WIR - HIER / WE, HERE
by Helgard Haug / Rimini Protokoll & Thilo Guschas
Germany just celebrated the 30th anniversary of reunification and for the 30th time, many faced this day with helplessness or shrugging of shoulders. “Canada 150,” the sesquicentennial celebration of Canadian Confederation four years ago, triggered ongoing criticism around nationhood, statehood and colonialism.
“We engage in learning and raising awareness, even though it can been difficult to engage newcomers and immigrants in such a conversation, especially those coming from war-torn countries, refugees fleeing violence and coming from dictatorships. They are grateful for Canada. But it’s important to say: What did you learn about the Canadian colonial legacy and Indigenous people? You try to integrate that conversation as part of their settlement journey.”
-- Sara Asalya, executive director of Toronto-based Newcomer Students’ Association, in The Toronto Star
In their WDR radio play WE, HERE –listen to and read it here-
- Berlin performance collective Rimini Protokoll, psychologist Ronja Bücher and historian Jan Plamper ask: How and what can WE celebrate HERE? They approached 194 ambassadors, stateless people, island sellers and hymn writers for answers.
From Canada Day to the German federal election in September, the Goethe-Institut Toronto is hosting WE, HERE for free and invites your ideas and feedback. Email us
with your thoughts about who, why and how your communities celebrate country of origin and nationhood — or perhaps how it could or should be reimagined. Who are “we here,” now?