Projects with refugees

Projects with refugees
The refugee crisis is one of the chief challenges of our times. The Goethe-Institut plays a part in the integration of refugees in Germany and, in cooperation with partners, has also been organizing various cultural and educational programmes in the regions of origin, for example in Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan, in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon and in a number of cities in Turkey, since 2013. The different projects are presented in reports and interviews here.
Workshop “Alltag im Exil”, Berlin 2016, Photo: Bernhard Ludewig © Goethe-Institut

Architectures of Arrival: Berlin networks and technical architectural language

To many refugee architects Germany has now become their second homeland. In the temporary Berlin project space “Goethe-Institut Damaskus im Exil”, German and Syrian experts from this professional field met to discover what is needed for a positive arrival experience.More ...

    Cinemanya – Film cases deployed for refugee children and teens

    The children in the temporary housing are looking forward to the upcoming film screening | Photo: Andrea Kueppers
    The Goethe-Institut’s CINEMANYA film cases have been in use across Germany for media education work with refugee children and teens since 2015. In the year 2016 alone, they reached over 10,000 youngsters. A visit to a film screening at the initial reception facility of the German Red Cross in Hamburg offers insights into the work of the volunteers.

    Transporting Literature: “My Book – My Teacher”

    My Book – My Teacher delivers picture and reading books to children at community centres and refugee accommodations all over Lebanon. | Photo: Mwafak Maklad
    Awakening a love of reading: in January and February 2017, the project “My Book – My Teacher” by the Goethe-Institut Lebanon in cooperation with Orienthelfer e.V. distributed 33,000 free books to children in Lebanon affected by displacement.

    “Tell Me Your Story” – A project of the Goethe-Institut Istanbul in cooperation with young Syrian refugees

    © Goethe-Institut Istanbul
    With story-telling techniques, with photography and in interviews, young Syrian refugees tell stories of their time before, during and after the escape from Syria to Turkey. These stories often show evidence of an absurd reality of life, between fragile normality and banal brutality.

    “Einfach Lesen!” – Arrival in Arabic and German

    The German-Arabic children’s book series “Einfach lesen!” accompanies kids as they become accustomed to their new surroundings. | Photo: Jasmin Zikry
    Friendly trams and wandering frogs: the Goethe-Institut is using children’s books in German and Arabic to make it easier for young refugees and their parents to come into contact with the foreign language and a foreign country. A visit to a refugee shelter in Berlin shows how well the “Einfach lesen!” project is being received.

    Goethe-Institut Damascus | In Exile

    Goethe-Institut Damascus | Photo: Björn Luley / Goethe-Institut
    Berlin, 20 October until 5 November 2016:As a symbolic place, a temporary space is being created in Berlin for art and culture, for cooperation and dialogue between Syrian artists in Berlin: the Goethe-Institut Damascus | In Exile.

    Annual Report 2015/2016: Focus on Refugees

    A concert at a refugee camp in Istanbul 2015 | Credit: Enis Yücel
    Migration and the plight of refugees are focal topics of the Goethe-Institut. Nothing dominated the last year like the global refugee situation. For this reason, the latest Annual Report being released today focuses on it. For World Refugee Day, this article provides insights into the Goethe-Institut’s commitment to refugees – both in Germany and in their regions of origin.

    On the future of vocational integration: The language biographies and linguistic skills of refugees

    Photo: Felix Rettberg
    A collaborative effort by the Institut für Deutsche Sprache Mannheim and the Goethe-Institut.

    No Limits? Overcoming the Grey Areas

    Florencia Young and Marula Di Como | © Migrantas
    NO LIMITS?, an event by the Goethe-Institut and the Münchner Kammerspiele is about global viewpoints on immigration and displacement. Live and simultaneously via videoconferencing, artists from Mexico, Istanbul and Germany will discuss borders and ask what art can contribute to this discourse. We interviewed the Migrantas artists’ collective from Mexico.

