Art Matters – Contemporary Arts Practices in Post-Migrant Societies

For several years now, contemporary art productions, projects, initiatives, and programmes dealing with contemporary migration have attracted increased attention. Numerous actors in the art world are addressing migration-related issues and talking with people working on them.

Additionally, various funding structures have evolved that aim to include refugees in the artistic production process, from grants for artists to large- and small-scale project funding; many specifically target projects in ‘cultural education’ geared towards young people.

While the scope of activities is full of possibilities corresponding to apparent needs with hands-on practice in self-organised, community-based and activist ways, artists have the responsibility to continuously challenge and critique socio-political issues. Certain is the fact that art matters and is a key driver for social change. It demonstrates to the public the diversity of society and the important role that migration plays in it.

During a practice-based workshop series, we reflected on current approaches to and various forms of engagement. We took a deep look at all participants’ practices, methods, and visions, while discussing the political and theoretical implications of concepts like diversity and inclusion in all their ambivalence. Our programme was designed to serve as a common forum for bottom-up learning processes and the sharing of knowledge and experience. In order to open up space for new transnational professional cooperation, we collaborated with a number of experts, including artists, curators, facilitators, and policy-makers based in Berlin, Germany, Europe and the MENA region, many of whom moderated the workshops.

A project organized by Virág Major, Hannah Marquardt and Christine Rahn.