Future Migration: Network for Cultural Diversity
The history of humanity is inextricably connected to the history of individual and collective migration. As such migration generated diverse, complementary, opposing or mutually enriching individual and collective blueprints of the future. Substantial components of such conceptualisations of the future are cultural interaction(s) and entanglement(s) of religions, fictions, knowledge archives and languages that the dynamic of dis/continuities reflect.
For long Germany has been a country of migration and yet some societal groups keep having difficulties with accepting it. The societal cohesion seems threatened and neither ceiling for refugees nor integration on its own will suffice to solve the challenge. At its heart, it is rather about a crisis of identity than a refugee crisis. The question remains, how can and do Germany and Europe position themselves in the context of a new phase of accelerated globalisation (Ottmar Ette) and cultural change in the 21st century.
The public discourses about the “refugee crisis” reflect the shift towards a nationalism which deeply disrupted the EU and its global inter/relations. The electoral successes of AfD as well as the Brexit and the political agenda of “America First” by US-American president Trump are just the peak of the iceberg here. Those unfolding narratives of a “future of fear” inevitably call for an actual dialogue at eyelevel and in awareness of globally impactful power constellations – i.e. a polylogue of understanding and encounter which aims at coping with political and social questions of integration and exclusion. Moreover, it is about a critical reflection of whiteness, Othering, citizenship and privileges based on information, knowledge and change of perspectives.
What can we as multiplicands of knowledge, academics of literature, linguistics, didactics and education as well as artists and activists bring to the table of the current challenges which Europe in general and Germany in particular have to face? What do we have to offer to spark and intensify societal understanding, listening and communication?
Such questions are pivotal to Bayreuth University’s “Future Migration. Network for Cultural Diversity”. Based on a seven year long cooperation, the network was founded in October 2016. It aims at identifying and offering answers to the core questions of recent challenges with regard to migration and diversity in Germany and Europe
We vindicate the point of view that multipliers of knowledge in general and academicians and artists in particular are ethically challenged to discuss integration and inclusion on all levels of encounter. In joined efforts of research, (educational) politics and arts new visions of diversity and fair apportioned futures are to be found, bethought and communicated for the sake of a newly designed empowering togetherness in Germany, Europe and the globe.