Film screening | Reading | Discussion with the audience Archives of Migration

Leyla © Mervete Bobaj

Tue, 12/10/2019

Goethe-Institut San Francisco

530 Bush Street
San Francisco, CA 94108

An Evening with cultural activists Mervete Bobaj (Berlin) and Dan Thy Nguyen (Hamburg)

Film screening, reading, and discussion with the audience. Light refreshments will be served.

The evening is structured around the theme of archives of migration and the role of knowledge transmission. This focus seems extremely relevant in light of recent developments that urgently require innovative approaches, yet tend to replicate failed models. The European refugee crisis for example, provoked a cycle of reactions in Germany, from Willkommenskultur to the rapid success of anti-immigrant movements and parties, that played out in strikingly similar patterns as in the early 1990s, shortly after the German unification and the end of the Cold War. Similarly, the realization that marginalized knowledge needs to be included in policy decisions, education models, and outreach efforts seems to laboriously be arrived at and then forgotten again in predictable generational cycles. Through their work, cultural activists Mervete Bobaj and Dan Thy Nguyen facilitate different approaches to the topic of migration and enable a critical reflection of the current discourse.

Mervete Bobaj (Berlin) is founder of MPower e.V., an NGO empowering young migrant women through documentary film making. She brings a collection of short films that document the young directors’ take on urban life in Berlin as well as transcultural forms of artistic expression they found to do so. The following short films will be screened: Raum (experimental film, 3 Min., 2015), Herbst bis Herbst (documentary, 12 Min., 2015), Ernte (Poetry Film, 2 Min., 2018), Leyla (fictional short film, 5 Min., 2019), Schwester und Freundin (documentary, 9 Min., 2017).

Author and producer Dan Thy Nguyen (Hamburg) reads from his plays: "Sonnenblumenhaus" (Sunflower house) and "Yesterday never died". He wrote the plays between 2014 and 2017 and performed them on different stages all over Germany. In the plays, Nguyen goes back to 1992 when in Rostock Lichtenhagen, Germany, right-wing extremists attacked a refugee shelter while about 3000 onlookers were standing by applauding. The "Sonnenblumenhaus" was awarded with the "Hörnixe" as the best German noncommercial audioplay 2015.

The event is presented by the Goethe-Institut San Francisco and the German Historical Institute.