Exchanging about civil societies in Germany and abroad

Social movements and civil society actors play an important role in fostering social change. This six-part summer course project will provide basic information on different social movements in Germany and abroad. We will focus on their actors, objectives and goals and on the various facets of sub- and counterculture movements and their opportunities to force social, political and economic changes.
Refugees and migrants living in Berlin and Brandenburg and other interested persons are welcome to take part. We want to contribute to a better understanding of the political and social situation in Germany in comparison and interaction with experiences from abroad.

These summer courses are not designed as one-way street, in which the participants are just the learners: We will have an exchange of experiences from different countries and everyone can contribute his_her experiences to expand the perspectives of all of us.

The dates:

  • Tue 2.8.2016 | New social movements: Clashes and changes
  • Wed 3.8.2016 | Cultures of Remembrance in comparison
  • Fri 5.8.2016 | Revolutions? The East-German ‘turnaround’ and other experiences
  • Tue 9.8.2016 | German right-wing and xenophobic movements
  • Wed 10.8.2016 | International solidarity: From the 1968s to “Willkommenskultur”
  • Thurs 11.8.2016 | International women`s movements

New social movements: Clashes and changes

Tue 2.8.2016 | 10:00 – 17:00 h
Where? tagungswerk in KuBiZ, Bernkasteler Str. 78, 13088 Berlin

This seminar focuses on the development and influences of social movements after the peak point of the world wide protests in 1968s. As in many other parts of the world, the 1970s and 80s in West Germany have been strongly influenced and diversified by the rise of the “new social movements” (Neue Soziale Bewegungen). As an introduction we will provide an overview of the diversity of new social movements in this time, related to: Gay-Lesbians, Ecology, Peace as well as the Anti-nuclear movement and the “One World” and Anti-imperialist movement. All these movements focus on the change of society to reach a situation with less discrimination of minorities, to fight for equal rights and for the right to live in a healthy environment and without war.

Furthermore we will look on the own experiences of the workhop-participants with social movements in different countries. Main questions hereby could be: What is the link between civil society movements and the development of democracy? Did social movements help to change society and/or politics? What are the reasons for the failure of social movements? What if members of the social movements become part of the political and institutional system?

With: Samee Ullah (My right is your right!, former member of the Refugee Impulse Club)


Cultures of Remembrance in comparison

Wed 3.8.2016 | 10:00 – 18:00 h
Where? Please note: this course will NOT start at tagungswerk. We will meet at 10 a.m. in front of the Anne-Frank-Zentrum, Rosenthaler Straße 39, 10178 Berlin (S-Bahn: Hackescher Markt, U8 station: Weinmeisterstraße)

In Germany remembrance of the Nazism-period plays a key role in the culture of remembrance. This seminar gives a brief introduction to this topic and the ways of remembrance (“’museumification” & “monument-mania”) in this country. We will start this course with the visit of the historical site and memorial “Haus Schwarzenberg” in the former Jewish quarter. There we find the Museum of Anne Frank as well as other related memorial and research sites.

But how is remembrance made e.g. in Africa? This should be an initial point to start an exchange and discussion about different cultures of remembrance in the countries of origin of the participants. Possible topics include various forms and ways of remembrance, how memories are shared to the next generations, which historical events are transferred to the collective memories and how it´s possible to make invisible perspectives visible within a community.

With an activist from Lampedusa in Berlin


Revolutions? The East-German ‘turnaround’ and other experiences

Fri 5.8.2016 | 10:00 – 18:00 h
Where? PLEASE NOTE: this course will not start at KuBiZ. We will meet at 10 a.m. in front of the entrance to the Stasi-Museum, Ruschestr. 103, house 1, 10365 Berlin (U5: Magdalenenstr.)

