In addition to the day-to-day operations of the documentation centre, DOMiD also carries out various projects. They served and serve to develop: educational offers, to expand the DOMiD-collection, to collect stories on migration, and to generally reflect on the migration society.
DOMiDLabs is a project by DOMiD and is sponsored by the German Federal Cultural Foundation from 2021 to 2024. Under the slogan #unserMuseum gemeinsam gestalten (creating #unserMuseum together) various people come together in four different labs as part of DOMiDLabs. Together with them, we develop ideas and content covering different topics and questions, for example: How can people meet and interact with each other in the museum? What would an exhibition look like that would enable the museum to react to current debates? How can topics and stories be respectfully exhibited?
Each of the four labs will take place in Cologne, run for about eleven months and will conclude with an exhibition. The ideas and findings resulting from labs will be presented to the public in these exhibitions, and visitors will test and comment on them. The exhibitions will be displayed in various locations in Cologne between 2022 and 2024.
"Haus der Einwanderungsgesellschaft"
With the "House of Immigration Society", a place is being created in Cologne where permanent and temporary exhibitions will show how migration has inscribed itself in German history and shaped our social coexistence. In addition, as a cultural and educational center, the house offers space for exchange and a change of perspective, for example on questions of identity, living together and participation.
Since its foundation, DOMiD followed the aim to build a museum in which migration is presented as a common phenomenon. This goal is now about to come to reality. In 2019, the federal government and the state of NRW included funds for the "House of Immigration Society" in their budgets. It is expected that it will open not before end of 2027.
Retrospective: A Selection of our Projects
#1 Meinwanderungsland - Every story counts | 2017-2020
According to the motto "Every story counts" the large-scale mediation project #Meinwanderungsland "Together on the way? History(s) of the Migration Society" was realized between December 2017 and September 2020.
In the first phase of the project, the focus was on a tour through the whole of Germany. With an interactive exhibition and storytelling platform, the #Meinwanderungsland team toured all 16 German states for 92 days in 2018/19. x On public places the team gave insights into the DOMiD collection and exchanged with passers-by about the topic migration. Additionally a platform for dialogue, workshops, city tours, readings and other events was offered.
Parallel two Workshops, for pupils*innen "with objects learn - racism understand" and "migration as normal case - Multiperspektivisch and transkulturell report" for medium-creative, were developed and successfully accomplished.
In the second project phase, the project adapted to the conditions of the Corona pandemic. Despite Covid-19, innovative alternative event and mediation formats were developed and the digital activities of the project were further expanded. The stories, videos and photos about migration collected both on the 2020 nationwide city tour and through our digital channels were shared on our blog and in social networks under the hashtag #Meinwanderungsland.
The project also helped DOMiD to further expand its nationwide networks.
The project was funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Migration and Refugees and Integration.
The project "Meinwanderungsland" was awarded with the future prize "Kulturgestalten 2021" in the category "Individual Projects".
#2 Virtual Migration Museum | 2018
The Virtual Migration Museum shines a light on migration, in 3D, and delivered directly to users' computer or smartphone[KS1] . Visitors to the museum can move through a fictional cityscape with nine buildings, which are dedicated to various topics. Beyond that, visitors can also travel through time, by switching between three different time periods.
The most up-to-date versions for various devices are available for download at the Virtual Migration Museum website. Whether visitors come on their desktop computer from home, on their smart phone while on the train, or on a tablet from history class at school, this museum is always open.
The "Virtual Migration Museum" was awarded the "DigAMus Award 2020" in the category "Inclusion and Integration".
#3 Refugee Stories Collection – every story matters! | 2017/2018
An English title, three words and a simple idea: To collect the stories of those who have come to North Rhine-Westphalia as refugees since 2015. With the "Refugee Stories Collection" project, in 2017 and 2018, DOMiD was able to document the experiences of 71 people who came to North Rhine-Westphalia after fleeing their homelands. The backgrounds, reasons, and circumstances surrounding their escape, as well as their current living conditions since arriving in Germany were all covered.
Paramount to this project was a shift in perspective: three research associates with their own personal experiences as refugees conducted the interviews, and gathered objects and photographs. Jonatan Bekele, Sahra Camal, and Sami Dzemailovski, in cooperation with DOMiD and project coordinator Elisabeth Pütz, sent a clear signal for greater participation of refugees in society, especially where the telling of personal narratives is concerned.
