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“Recording in Progress” is a sound installation by Julia Tieke that translates German-language media reports on migration and flight into the languages spoken by those who are being reported on. It confronts the audience with the situation of not understanding on the one hand, but on the other, it also presents German-language commentary by the translators and speakers about the political background on misunderstanding language. The Radio moderator and author Julia Tieke talks to Elisabeth Wellershaus in an interview about discoveries, pitfalls, and newly created words in the complex field of translation. To article in German...

Is democracy dead? For the launch of the program series Staat 1-4 (2016-2018) from Rimini Protokoll on the decline in state influence in the political sphere and the gaps in the system, the philosopher Boris Buden illuminates the historical “truth” of modern democracy. To article...

The Film “And-Ek Ghes documents the arrival of the Roma family Velcu in Berlin. The filmmaker Philip Scheffner and co-director Colorado Velcu develop perspectives on the arrival in Germany and the self-determination of migrants and refugees in aesthetic production. On the surface, the second installment of the three-part project series “Tonspuren”, curated by Nanna Heidenreich, shows the every day life of the Velcu family who emigrated from Romania. The documentary, which is nominated for the Grimme Award 2017, addresses various ideas of (self-) presentation and offers an unusual contribution to critical revisions of the representation of migrants and refugees in film and the arts. To article in German...

How should today’s European societies deal with the damage of the colonial era? With the consequences of the destruction of places, bodies, and identities? And what forms of “reparation” for contemporary injustices would be appropriate? Within the framework of the event Body the artist Kader Attia and the philosopher Françoise Vergès addressed old and new collective wounds, amputations and their associated phantom pain. Hannah Gregory attended the film and discussion evening for the journal and discusses here their complementary positions. To article...

The Ethnological Museum’s time in Dahlem is coming to an end, its move into the Humboldt Forum is imminent. A theme evening organized by HKW with lectures and a concluding discussion in the museum addressed one of the core questions of museology: The complexity of the term thing. Museal things are removed from their original context, their “migration history” takes them to different locations, establishing new relationships. The media theorist Arjun Appadurai, the cultural theorist Tony Bennett, and the museologist Sharon MacDonald went in search of alternative ideas of things. They explored the protagonists and circumstances of migration, placing migrating objects in relation to migrating people, juxtaposing the immutability of objects with the mutability of their meaning. Ana Teixeira Pinto listened in and has drawn her own conclusions. To article...

Artist Kader Attia – observes the film maker and composer Manthia Diawara – has a special gift: He can talk about alterity and the traumas caused by the colonial “Other” without lapsing into antagonisms. Attia’s Repair from Occident to Extra-Occidental Cultures provides a clear demonstration of this. The work shows familiar looking masks and sculptures from Africa and Europe, all of which are damaged and disfigured and in need of repair. Perhaps it is the trauma that Attia alludes to which generates a sense of commonality: The shared longing to be restored, to be repaired. The carnage of modernity – the guilt of colonialism and the First World War – is the starting point for the relationship between the self and the “Other”. Even if they are only relationships between damaged identities which Attia so emphatically postulates in his work. To article...

What happens to objects, to things, in a museum? In his essay “Civic Laboratories”, published in 2005, the English cultural and social theorist Tony Bennett examined the simultaneous mutability and immutability of objects in museum contexts. To this end he focused on questions of identity formation, taking his readers on a journey from European theory and Baldwin Spencer’s staging of Aborigines in Australian museums to Franz Boas’s life groups at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. How do objects change as a result of their embedding in different regimes of objecthood? What forms of interiority do they trigger in the observing subject? And what forms do they require? To article...

Constanze Fischbeck’s video project Terra Nova documents the delicate tapestry of hopes and expectations that occurs when two Berliner initiatives invite people in the asylum application process for ‘guerilla gardening’ in an unused corner of the Jerusalem Cemetery in Berlin Neukölln’s highly gentrified Schillerkiez. To article in German...

The migration scholar Nanna Heidenreich talks about her three-part project “Soundtracks”. Discussing the works by Constanze Fischbeck, Philip Scheffner, and Julia Tieke that make up this project, Nanna Heidenreich illustrates how listening is politicized, which narratives and voices are perceived in and by today’s media landscape and which are not, and how to avoid victimization and exploitation of projects “about,” but not “made by” immigrants and refugees. To article in German...

War and displacement go hand in hand. The author Stefan Zweig describes what the historian Jörn Leonhard underlines in his analysis of the First World War – the anonymizing and bureaucratizing of violence – using the example of the individual fate: The person who is destined to lose as a pawn in the game played by unnamed and merciless forces. To article in German...