Starting from the various aspects of the oppositional movements in the GDR (East Germany) we will furthermore open up perspectives for experiences from others countries.
During the cold-war Germany was divided in the Communist East-Germany (GDR) and the Capitalist West Germany (FRG). The GDR was a so called satellite-state under the strong rule of the soviet regime. The regime closed the border between East and West Germany with the construction of “The Wall” in 1961. But with the years the tiny sprouts of an oppositional movement inside the GDR were growing. Who was it? How was it developing? How could they tear down the Wall in 1989? And what happened to them after the turnaround?

In this course we will visit the Stasi-Museum, look inside the everyday life in the GDR and throw the spotlight on the oppositional movement and the turnaround (“Die Wende”).
In a further step we will create an Open-Space to discuss, exchange and learn about and from the experiences with revolutionary movements in the countries of origin of the participants: To what extend were the revolutionary movements successful or failed? Why did they fail? Who were the activists who drove the change? Which main topics and goals did the movements try to achieve? Are revolutionary movements necessary to change society in an emancipatory direction?

With: Chang Nai Wen (theatre project: Sisyphos der Flugelefant)


German right-wing and xenophobic movements

Tue 9.8.2016 | 10:00 – 17:00 h
Where? KuBiZ, Bernkasteler Str. 78, 13088 Berlin

Considering the outrageous cruelty of the Nazi Regime in Germany during the second world war, it is hard to imagine how right-extremists and fascists still can survive and campaign in this country. This seminar will show the continuity of Nazi-structures, the development of the “New Right” in West-Germany and the development after the reunification of East- and West-Germany in 1990. We will explain right wing codes and symbols and we will provide an overview about the current situation of the right extremist and xenophobic movement in Germany. In a further step the seminar will expand the view to the current situation in Europe and deal with questions such as how right-wing movements in Europe are connected to each other and why they are on the rise in Europe.


International solidarity: From the 1968s to “Willkommenskultur”

Wed 10.8.2016 | 10:00 – 17:00 h
Where? KuBiZ, Bernkasteler Str. 78, 13088 Berlin

The year 1968 was the peak point of the international students´uprising. The students referred to international solidarity with different political and liberation movements around the world, opposed to the Iranian Shah Regime and the Vietnam-war. In West-Germany this woke up the conservative post-Nazi society. In the 1960s, the charismatic leader Rudi Dutschke kept the students and the German public in suspense. But some years later, also the violent left-radical group RAF was born out of this extra-parliamentary opposition. …

This seminar will give an overview on this history and it’s relation to international solidarity. But how was the solidarity received by the movements in the global south? Was there a positive impact on the political and liberation movements in the colonized and post-colonized countries? And what about reciprocity?

Nowadays many people in Germany are involved in the self-organized “Willkommenskultur” -groups to help refugees and migrants. Hereby the refugees and migrants are often in the position to receive help and to learn how to integrate into mainstream society. Frequently their competences, knowledge and skills are not recognized and perceived as resources of the society. What can we do to overcome these paternalistic structures?

With: Samee Ullah (My right is your right!, former member of the Refugee Impulse Club)


International women`s movements

Thurs 11.8.2016 | 10:00 – 17:00 h
Where? KuBiZ, Bernkasteler Str. 78, 13088 Berlin

As a short introduction, the seminar will inform about the history of women´s movements in Germany and the reasons why they started to fight for equal rights, empowering and emancipation.
In the main part of the seminar will be space for exchange, discussion and knowledge sharing about own experiences with women´s movements in the different countries of origin of the participants and the role of women´s movement in social, political and economic change of societies. This dialogue of perspectives should also focus on the challenges of an intersectional perspective, that’s taking into account multiple systems of dominance that structure (not only) women’s lives and the course of women’s movements (like racism, heteronomativity, class structures, ablism etc.). This intersectional perspective was developed by women’s movement activists especially from the global south as a critique of the blind spots within western feminist perspectives that solely focus on gender and ignore own privileges (concerning whiteness, heterosexuality etc.).
Taking that critique into account we want to discuss together how solidarity among women’s movements in different contexts can be possible – without paternalistic gestures and without remaining an empty phrase.

With an activist from international women space.

This seminar is onlyfor LBTI+, no CIS- Men!