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28 + 29 October 2011

"Visions of Belonging. Jews, Turks, and other Germans"
Anniversary Symposium

In conversations, discussions, and brief talks, the symposium marking the museum’s 10th anniversary explores the state of the nation from a variety of perspectives. Identity and integration, exclusion and belonging, forced assimilation and parallel worlds: What is German in the 21st century? Social scientists and historians, writers and artists from Germany and other cultural spheres discuss the new social realities.
Concluding the Symposium (Saturday, 29 October):
Concert with Daniel Kahn & Psoy Korolenko: The Painted Bird & The Unternationale
A program with information on the contributors is available as a PDF file (in German). Please click here for the brief biographical information on the contributors.

Friday, 28 October 2011

The symposium begins on 28 October 2011 at 8 pm with a review of Germany’s cultural diversity entitled

"Eine kleine deutsche Volkskunde"

Today’s German society is colorful and diverse and clear minorities or majorities have long since been a thing of the past. We have invited young, international experts to talk about Germany from their own perspectives. This "look at home" will be moderated by Ijoma Mangold (DIE ZEIT).

Participants: Hatice Akyün (Writer and Journalist), Mischa Gabowitsch (Einstein Forum), Adriana Lettrari (Project "3te Generation Ostdeutschland"), Jannis Panagiotidis (European University Institute Florenz)

Brief biographical information on the contributors

Saturday, 29 October 2011
10.30 to 11 am
What Use is Identity?

Short Talk by Harald Welzer
"Different identity aspirations and expectations must not compromise people’s coexistence," says the sociologist Harald Welzer – and elucidates in this short talk why people need a stable identity to function effectively.

11.30 am to 1 pm
Panel 1: "Immigration Country Against its own Will: What is the Situation in Germany?"

Brief biographical information on the contributors
Germany is an immigration country and has been one for a long while. How can German migration policy be evaluated – from a historical perspective and compared to that of other countries? How has it dealt and does it deal with Germany’s diversity?
Moderated by Christina von Braun (Humboldt University of Berlin)

Participants: Rauf Ceylan (Universität Osnabrück), Helena Flam (Universität Leipzig), Susan Neiman (Einstein Forum), Yasemin Yildiz (University of Illinois)

2 to 3.30 pm
Panel 2: "Islam is Part of Germany"

Reactions against Islam and the Muslims have increased measurably and tangibly. Anti-Muslim resentment is seeping through broad sections of society and resulting in gradual poisoning. How did this come about? And can the idea of an open-minded society be saved?
Moderated by Ferdos Forudastan (Journalist)

Participants: Naika Foroutan (Humboldt University, Berlin), Hamed Abdel-Samad (Author), Günter Piening (Commissioner for Integration and Migration, Berlin), Yasemin Shooman (Center for Research on Antisemitism), Marwan Abou Taam (State Office of Criminal Investigation, Rhineland Palatinate)

Brief biographical information on the contributors

4 to 5.15 pm
Sayed Kashua: "Zweite Person Singular" (Second person singular)

Reading with the Author and Burghart Klaußner
The Israeli author Sayed Kashua’s new novel has met with great success. He tells the skillfully woven story of two Arab Israelis whose burning desire is to be part of Jewish Israel. They do everything in their power to lose not only their foreignness, but also their Arab culture which they see as backward. They seek their salvation in the promises of pop culture and Western individualism that make everything seem possible. The actor Burghart Klaußner will read the German text and interview the author.
Where: Old Building, second level, Great Hall

5.30 to 7 pm
Panel 3: Visions of Belonging: Jews and Muslims in Europe and the USA

The question of belonging in German society is discussed with varying intensity time and again. The Jews fulfilled the demanded and perceived obligations to Germany’s norms and values in the 19th century, a process that was brutally destroyed by Nazism. A lot more than a hundred years, two World Wars, genocides, and totalitarian regimes later, the problems concerned with the relationship between religion, state and belonging are faced anew. The panel will explore the role that Jews and Muslims can and should play in a secular Christian, multicultural and diverse society in Germany and the USA.
Moderated by Susan Neiman

Participants: Micha Brumlik (Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main), Susannah Heschel (Dartmouth College), Riem Spielhaus (University of Copenhagen)

Brief biographical information on the contributors

8 to 10 pm
Concluding the Symposium:
Concert with Daniel Kahn & Psoy Korolenko: The Painted Bird & The Unternationale

A performance by the music artist from Detroit, Daniel Kahn, and the avant-garde singer from Moscow, Psoy Korolenko, will round off the anniversary symposium. In their "distorted klezmer," they mix klezmer, punk, and folklore – in English, Yiddish, and Russian!


28 October 2011, 8 pm and
29 October 2011, 10 am - 10 pm


Glass Courtyard, ground level


28 October (opening):
9 euros, reduced rate 7 euros
29 October (program):
13 euros, reduced rate 9 euros (incl. exhibitions) or
9 euros, reduced rate 7 euros (only symposium)


Gesa Struve
Tel: +49 (0)30 259 93 517
Fax: +49 (0)30 259 93 330

In their songs, Daniel Kahn & The Painted Bird unite the best of American folksongs in the tradition of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger with Jewish protest songs. At the same time, Kahn is an interpreter of Brecht/Eisler songs like Germany has not heard them since the days of Ernst Busch.

A cooperation with the Einstein Forum and the network partner "DeutschPlus – Initiative."

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