Picture with colooured plastic monkey toys holding hand, background blue sky
Photo: Park Troopers (CC0) via Unsplash

Interview about global citizenship education as means for worldwide participation

Altering the way we understand education and learning in the 21st century

AFS | Facing global issues together: The global citizenship education movement fosters active participation in social, political, economic and environmental projects. Through education it aims to evolve a global consciousness in order to work together as a world community. Carlos Alberto Torres is UNESCO Chair in Global Learning and Global Citizenship Education. In an interview he gives an insight into recent developments in the field and talks about problems and obstacles .

Interview with net activist Kübra Gümüsay

Youtube, Twitter, Facebook and Others: Communities on the internet

ifa | What role do communities play on the Net? How can we develop a ​"common language of thinking"? And why is moral courage so little in evidence online? Especially marginalized people, says Kübra Gümüşay, can feel themselves part of a group and find a voice on the internet. But the blogger and Net activist now envisages spaces for thinking offline.

Sophia Schmid at the conference "Cultures of We" in Berlin; Photo: ifa/screenshot

Questions to improve the world?

Part II: What would you like to change in the world?

ifa | Who has never ever dreamed of having super powers? Many of us strive to make the world a better place. But our means and possibilities are limited. "If you had the power to do anything in the world, what would you change?" We asked intellectuals, political and cultural activists who participated at the conference "Cultures of We" September 2017 in Berlin.

Portrait Alaa, Photo: ifa/Kolle

Interview about the fight for Human Rights

Like a wave

ifa |''It's like a wave - once someone starts it, the others will rally around them'', says Alaa Mohamed Masaad Elsayed from Sudan about her work in Human Rights and Peace Building. With ifa's CrossCulture Programme she will stay in Germany for three months, doing an internship at the organization ''act for transformation'' in Aalen. In an interview Alaa talks about her work in Sudan, the issue of Female Genital Mutilation and about her expectations of the time in Germany.

Questions to improve the world

Part I: What can we do to promote a global sense of community?

ifa | There is no easy answer to the question we asked the participants of the conference "Cultures of We" last September in Berlin. "What can we do to promote a global sense of community," we wanted to know. From getting rid of tribalism up to the power of a common sense of humor – the replies from intellectuals, cultural activists and artists were very different.

Color, paint, brush and paintbrush. Photo: RhondaK Native Florida Artist via Unsplash

ifa Input 1/2018: Mike van Graan Requests a More Inclusive Humanity

Enhancing Cultural Democracy

ifa |"Everyone has the right to participate freely in the cultural life of the community and enjoy the arts" – an important principle of the Universal Human Rights Declaration. But the reality is far from ideal. Mike van Graan sees a huge gap between rich and poor; the Global North and South in terms of who is providing and consuming cultural goods, ideas and values. In the context of the ifa-Research Programme "Culture and Foreign Policy" van Graan reflects on cultural democracy. Referring to his home country South Africa, the author demands enhanced Cultural Democracy: a more inclusive humanity and a culture of mutual understanding and dialogue.

CrossCulture programme: talking with a scholarship holder

A country in transition

ifa | Moldova is a small country hidden between Romania and Ukraine. In the past years the population diminished from four to three million inhabitants. Why do so many people decide to leave the country? In the video CrossCulture scholarship holder and journalist Natalia Sergheev explains why young fellow citizens don't see any future and what role media play in the country.

Photo: ifa/Kuhnle

CCP fellow supports the rights of people with disabilities

The Long Road to Inclusion

ifa | Intuition plays an important role in the life of Yassine Rihani. The 34-year-old Tunisian lost his eyesight in 2006 and has been working as a physiotherapist ever since. As a human rights activist, he also has a feel for the pressure points in society and is committed to supporting the rights of people with disabilities. From October to December 2017 he worked as a CrossCulture Programms fellow at the physiotherapy training centre at Nuremberg Education Centre for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Photo: Slim Emcee (UG) the poet "Truth From Africa Photography" via Unsplash

Culture as an instrument of social transformation

The power of hip-hop

EU-LAC Foundation | Twelve Colombian hip hop dancers performed at the "Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government" in Cartagena de Indias in October 2016. Many of the artists grew up in difficult surroundings. Music and dancing were their opportunity to escape from their situation. The possibility of expressing themselves in front of the heads of state was not only a symbol of cultural inclusion, but also the approach to create a respectful dialogue and appreciate cultural diversity. This example does not have to be the only one. In her article, Rebeca Grynspan illustrates how to promote the power of culture and how culture eventually could transform entire societies.

Participants of the "Living Library" in Stuttgart © ifa / Kuhnle

Turn Your View of the World on Its Head

"The Living Library"

ifa | Very special books were borrowed in the ifa Library in Stuttgart on 7 September. The "books" – all in some way linked to ifa and the CrossCulture Programme – were real people. Coming from the Palestinian Territories, Sudan, Pakistan and other countries, the "books" had their own (cultural) identity, so that the dialogue opened up new angles and perspectives for the readers. The "Living Library" was the fifth stop of the CrossCulture Tour 2017.

