Photo: Dominik Butzmann
Contact personTobias Scholz

Project Manager Meet Your Neigbhours

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Meet Your Neighbours –
Cross-cultural talks

Instead of talking about each other, we are talking with each other – dialogues in libraries, community centres and other meeting places.

This is Meet Your Neighbours

Meet Your Neighbours is a project that supports conversations between migrants and long-established residents around Germany. At storytelling evenings and multilingual discussions, so-called strangers get to know each other and exchange viewpoints. These exchanges centre around the topic of “work”. Because people from zones of war and conflict have brought more than just the story of how they became refugees. At Meet Your Neighbours they contribute their expertise, talk about their work and daily lives.

In order to understand their experiences in German daily life, we have to ask ourselves the following questions: How do people who have come to Germany connect to their own biographical histories? What does the expertise they have brought with them look like? What are their goals and desires? Work takes on a fundamental importance in these questions.

At Meet Your Neighbours migrants speak for themselves, and people from the neighbourhood have the opportunity to meet and listen to them. In one-on-ones with German colleagues from various fields of work, a shared view emerges on the jobs they have in common.

We organise events together with associations, migrant organisations, initiatives, book shops, libraries and individuals. They all contribute to Meet Your Neighbours creating protected environments for conversations in as many places as possible.

What Meet Your Neighbours changes

When “foreigners” are no longer perceived to be “foreign”, fears fade away, leaving space behind for joint action, for social cohesion. At Meet Your Neighbours people with shared and different experiences meet each other in a protected environment. Through this, relationships are created. A shared perspective on an area of social action enables the formulation of political demands. In the end, access to particular careers and jobs should also be facilitated. First and foremost, the focus is on personal conversations.

What Meet Your Neighbours has achieved so far

Since 2016 Meet Your Neighbours has organised almost 60 events all around Germany. We were in Berlin, Bonn, Bremen, Bruchsal, Cologne, Dresden, Hamburg, Heidelberg, Jena, Mainz, Munich, Nienburg/Weser, Rostock and Stralsund, among others. Furthermore, at the beginning of 2018, a Meet Your Neighbours festival took place at the Monacensia in Munich. Each event has shown how enriching diversity is. And we maintain that principle!

Participate

We’re happy to welcome anyone who wants to participate in Meet Your Neighbours. Those who want to organise an event themselves in their community, book shop, library or community centre can find instructions in our guidelines, as well as an overview of everything you need to know. They can be downloaded here.

Meet Your Neighbours is a project from WIR MACHEN DAS / wearedoingit e.V. in collaboration with the Fonds Soziokultur, Allianz Kulturstiftung and Stiftung :do.