Photo: David Marcu via Unsplash

Integration of female refugees in Europe

Triple Disadvantage?

OECD | The debate about the integration of refugees pays little attention to gender-specific differences. In his report for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Thomas Liebig deals with the situation of women and their access to the labour market and and asks: Which are the main obstacles women have to face? How can women be successfully integrated into societies of receiving countries?

Catholics during a church parade

Immigration to Europe

The loudest opponent of Italy's new anti-migrant policy? The Catholic Church

Washington Post | In June Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini announced that he would close the country's ports to any ship bringing migrants to the shores. His anti-migrant agenda is supported by the government elected in the beginning of 2018. The dissenting voices come from another corner. Catholic priests, bishops and other church leaders all over the country have recently spoken up, explaining that Salvini's and other politicians' actions are contradictory to their beliefs. They "cannot call themselves Christian", a parish priest said.

"End" written on a signpost at a fence

EU migration policy

Managing African migration

D+C | The European Union wants to prevent migration to Europe. How do authoritarian African regimes react to their cooperation offers? This was examined in a study by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs. Monika Hellstern summarised the most important results.

DEtail of a blue cargo container infront of a deep blue sky

Economic perspectives for in the Middle East and North Africa

A new approach for the accomodation of refugees

Qantara | Blockchain technologies to strengthen the delivery of food aid and full access to the labour market: Lebanese politician and economist Nasser Saidi proposes unusual measures for dealing with refugees in host countries in the Middle East and North Africa. He calls for a new approach with long-term solutions.

Foto: Kelsey Knight (CC0) via Unsplash

Migration and chances for Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean

Forging bonds with emigrants

EULAC Foundation | In times of modern communication technologies there are many ways in which communities abroad keep close ties to their place of origin in various ways. In public discussions about migration and integration little attentions has been paid to the fact that immigrants are emigrants in the same time. Therefore, experts from Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean discussed questions of transnational participation of emigrants during a seminar in Hamburg. As a result they published a summary about home countries' policies towards their emigrants and chances for bi-regional cooperation through immigrants.

A Rohingya child jumping over a dirty river in a refugee camp in Bangladesh

Theatre sessions with Rohingyan refugees

The poverty of our minds

ifa | A year has passed since the Rohingya refugee crisis hit the headlines of the world press. CrossCulture Programme Alumnus Pradip Acharjee commits himself to cultural based capacity building and youth development in Rohingyan communities in Bangladesh to fight one of the biggest forms of poverty, the poverty of the mind.

Demonstration against Erdoğan in Cologne

Turkish immigrants in Germany

The need to be somebody

Qantara | The journalist Can Merey assumes that many German-Turks will vote again in favour of Erdoğan at the parliamentary and presidential elections on 24 of June. One good example is his father: University graduate, strongly integrated – but in Germany people still see him as a "Turk". Out of spite he voted Erdoğan in old age. In his book "Der ewige Gast" (The Eternal Guest) Merey treats the history of the Turkish migration to Germany and the question of "belonging" using the example of his own family.

Successful Integration of Migrants and Refugees

Social start-ups work for integration

Deutschland.de | How can migrants and refugees be integrated into the German labour market? The answer is: social enterprises. They do not only focus on business but also take into account their social responsibility. By creating jobs designed for requirements of newly arrived people in Germany they have turned out to be successful instruments of integration. That’s why the “Ankommen.Deutschland” programme supports such start-ups with fundings. One thriving project is “Bridges – Musik verbindet”. Refugees and locals play together in a band – on a professional level.

Refugees in a kitchen

Internal Refugees, Home and New Perspectives

It’s time to make new plans

Cultures of We | Ukrainian photographer Yelena Shunkina is concerned with telling her own stories through photos and breaking down stereotypes about fugitives in her own country. Her exhibition ‘Foreign homeland – refugees in their own land’, supported by ifa, shows the realities of life of Ukrainian internally displaced persons. She herself fled the city of Donetsk to Kryvyi Rih in southern Ukraine at the beginning of the Ukrainian conflict. In the interview, she tells how the escape led her and other people to become active themselves.

Photo: Wafula Steve (CC0) via Unsplash

Understanding People's Motivation

Migration as a successful model? Looking to sub-Saharan Africa

ifa| "Why do we always mean refugees and migrants from Africa and the Middle East when we speak about "people who leave their home country"? We Europeans also leave our countries", states communicologist Anke Fiedler in an interview with ifa. For a study of ifa’s research programme "Culture and Foreign Policy" she talked to people in sub-Saharan Africa willing to migrate and found a lot more reasons for flight and migration than the expected ones.

Light shining through a window in a dilapidated house

Stories from the Palestinian Diaspora

My grandmother, the selfie generation, and I

Qantara | Jenin Elena Abbas was born 1983 in Oldenburg. In the late sixties her father came from the Palestinian territories to Germany. In the article she discusses if their generation conflict is based on cultural roots.