© Caritas international/Caritas Freetown 2017

Humanitarian Assistance

Emergency relief: Sierra Leone after the landslide

ifa | On August 14, 2017 a heavy landslide occurred in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Local authorities report more than 1.000 victims. Humanitarian assistance aims at alleviating the suffering of people in need as a result of natural disasters like this. With its corresponding funding programme, ifa supports projects that provide fast, needs-based assistance. A report on Sierra Leone
By Karin Kathöfer

Chandran Nair about the Illusion of Globalism

How to Accept the Others

ifa | 'I don't like the idea of "we"', Chandran Nair said at the beginning of the international symposium 'cultures of we' on the 13 September in Berlin, Germany. In his keynote the Founder and CEO of the independent pan-Asian think tank 'Global Institute For Tomorrow', discussed the link between populism and postcolonialism. He calls to see people how they are and to accept the world as it is.

Wartburg in Eisenach, Photo: Thomas Şindilariu

Report on the ifa special interest tour "500 years of the reformation in Germany"

Phenomenon Reformation

ifa | Here in Germany, the Reformation is, in particular, being commemorated as a social, political and cultural phenomenon. Does this perhaps explain why the churches are empty while the commemoration of the reformation is being celebrated as a huge cultural event? A special interest tour with international experts didn't just look into this intriguing question.

Medina in Tunis. © Humpert


A mouthpiece for the medina

ifa alumni | A confusing tangle of narrow alleyways: this is what the old town of Tunis looks like. Two years ago Stuttgart architect Raoul Cyril Humpert moved there. With the financial support of ifa he launched a newspaper. About the project, history and life in the medina of Tunis.

CCP fellow Amur Alrawahi at the workshop in Stuttgart, July 2017 © ifa / Kuhnle

Young professionals abroad

From the Omani desert into German forest

ifa | Amur Alrawahi's participation in ifa's CrossCulture Programme brought him right in the heart of Germany. During his two months long internship, Amur is experiencing various facets of German nature based tourism at 'Hainich National Park'. Especially his daily commute is new to him - he swapped his car for a bike. At a CrossCulture Intercultural Workshop in Stuttgart he talked about his experiences so far.
Interview by Leontine Päßler 

uswa Foto: James Cridland -Crowd via Flickr (CC-BY-2.0)

Germany platform

How Germany ticks

Auswaertiges Amt |Informing the world about Germany and conveying a positive image of the country number among the Federal Foreign Office’s most important tasks. One of the most important instruments in this regard is the Germany platform. The world can gain an impression of our country in nine languages on the website www.deutschland.de, as well as on its social media channels. Since 17 July, the website has had a new look under the title "How Germany ticks".


Photo: Andy Roast (CC BY-NC 2.0) via Flickr

Education initiative from Jordan

Science Leauge receives award from the University of Manchester

ifa | The project Science League by Hamza Arsbi, which has been supported by ifa, has been awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Social Enterprise award. Science Leauge has been founded in reaction to the bad condition of the education system in Jordan. The project empowers young people from the Middle East to compete in various scientific challenges.

Sudanese filmmaker produces music video for a traditional nursery rhyme. © ifa / Aamir

Music video for a traditional sudanese nursery rhyme

Yesterday's music – tomorrow's trees

ifa Alumni | "Music videos provide a great opportunity to make our enormous wealth of traditional folk music more accessible to young people", says CrossCulture alumnus and filmmaker Mohamed Emugtaba Aamir from Sudan. It is an opportunity and at the same time a challenge, as the number of well-produced music videos that have been made in Africa's third largest country is almost non-existent.

Photo: Erdem Dindar (CC0), via Pixabay

Copenhagen's mosque led by women

When the muezzina calls

Qantara.de | Friday prayers are regularly held in Europe's first female-led mosque. In a further innovative step, a new Islamic academy for the training of female imams for Denmark is about to open its doors. Ulrike Hummel reports from Copenhagen

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: 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.

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 a study pulished by the European Parliament this year. The study presents EU mechanisms against this phenomena and offers some strategic guidelines.

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 and/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.

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. Our special press review 'Culture Shock Trump?' provides an overview of current developments in the U.S., exploring their consequences for the arts, sports, the media and science.

Havana, Cuba © Albia Consul

German-Cuban cultural and educational relations

Cuba opens up: will culture and education be the new motor?

ifa | The death of Fidel Castro has put Cuba in the public eye. It was preceded by the resumption of diplomatic relations with the USA and Barack Obama's visit in March 2016. Tourism continues to rise steadily and foreign holidaymakers are bringing the foreign exchange into the country that is such a welcome source of income for many Cubans. To many observers, it appears to be inexorable that the country will open up. Cuban intellectuals and artists are hoping for more freedom as well as a more intensive exchange with foreign countries. Foreign cultural and educational policies play an essential role here.
Interview with Professor Bert Hoffmann, an expert from the ifa's research programme

new olds. Workshop with Laura Bernhardt and Daniel Juric in Nanjing; photo: Lao XU (Hongwei XU), © ifa

Workshop in Nanjing

Lotus Root and Sauerkraut

ifa | The streets in China are full of the smell of food. Whether boiled, steamed, fried, or baked, street vendors are cooking everywhere. What makes Chinese street food special? How is it prepared? What do the vendors use to cook it? And how is it different from German food?
By Laura Bernhardt and Daniel Juric

Catalogue of the ifa-Library

[] ifa-Bibliothek

ifa-Programmes on the dialogue of civil societies

Scott Webb, via Unsplash