Post-2011 Arab Diasporas and Home-Making in Berlin
Berlin, March 12-17, 2019
Venue: Werkstatt der Kulturen, Wissmannstr. 32, 12049 Berlin
Application Deadline: February 10, 2019
“Freedom: Home, Prison, Exile… and the World” – Yassin Al Haj Saleh in conversation with Nayera A. Soliman on the TRAFO Blog and on L.I.S.A. (Wissenschaftsportal der Gerda Henkel Stiftung)
The Arab revolutions were set in motion by hopes and dreams for a better home. However, defeat, repression, war, and economic perils forced people to leave their hopes, dreams and homes behind, and try to survive elsewhere. This current wave of migration - another in a long history of human movement fleeing repression and war - raises one more time the question of what is home among the newly forming diaspora. Home cannot be just defined as a space where one is secure and comfortable. Home is also a feeling, a sensory experience of familiar smells and sounds. Home is often constructed as a collective memory. Through the movement of migrants, home is deconstructed, questioned and recreated.
This interactive workshop seeks to examine the various ways leaving home can represent a disruption in one’s life but also possibilities for new connections and practices for home-making. It aims at investigating home-making practices among post-2011 diaspora in Berlin.
Through a collaboration between scholars and artists, it aims at collectively understanding and discussing the politics, dreams and emotions engendered in the journey of leaving home, and in the negotiations in host societies for home-making. The workshop aims at creating a space for expressing artistically the reflections on home and post-2011 migrations to reach a wider public.
The main questions will be:
- Why is the concept of Home important in understanding post-2011 migrant experiences?
- How can we define Home in all its entanglements? Is it a space, a time, a feeling, a political concept?
- How do dreams and aspirations about a ‘new home’ take shape? How are they expressed?
- How can we understand the processes of home-making? Are they attempts of isolation or a necessary byproduct of migration that is imbued with nostalgia and romanticization?
The first three days will include workshops, lectures, and roundtables offered by artists and scholars such as Yassin Al Haj Saleh and Samuli Schielke. In the last two days, participants are encouraged to create artistic productions reflecting the discussions that took place throughout the workshop. Three art mentors, Hanaa Al Dagham (visual artist), Roba Riad (storytelling trainer) and Ahmed Iskandar Abdallah (podcast trainer) will be present to work with the participants to create performances, podcasts and art installations. Other artistic productions are welcomed based on the participants’ expertise. The last day will be a public event where the participants will have the chance to display their artistic productions.
The workshop is convened by Nayera A. Soliman and Dina Wahba (both PhD students at Freie Universität Berlin), and organized in cooperation with Mayadin Al Tahrir e.V. For inquiries, please contact info(at)mayadinaltahrir.org.
Program of the public event:
Sunday, 17 March 2019
18:00 - 18:30 Welcome and Presentation of the outputs of the workshop
18:30 - 19:30 Keynote Lecture "Writing in Exile" by Yassin Al Haj Saleh (Senior EUME Fellow 2019 of the Gerda Henkel Foundation)
19:30 - 21:00 Storytelling Performance