Interventions Berlin

Refugees in Arts and Education

von Caroline Kraft

Flyer „Interventions – Refugees in Arts and Education“. Berlin 2016. Photo: Platform Interventions

On 3 and 4 June, Berlin plays host to “Interventions – Refugees in Arts and Education”. This year’s festival offers an opportunity for practice-oriented dialogue with migrant and refugee organizations, with the goal of developing joint perspectives for action and sustainable strategies, and formulating necessary political demands.

“Interventions” is a platform for exchange and encounter initiated in 2014 by the cultural education department of Kulturprojekte Berlin. It aims to cover a range of focus issues while involving a broader section of the general public in the discussions. “Having looked at urban development in our first year, it was already clear by autumn 2014 that cultural education by and with refugees would be an important subject, which we’ll be dealing with for three years up to 2017,” says the project manager Moritz von Rappard. Last year focused on evaluating the existing situation for “Refugees in Arts and Education”, while this year is mainly about highlighting issues and discourses within self-run organizations and taking them further. Important questions at the event are: How can we break down discrimination so that everyone has access to society and politics, enabling cultural involvement and self-representation? How can solidarity and networking work productively?

The “Interventions” take place in conference form on Friday, 3 June. In thematic workshops and brief introductory talks, discussions will be centre on important basic needs such as work, education and housing. Workshop topics include “Refugee Self-Organization – between Empowerment and Intersectionality”, “Access to the Labour Market” and “Art and Activism”. On Saturday, 4 June, events take a very different form. Two stages on Mariannenplatz square and at Nürtingen Primary School will host parallel shows with project presentations and performances. There are also guided tours around Kreuzberg, visiting various organizations run by refugees and other marginalized communities. The participants will get an introduction to artistic and political projects in conversation and through short readings.

Moritz von Rappard is pleased the festival is a success. “In only our second year, the ‘Interventions’ have gained nationwide attention and developed into a format between conference and festival, also distinguished by their open workshop character. We’re less interested in inviting the heroes of the scene than in creating a framework in which perhaps not quite fully developed ideas that are all the more pioneering can be formulated and expanded in dialogue.”

More information here.