An outreach initiative for an inclusive society at the Museum für Islamische Kunst
For decades, German society has become increasingly diverse. For Berlin, this is particularly apparent. This diversity provides considerable potential for the cultural, economic, demographic, and societal development of the city of Berlin and the Federal Republic of Germany. Yet, in German public discourse, Muslims have often been constructed as Other and external to German identity, and have experienced rejection, discrimination, exclusion, and the constant expectation to speak out, explain themselves, and justify their (alleged or actual) positions.
At the same time, radical voices speaking in the name of Islam have gained prominence. From the Muhammad cartoons controversy over the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamyan to the Islamic State, extremists consciously escalate crises to put moderate voices on the defensive. On the other hand, a vague sense of insecurity and dissatisfaction are channeled into processes of demarcation from Islam and Muslims, and populist and right-wing movements utilize Islamophobic sentiments for political mobilization.
With its project and outreach initiative „Shared Past – Shared Future,“ the Museum für Islamische Kunst wants to counter such exclusionary identity constructions and, instead, contribute to the shaping of inclusive individual and collective identities. Therefore, the project targets different audiences, trying to educate non-Muslim Germans and Muslim and newcomer communities with links to the areas of the museum’s collection about the multifaceted and historically grown transcultural entanglements between Europe and the Islamicate World. Through art and cultural history, the project aims at making migration and change resting on transregional interconnections intelligible and palpable as motors of cultural and scientific development. This is to provide a basis for raising and negotiating questions of the present and future in the plural society.
To this end, the project fosters transcultural education on several levels in the separate sub-projects:
This project is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media and runs until December 2021.
Project manager: Miriam Kurz and Stefan Weber
Staff: Kathrin Allmann (educational media), Laura Beusmann (Migration Stories; assistant to the director), Anja Deller (finance), Dr. Deniz Erduman-Calış (Turkish program), Christopher Förch (political education/ Haus Bastian), Maximilian Heiden (IT), Saiid Ismati (teaching materials), Salma Jreige (Multaka/ youth projects), Dinah Neuwirth (social media), Dr. Leonard Schmieding (political education/ Haus Bastian), Hilal Sezgin-Just (youth projects, Turkish program), Dr. Margaret Shortle (Migration Stories), Roman Singendonk (educational media)
Funding: Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz
Sponsor: Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien (BKM))
Duration: November 2018 to December 2021