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

Refugees, culture and the arts

At the 6th ENCATC Academy on Culture in External Relations, the focus is on the question of culture in Europe’s refugee crisis.

ENCATC | 27.03.2017

Education in emergencies and crises

Mobile Learning Week is exploring how technology can improve access to education for refugee children.

UNESCO | 20.03.2017

In Denmark, Passage of Rules on Immigration Called for Cake

Denmark passed the 50th restriction on immigration.

nytimes.com | 15.03.2017

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?