"Who we are. Reflections on an immigration country"
How does the "we" come into being in a society? Does this only succeed through demarcation from "the others"? Is it possible to achieve a common and comprehensive "we" in our society? The exhibition WHO WE ARE asks critical questions about Germany as an immigration country. This is a term that politicians have long resisted and which should seem self-evident today. Migration is not a special case - it is the normal state of affairs, at all times and everywhere in the world. People who came to Germany have always struggled to be part of society and its history. Experiences of racism and discrimination are still part of everyday life for people who are denied belonging to the "we", whether with or without a migration history. Their paths are marked by resistance, but also by success.
WHO WE ARE takes a look at the structures of our society: Who is allowed to have a say? How do we create access to spaces and resources - to education, housing and culture? Who speaks in politics and the media? We look at achievements as well as hurdles in the struggle for equal coexistence.
Artistic perspectives meet contemporary historical objects
The exhibition shows the potential of art as a resistant force and important engine of our society. The artists sometimes ask uncomfortable questions and open up new perspectives on (supposedly) familiar issues surrounding our migration society. WER WIR SIND also makes it its business to critically reflect on power and our self-image as museums and cultural workers together with artists. Some artists have conceived new works especially for Who We Are, which will be shown for the first time in the exhibition.
Alongside the art are contemporary testimonies from everyday life that reflect the reality of life in our society. These materials come from the collection of DOMiD (Documentation Center and Museum on Migration in Germany). Here, material and immaterial culture is collected around the German migration society from 1945 until today. Some of the objects, photographs, documents and interviews can be seen as examples in this exhibition.
DOMiD's goal since its founding in 1990 has been to build a migration museum. There are so many stories to tell, and many still lie hidden. For example, coming to terms with the history of migration in the GDR is still in its infancy. DOMiD invites people to tell their own stories, expand the collection, and thus lay another building block for the migration museum opening in Cologne in 2027.
In East Germany, former contract workers from Vietnam played an important role in small-scale trade after 1989. For them, trade was often the only source of income. Photo: Erik-Jan Ouwerkerk / DOMiD archive, Cologne
The signposts come from the anti-racist network "NSU-Komplex auflösen", which has been campaigning against structural racism since 2014. One goal of the action alliance is still the "complete clarification" of the series of attacks by the "National Socialist Underground" (NSU), in which ten people - nine of them with a migration history - were murdered between 2000 and 2006. The signs were made for a civil society tribunal in Cologne-Mülheim in 2017 and are part of a Living Collection at DOMiD. Photo: DOMiD Archive, Cologne
Lerato Shadi, Batho ba ha ba Tlhalonganye, 2020-2023, neon sign installation © Courtesy the artist and blank projects, Cape Town, Photo: dewil.ch (CC BY-NC-ND)
Events & Tours (Selection)
THE [new] WE
Art and its institutions will belong to all of us
May 26 & 27, 2023
Fri., June 23, 2023, 7 p.m.
Give us the good life! "Guest workers" between work, love and Poetry
"Guest workers" in the Federal Republic of Germany: they worked hard, went on strike, lived, loved. They set out in search of the good life - sometimes with their families, sometimes alone. But what exactly was everyday life like for these courageous women? How did they live? What were their working conditions like? What did they do in their free time? Through stories, photos, documents and music, we want to talk to the migrant women of that time about work and resistance, about leisure, love and poetry. Visitors are invited to bring their own mementos.
A moderated conversation with contemporary witnesses. Idea & moderation: Aurora Rodonò
In cooperation with DOMiD (Documentation Center and Museum on Migration in Germany).
Admission: 5€/3€ (without visiting the exhibition), Lounge
"Who we are" - Migration in the field of tension of German museums
Fri, Sept. 15, 7 p.m.
Diversity and cultural participation are on everyone's lips. But is this a sustainable development? Experts from the museum landscape and migration research will discuss how migration can be transferred to the museum and how real participation in the migration society can succeed.
In cooperation with DOMiD (Documentation Center and Museum on Migration in Germany)
Museum Mile Festival
Sat., 6/3/2023, and Sun., 6/4/2023.
The five houses of the Bonn Museum Mile celebrate a big family festival. Admission to all exhibitions is free!
The complete program from May onwards at www.museumsmeilebonn.de
Art Night on Museum Square/Saturday_Late_Art - Who We Are
Sat., June 3, 8:30 p.m. to midnight
On the occasion of the Museumsmeilenfest at the Bundeskunsthalle and the Kunstmuseum Bonn
Wed., 5.7, 6 p.m.-2 p.m.
