bbdstudents

Why is immigration important? The debate takes many angles. There’s the demographic argument, that developed countries with low birth rates and aging populations need bodies to maintain the replacement rate. There’s the globalization take, that the movement of people in all forms is increasingly inevitable and contributes to global competitiveness and 21st century skills. The moral or even religious spin, emphasizing human dignity, charity, an obligation for prosperous nations to help those more needy. But few arguments are as pervasive as the economic one…[Read more!]

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International artists in Berlin occupy a semi-privileged position, able to ask critical questions of society without being publicly rebuked. An example of such an artist is Soliman Lawrence. Soli has been photographing the memorialization of Jewish culture in Poland for years, following the tracks of a new form of engagement with the past, as enacted by a more recent generation of Poles. In contrast to Poland, Germany now has its fair share of Jews. What might this mean for memory and its rituals?…[Read more!]

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They wait for the subway doors to close before they address the car with a rehearsed speech. “Excuse the interruption, I am one of Berlin’s annoying homeless people”… it usually begins, as they peddle newspapers and scan the crowd for an outstretched hand holding change or food. The majority of us keep our hands tucked away or firmly gripping our phones. Some of us fall into convenient bouts of exhaustion, promptly leaning back and closing our eyes. In this moment, we are restricted to a shared space…[Read more!]

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Identity and belonging are closely intertwined with the foods we eat. The California Breakfast Slam, or CABslam, originally a pop-up breakfast establishment celebrating Americana classics like hash browns and maple syrup-drenched bacon, now hosts an unassuming ‘Beta’ restaurant space at the far edge of Neukölln’s Reuterkiez. A visit allows for the giddy return to childhood memories that lead to goosebumps and pride, or a combination of both. Let’s call this the California Breakfast Slam effect…[Read more!]

Sophia Burton and Kelly Miller of Collidoscope Berlin smiling on the street in Schoeneberg

A couple months ago, Collidoscope Berlin was invited to write its first guest post for the Global Citizens Initiative – an organization that aims “to build a network of people who see themselves as global citizens and want to build a better world”. Part of the task was to connect what we do here to the significance of borders. “Borders?”, we wondered, unsure how to proceed but mostly questioning why we had never concretely addressed the topic before….[Read more!]

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On April 2, the new Berlin Institute for Empirical Research on Integration and Migration (BIM) was launched. Certainly not the first institute of its kind in Germany, Berlin’s Humboldt University, the Hertie Foundation, the Federal Employment Agency, and the German Football Association held a press conference to frame this initiative as new and needed. The reason: the field  – what is really known about the integration or inclusion of diversity – is more desert than rain-forest in this country of immigration…[Read more!]

Orhan and Sophia pre 2014 Berlin half marathon

Orhan was 5 when his father moved to Berlin in 1972. It was only one year before West Germany would halt guest worker recruitment from non-European countries to fill labor shortages after World War II. His mother followed 7 years later with his youngest sister and they lived in Rudow in southeastern Neukölln – where they still live over 30 years later. “They got jobs as cleaners in an office,” Orhan recounts, “but they were fired!” he adds, snorting in laughter. I look up from my notepad, surprised…[Read more!]

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