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Family Matters

Family can be a blessing or a curse, joy or burden. Perceptions of the family are currently changing worldwide. Does a family consist of a man, a woman and a child? Two men or two women with children? Can a child have more than two parents? There is controversy in many countries about what a family is, including in Germany. The Goethe-Instituts abroad offer a platform for discussions, films and theatre on this issue.

lesbisches Paar mit KinderwagenIllustration: Anne Lehmann
LeihmutterIllustration: Anne Lehmann
Heile WeltIllustration: Anne Lehmann


Worldwide projects

Various people at different stages of life and age. Grafik: Tobias Schrank © Goethe-Institut

Sub-saharan Africa
Family Matters

The Family Matters project explores various aspects of the social family unit in seven African countries. From religion and finances to marriage and travel: 29 families tell their stories through interviews, in video, audio, photographic and textual format. This online exhibition of the project’s content provides viewers with insight regarding people’s perception of the family unit, power dynamics, how far the concept of a family extends and relations with previous generations.

« kafala » (كفالة) © Goethe-Institut/Sabry Khaled

North Africa
Kafala: Danced interventions

Several Goethe-Instituts in Arabic-speaking countries are using a dance project to explore the family law concept of kafala. For women and children, kafala means custodianship, encompassing both a dimension of protection as well as control of the body.

Die Sprache des Körpers © Getty Images

How children physically express themselves

Amara Eckert, a therapist and professor of psychomotor learning, explains how to help children use their bodies for movement and games. She illustrates how physical expression as a whole enriches human expression and what movement, gestures and facial expressions tell us about the development of a child.