Black white picture look through train window, man with luggage walking by

Migration: Terms and Capabilities

Mobility, exchange and sustainability

Kulturen des Wir | Tourists, refugees, migrants, expats – we can find a range of categories describing different types of people moving outside their place of origin for a certain period of time. While some of them are very welcome at their destination others are seen as a thread for the economic or social stability. But how easily can people be put in such categories? Are the terms "good" and "bad" migration misleading? Ethnologist Hans Peter Hahn about the ambivalence of concepts like mobility and "the others" and why exchange and diversity is a huge enrichment for societies.

Piano and Hands

Six artists from four continents

After the escape

Deutsche Welle | Causes of flight vary. Terror, dictatorship, censorship and persecution, family violence or political unrest led six artists to leave their native homes. The 'After the escape' multimedia website tells their stories. Interviews, videos and pictures show how the artists try to adjust to the living conditions in their new countries. They talk about finding home in writing, why 'home' can also be a feeling and why security is more than just avoiding bombs.

Interview with Jean-Luc Nancy by Franziska Dübgen

A culture grows old and senile if it closes out influence from outside

Kulturen des Wir | French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy rejects the idea of a clash of cultures and appeals for an understanding of democratic community as the coexistence of heterogeneous elements. A culture can only develop and renew itself by never ceasing to want to discover and get to know the Other.

Colombian and African Artists

Colombian-African Cooperation

Recollecting scattered seeds in Africa and Colombia

C& América Latina | Molemo Moiloa and Marie Hélène Pereira founded the project Scattered Seeds which examines shared black histories in Colombia, Senegal and South Africa. Besides of getting acquainted with each other the project offers residencies in order to reconnect African roots in the Afro-Colombian community. In his performance 'Hair Combing Cycle 1530' Satch Hoyt shows how even everyday actions like combing ones hair can be understood as white oppression of black people.

Airport Tempelhof, Photo: K.H. Reichert (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

Berlinale 2018

Lives lived in waiting

qantara.de | ''I'm not out to point the finger'', says Karim Aïnouz about his new movie ''CentralAirport THF''. He follows the life of two refugees who are living in an improvised refugee camp at the old airport Tempelhof in Berlin. During the film, the protagonists are waiting for a decision on their status in Germany. In intimate pictures the movie shows the everyday life at Tempelhof, between hope and resignation. Only five kilometers away from where the movie was shot, it was shown at the Berlinale 2018.

Sudanese traumatherapist Sally Elgizouli applied her knowledge in a living group in Stuttgart. Photo: Uli Reinhardt

Experiences in a group in Stuttgart

Art against blockages

ifa | Trauma-Expert Sally Elgizouli believes in art in her therapeutic methods. In her hometown Khartoum, Sudan, she works with refugees. Many of them only stop by here. "How is the rest of their journey? What do they experience? How do they feel when they arrive in Europe or the US?", Sally was wondering many times. When she participated in ifa's CrossCulture Programme she had the chance to get to know realities of refugees in Stuttgart.

Emam Abdelgadir works in the field of peace education. Photo: © Uli Reinhardt

Solving conflicts peacefully

From student to trainer

ifa | How can I teach people to detect a rising conflict and solve it peacefully? A question Emam Abdelgadir faces regulary in his daily life. He works as trainer at the Alternative to Violence Project (AVP) in Sudan and is very active in the field of peace education. It is crucial for him to show people that every little contribution to peace matters. As a scholarship holder in ifa’s CrossCulture Programme Refugees and Migration he shared his knowledge with his colleagues at the organisation Act for Transformation in Aalen.

Mary Gina Angaun works for the organisation "International Rescue Committee" (IRC). Photo: © Sascha Montag

CrossCulture Programme Refugees and Migration

The All-rounder

ifa | She supports poor farmers, advocates the prevention of violence against women and is active in a range of other projects – at the organisation "International Rescue Committe" (IRC) Mary Gina Angaun is a real All-rounder. For this global aid organisation for refugees and war victims she organises workshops and trainings. Through ifa's CrossCulture Programme Refugees and Migration she spent two months in Germany. At IRC Berlin she learned a lot about working with refugees. Her German colleagues instead benefited from her broad experience in Uganda.

Photo: Uli Reinhardt

A realistic picture of the life as a refugee in Germany

After the escape is before the escape

ifa | "The people of Africa often have the wrong picture", says Souleymane Sagna from Senegal. He therefore wants to communicate a realistic picture of the life as a refugee in Germany. The human rights lawyer is one of this year's fellows of the ifa CrossCulture programme Refugees and Migration and gaining insight into the work of the German association "Freundeskreis Asyl" in Karlsruhe.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

News / Press Review

Refugees Worldwide book explores migration stories from unusual perspectives

International Literature Festival in Berlin

dw.com | 17.09.2018

ifa programmes on "Migration and Culture"