? What is the relation between politics and art? A conversation with Alya Sebti, curator of the ifa exhibition "Carrefour / Meeting Point", and Megumi Matsubara, artist and architect from Japan.
Interview by Juliane Pfordte

ifa Galleries: Carrefour / Meeting Point

Syafiatudina and Ferdiansyah Thajib (KUNCI); photo: © ifa / Victoria Tomaschko

On the Indonesian culture of sharing

"What does 'numpang'? mean"

Yeast | Until May the ifa Gallery Berlin shares its space with the transdisciplinary collective KUNCI Cultural Studies Centre from Yogyakarta. In a four-week research project, KUNCI will transform the gallery space into a temporary radio station, in which the Indonesian practice of "numpang" will be collectively questioned as a politics of sharing space, place and time.
Yeast met Syafiatudina for an interview.

Photo: ifa/Pfordte

"Flow of refugees" and Human Rights

Refugee versus migrant: what's in a name?

Qantara.de | "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights": the Universal Declaration of Human Rights couldn't be much clearer. Still the political response to the current flood of refugees is inevitably proving insufficient. Pia Oberoi, advisor on migration and human rights with the UNHCR, examines the issue.
By Pia Oberoi

Europe: Closed Doors or Open Arms? Culture and Migration / EUNIC, ... (Hg.). – Göttingen: Steidl , 2015. – 300 pp. – (Culture Report, EUNIC Yearbook)

Culture Report / EUNIC Yearbook 2014/2015

Europe: Closed Doors or Open Arms?

Whether it is religion, language, upbringing, education, sport or media – culture holds the key to successful integration. The various strategies of Europe’s Member States could hardly be more different. There are signs that civil and socioeconomic integration policies are beginning to be harmonised in Europe, but the cultural dimension is still determined by national concepts and ideas. Which strategies have proven their worth? What can culture achieve? And what does Europe need to do to improve the integration of migrants into mainstream society? How can Europe resolve the conflict between a repressive refugee policy and a rational migration policy?

Zygmunt Bauman: A culture of exclusion
Umberto Eco: An uncontrollable natural phenomenon
Bassam Tibi: Do we need a new Enlightenment?
Richard Sennett: Stimulating dissonances
Isabel Schäfer: Europe, a continent of immigration
Mely Kiyak: Angela, have mercy
Mely Kiyak: It's a crazy world – I'm keeping my distance
Mely Kiyak: A warm welcome to the concentration camp
Mely Kiyak: Ethnic appearance, blah, blah!

Culture Report / EUNIC Yearbook 2014/2015: order on ifa Media

Catalogue of the ifa-Library

[] ifa-Bibliothek

News / Press Review

Opportunities for reflection

Music festival on the Greek island of Chios

qantara.de | 12.12.2017

Migration is a part of human history. Since time immemorial, people have been displaced as a result of natural disasters, famine, war and persecution. However, the current number of refugees coming to Europe presents new challenges to policymakers, society and culture. According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), there are currently 65.3 million displaced people across the world, which is more than at any other point in history. What role does culture play in the context of migration? How can culture and foreign policy make a positive contribution?