Summer festival - Kaleidoscopes. Speed tours_DJ_Drinks. Your evening off full of art, culture and music!
All information about events can be found here.
WORKSHOPS FOR ADULTS
Guided tour, reading, talk
Ibraimo Alberto: I wanted to live like the gods
Sat., Sept. 2, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Autobiographical lecture and dance workshop
Dodzi Dougban: We are human beings
The workshop will be interpreted in German Sign Language.
Sat. 9/23, 10/7, 3-6 p.m.
Queer Space - guided tour, creative action and exchange
LGBTIQA+ stories from the migration society.
During a tour of the exhibition we pick up queer points of connection, which we deepen by means of a creative action. Afterwards, we will have a drink and get into conversation in a relaxed setting.
Sun., Aug. 20, 2-5 p.m.
Sun., Sept. 24, 2-5 p.m., Special Guest: Olivia Wenzel
Please note: written registration is required in advance for some of the offerings. Please check the website of the Bundeskunsthalle or contact the responsible colleagues:
T +49 228 9171-243, (Mon.-Thurs. 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Fri. 9 a.m.-12 p.m.)
Guided tour in German, German Sign Language, English, audio description. The curator team introduces the concept and the main works. Free of charge via the Bundeskunsthalle app. Artistic concept and production tonwelt.
Future workshop in the exhibition
Designing a city model - Future City
Inspired by a work of the artist Mohammed Kteish, we create together the model of a future city, where peace, diversity and sustainability are lived.
Sat. and Sun., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Guided tours by curators
With Johanna Adam in German:
Fri, 5/26, 2pm, Wed, 6/7, 3pm, Sun, 6/25, 3pm, Fri, 6/30, 5pm, Wed, 9/13, 3pm, Fri, 9/22, 5pm, Sun, 9/24, 3pm.
With Lynhan Balatbat-Helbock in English:
Fri, 5/26, 2 p.m., Wed, 6/7, 3 p.m., Fri, 6/9, 5 p.m., Wed, 9/13, 3 p.m.
With Dan Thy Nguyen in German:
Fri, 6/16, 5 p.m., Sat, 6/17, 3 p.m., Sun, 6/18, 3 p.m., Sat, 7/1, 3 p.m.
Guided tour and creative offer for integration and language courses
Exhibition tour and subsequent artistic-practical work. Can be adapted to the respective
adapted to the respective language level. Dates freely bookable
Exhibition tour for intercultural groups
Meet & Speak
Dialogical guided tour for people with and without a refugee or migration background.
Bookable free of charge for intercultural groups.
Numerous other guided tours are offered. Please check the website of the Bundeskunsthalle for current information on mediation offers for the exhibition.
Die Künstler*innen der Ausstellung
Adel Abdessemed, Akinbode Akinbiyi, James Gregory Atkinson, May Ayim, Mehtap Baydu, Cana Bilir-Meier, Frédéric Brenner, Maithu Bùi, Vlassis Caniaris, Harun Farocki, Talya Feldman, Claire Fontaine, Hans Haacke, Manaf Halbouni, Mona Hatoum, Nadira Husain, Daniel Josefsohn, Sebastian Jung, Šejla Kamerić, Kanak Attak, Cem Karaca, William Kentridge, Magda Korsinsky, Alicja Kwade, Damian Le Bas, Thomas Locher, Emeka Ogboh, Aras Ören, Daniela Ortiz, Benjamin Patterson, Mario Pfeifer, Phung-Tien Phan, Anta Helena Recke, Serkan Sarier, Lucia Sceranková, Lerato Shadi, Katharina Sieverding, Hito Steyerl, Ülkü Süngün, Dito Tembe, Sung Tieu, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Dragutin Trumbetas, Ulay, Carrie Mae Weems, Naneci Yurdagül
Bild oben: Lerato Shadi. Batho ba ha ba Tlhalonganye 2020–2023, Neon-Sign-Installation ©Courtesy die Künstlerin und blank projects, Kapstadt, Foto: dewil.ch (CC BY-NC-ND)
Dan Thy Nguyen
David Muñoz Aristizábal
Timo Glatz (PR)
Beate Rieple (Sammlung)
Katrin Schaumburg (wissenschaftliche Mitarbeit)
Mara Teutsch (wissenschaftliche Mitarbeit, Sammlung)
DOMiD (Dokumentationszentrum und Museum über die Migration in Deutschland)