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TAMAM – The mosque communities’ education project with the Museum für Islamische Kunst

Muslims in Germany belong to many very different groups, with different religious orientations, ethnic origins, life aspirations and degrees of religious observance. This variety is mirrored by the wide range of mosque communities, for the mosques represent a broad spectrum of different currents of Islam.

And the TAMAM Project team is just as diverse: so far facilitators from 13 different Berlin communities, Islamic groups and youth organisations are working with experts from many different disciplines. The TAMAM Project is participative, which means that the mosques and the museum collaborate on an equal footing, each contributing its own particular knowledge and perspective. With Berlin as its starting point, the project will be rolled out across the whole country.

Mosque communities in Germany work under difficult conditions, since, unlike churches, for example, they cannot (so far) claim any public funding. Important day-to-day community work is therefore undertaken by volunteers. Many of them show great dedication and motivation. It is with such people that TAMAM Project works, because they are effective communicators who play a central role in their communities. They develop and produce their own educational material, designed to help like-minded people in other communities to offer cultural and artistic programmes.

The point of departure is the objects in the museum’s collection. In the Museum für Islamische Kunst it becomes clear that the arts and cultures of the countries influenced by Islam and those of western and central Europe are inseparably interwoven. Strong ties have been established through long and close contact. And even the region of the Near and Middle East itself is historically marked by great religious, cultural and ethnic diversity, and by the capacity to deal with this diversity. These links are immediately recognisable in the objects in the collection, a useful starting point if we wish to bring the transregional cultural-historical and migration-historical processes of the past, reflected in the constructive spirit of art history, to bear on the social processes of the present day. Can looking at the past help to shape the future? Do the pictures that we create of ourselves and others actually accord with (art) history, or do images of identity need to be reconsidered?

With its educational material, TAMAM opens a space for reflection for teenagers, young adults and anyone else who is interested. We don’t give simple answers to complicated questions, but we encourage participants to form their own opinions and be able to explain them and the reasons behind them. Using the latest communication media, we adapt our approach to the consumer behaviour of our target groups, at the same time making the project content easily accessible throughout Germany. With TAMAM, the Museum für Islamische Kunst is expanding its educational work into the area of Islamic youth-work for the first time, while also seeking an innovative combination of transcultural and political education.

More information about the TAMAM Project can be found at:

Research associate and coordinator: Roman Singendonk, M. A.
Project director: Prof. Stefan Weber (Museum für Islamische Kunst)
Project assistants: Gundula Avenarius (museum education), Jana Braun (evaluation), Antje Canzler (media design), Christine Gerbich (evaluation), Philipp Zobel (art history), Jilali Ait Daou (Outreach)
Project sponsor: Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz
Patrons: Senatsverwaltung für Arbeit, Integration und Frauen, Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung
Cooperation partner: Institut für Islamische Theologie der Universität Osnabrück
Duration: January 2016 to December 2018

Breaking-Fast Event at the Museum 

The TAMAM-project hosted the second annual breaking-fast event at the museum on the 24th of May 2018. The evening was all about youth culture. Young artists with Muslim backgrounds presented their artwork in the spectacular surroundings of the main exhibition. Kahlid Bounouar is a presenter, author an award-winning comedian. For him comedy is a way to share his experiences with others on stage. The ‘I, Slam’ collective originally started as a Muslim version of poetry-slam. This has grown into a country-wide platform for workshops in various types of art. To mark the Muslim feasting month, Ramadan, a rich buffet was served afterwards.