From the very start, the goal of the project was to impart greater knowledge and understanding through this reclaiming of the narrative, as well as to build empathy and solidarity. Not only is the current situation facing refugees made more visible and accessible, but also, the project provided scholarly findings, in addition to implications for dealing with refugees on the political and societal level.
The publication "Refugee Stories Collection – Jede Geschichte zählt!" provides a glimpse into the interviews and the collected materials.
It is available for download on our website.
#4 Blickwechsel Deutschland-Frankreich | 2016
The exhibition "Blickwechsel Deutschland-Frankreich: Immigranten in der Arbeiter- und Sozialgeschichte, 1968–1990“ has been online since March 2016. DOMiD supported the project by the Association Génériques of France by providing photographs.
The aim of the exhibit was to fill a historical gap – in both France and Germany the history of migration by labour migrants has up to now received hardly any recognition.
With a wide array of archival materials (posters, magazines, photographs, flyers, videos...), the exhibit strives to counteract this fact by highlighting the history of people who left their countries of origin between 1968 and 1990 to work in German and French industry.
Association Génériques developed the online exhibit and DOMiD provided material support for the project with archival material on the German context. Since 1987 the organisation Génériques has been working for the preservation and increased visibility of migrant history in France and Europe. The project was sponsored by the French-German Youth Office.
The exhibition is online here.
#5 DOMiD macht Schule | 2013
DOMiD carried out the pilot project "DOMiD macht Schule" (DOMiD Goes to School) together with the Käthe-Kollwitz-Gesamtschule in Leverkusen. The framework for the cooperation was an educational partnership under the auspices of the funding programme "Archiv und Schule" by the Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
One of the project's achievements is a collection of materials that can serve as a basis for covering the topic area of "German migration history" in schoolwork. The study materials were designed in particular to be used for teaching the subject of history at the lower and upper secondary school levels at all types of schools. Select thematic units can however also be offered in subjects such as social studies, politics, ethics, geography, practical philosophy, Religion, German, or in interdisciplinary contexts.
A unique aspect of this project was that it allowed pupils the opportunity to work with a variety of materials from the collections held by DOMiD. These included photos, documents, film and audio recordings, interviews with contemporary witnesses, newspaper articles and other museum objects. In this way the topic of migration became something the pupils could experience hands on, and history was made both fascinating and unusual. In addition the project enabled an introduction to and familiarisation with the archive as a historical source, and it provided a glimpse into archival work: the school groups could take part in a tour of our archive rooms and depot.
Following the workshops with DOMiD, the upper-level pupil on the project course organised an exhibition at their school. This showcased exclusively exhibits, photographs, and interviews with contemporary witnesses which the pupils themselves personally researched or conducted.
The project helped its audience to become more aware of migration history, which is an indisputable part of Germany's history, and it encouraged the nurturing of compassionate and responsible interactions with fellow human beings. Pupils with their own personal migration history were bolstered in forging or finding their own identity.
For pupils of the Käthe-Kollwitz-Gesamtschule, it was their first visit to an archive. They, as well as their teachers, found the archival work especially exciting and authentic. The collaboration with the school worked so well, that further joint projects are already being planned.
#6 Project Migration | 2005/06
DOMiD conducted "Projekt Migration" in cooperation with the Kölnischer Kunstverein, the Institute for Cultural Anthropology and European Ethnology at the Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, and the "Institut für Theorie der Gestaltung und Kunst an der Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst" in Zürich. The project was sponsored by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.
The project covered a variety of research projects, art campaigns, events, and film programmes. At the centre of all this work was the history of labour migration since the 1950s, as well as the societal changes brought about by these migration movements.
One of the many events and campaigns was an exhibition, which could be found between the autumn of 2005 and early 2006 at four different places in central Cologne. The exhibition marked the 50th anniversary of the signing of the German-Italian labour recruitment agreement on 20 December 2005. This was the formal beginning of migration between various Mediterranean countries, as well as Portugal, and Germany.
The exhibition focused on the societal changes effected by migration. It thus presented a Germany and Europe shaped by migration. Beyond that, from a consideration of history and the present situation, it mapped out the question of the future potential of migration.
A multilingual catalogue published by DuMont Verlag complemented the exhibition. It contained photographic and artistic images, documents, and interviews, as well as essays contributed by international scholars. For its extraordinary design, concept, and workmanship, the catalogue was awarded a prize by the Stiftung Buchkunst in 2005.