    Phrasebook for Refugees: First Steps, First Words

    The new phrasebook is available in print and as a PDF at | Photo: Cordula Flegel
    Language is essential, which is why the Goethe-Institut created a phrasebook especially for Arabic-speaking refugees. The booklet is meant to help newcomers when taking their first steps in Germany. The friendly title is “Willkommen!”

    New App: Arriving In Germany

    “Ankommen” is an app made to help refugees starting out in Germany. | Photo: Kay Nietfeld © picture alliance / dpa
    Newly arrived refugees in Germany are faced by many challenges including cultural and linguistic hurdles. A new app called “Ankommen” (Arrival) was created to help them successfully navigate their first weeks in Germany.

    Digital Help for Language Volunteers

    Photo: Bettina Siegwart
    Webinars for volunteer refugee language guides produced by the Goethe-Institut offer tips and tricks for teaching a foreign language even under difficult circumstances. Now the seminar recordings are also available online.

    Munich Literature Festival: Engaging in dialogue with refugees through literature

    Photo: Mirko Lux
    Between 18 November and 6 December, the Munich Literature Festival with forum:autoren curated by Albert Ostermaier will show how dedicated and political literature can contribute to engaging in dialogue with refugees. Every refugee, every expatriate brings their story with them.

    First Aid in German – volunteer language guides in Göttingen

    Volunteer language guides in the Goethe-Institut Göttingen; Photo: Pepe Egger
    Volunteer language guides are crucial to the integration of refugees. That’s why the Goethe-Institut offers free weekend courses that teach the basics of teaching German as a second language. This is a report from such a course in Göttingen.

    Cultural Aid, Not Events

    from left to right: Yamen Hussein, Klaus-Dieter Lehmann, Amira El-Ahl, Basma El Husseiny, Albert Ostermaier; Photo: Mirko Lux
    A Goethe-Institut panel discussion at the Frankfurt Book Fair explores the question of what art and culture have to offer in light of flight and displacement.

    Refugee crisis – Language is the Key

    Refugees arriving in Germany: Making productive use of waiting times (Photo:
    Art against war: is that really naïve? No, for although art may not be a panacea, without it would mean giving up on the people. What the Goethe-Institut can actually do for refugees both in Germany and in the camps in Turkey, in Jordan and Lebanon.

    Kammerspiele Transforming into Welcome Theatre

    Travelling puppets: performance of Paradise Mastaz by the Hajusom ensemble | Photo: Lutz Saure
    The Münchner Kammerspiele are devoting their attention to the issues of refugees, arrival and asylum with the Open Border Congress; the theatre is transforming into the Munich Welcome Theatre. Dance and theatre projects and films for and with refugees supported by the Goethe-Institut are also involved.

    Cultural aid to Refugees – the Lost Diary

    Syrian refugee children at a theatre workshop organized by Action for Hope | Photo: Goethe-Institut Libanon
    Talking is therapeutic. No matter if the stories are expressed in film, theatre or music – they need to be told. The Goethe-Institut and the aid organization Action for Hope are therefore administering cultural first aid in the refugee camps of the Middle East.

    In the Refugee Camp, in Istanbul: Art is Everywhere

    Source: Still from the video Searching Traces, a documentary by Sabine Küper-Büsch and Thomas Büsch from the Goethe-Institut-supported video workshop with Syrian artists in Istanbul (with videos by Moawia Shannan, Mais Mhd, Renas Mele, Hossam Abuu Ali, Mohamad Fares, Bassel Halabi.) URL
    How does the Goethe-Institut in Istanbul work with millions of Syrians are fleeing from war and violence in their homeland? We spoke with the director of the institute, Christian Lüffe.

    On the run: A debate between Aman Sethi and Georg Diez

    What are the problems and consequences for Central European nations in the face of the influx of humanity? How wide ranging is the migration? For how long and for whom should the European nations open their borders? Indian journalist Aman Sethi and German journalist Georg Diez will attempt to answer some of the questions by way of a regular exchange on the Goethe-Institut India's website.

    Learning app “City of Words” in Arabic

    Play “City of Words” in Arabic! Starting today, the learning app is available for download from the app store in the Arabic language. It will help you deal especially with everyday situations in German.