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 living 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.
By Tilman Wörtz

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

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

European Union | 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

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

Catalogue of the ifa-Library

[] ifa-Bibliothek

News / Press Review

African Book Festival Berlin

Berlin's first literary festival with and by African writers is taking place between 26 and 28 April. The curator is author Olumide Popoola.

African Book Festival Berlin | 26.04.2018

Successful refugee student measures to be continued

universityworldnews.com | 16.03.2018

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?