"Haus der Einwanderungsgesellschaft"
We live in a society of immigration: Migration shapes our every-day lives. Every second child born in German cities has a "migration background". The realisation that migration is in fact the norm, has not yet taken hold in society. The spread of knowledge about cultural diversity and the breaking down of prejudices, are both vital for our future coexistence. A museum in which Germany can get to know itself as a country of migration offers just such a possibility.
Our planned museum will cover this topic from the present. It will trace the development of our migration society and its constant state of change. The history of our society will be told from multiple perspectives and it will create a new historical narrative, with a focus on the years from 1945 to the present. All forms of migration will be covered – from flight and displacement to labour migration; from family reunification and resettlement to multi-local ways of life.
As migration is not a one-way street, there will also be forays into emigration. At the same time, we will also include countries of origin in our approach, because migration is a transnational phenomenon. The exhibition will be designed as a vibrant place, where visitors will find a well-balanced relationship between the educational and the experiential. Our objects and stories convey the meaning of migration in a very concrete way.
DOMiD: central actor in the culture of remembrance
DOMiD is the most experienced actor in the field of culture of remembrance and museumization of immigration in Germany. The association was founded in 1990 by migrants, to start establishing a collection on the history of immigration. Even then, the goal was to set up a migration museum. Today, DOMiD represents a cross-section of the immigration society in terms of its membership and employee structure and has a collection of immigration history that is unique in Germany, with over 150,000 social, cultural and everyday history records on the history of immigration in Germany (including the former GDR). In addition to the records on migration from abroad, the collection also includes exhibits on internal migration from 1945 to the present day and offers numerous thematic starting points, e.g. on flight, displacement, resettlement or even multilocal ways of life.
Image: D. Hackenberg, DOMiD Archive, Cologne
Starting from the present, with constant reference to the common history (ies) since 1945, the diversity and heterogeneity in society must be recognized or presented in such a house. Due to different experiences and affiliations, there is no such thing as 'the' German story. History should rather be considered multiperspectival. This should also be reflected in exhibitions, that should allow different voices to speak. How did children of Italian immigrants experience the 2006 World Cup or what role did the reunification play for Turkish immigrants and their descendants? It is about representing the development towards a society whose self-image is determined by multiperspectivity - it is plural, flexible and constantly changing. In this context, migration is not the focus of a specific topic, but it is interwoven in higher-level concept spaces, like a leitmotif.
Image: krafthaus, the atelier of facts and fiction
On the way ...
DOMiD's collection on the history of migration will form the basis of the house. DOMiD has been funded by the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia for many years. In 2016 DOMiD commissioned a feasibility study for the Migration Museum, financed by the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. In 2017, the NRW state government anchored the project in the coalition agreement and in September 2019 in the 2030 participation and integration strategy. In a Council decision in February 2018, the city of Cologne spoke out for the establishment of the house in Cologne. A corresponding location owned by the city has been found and approved with reservation about the funding. In July 2019, the plans were presented to the public and transferred to the urban planning process. In November 2019, the federal government finally agreed to co-finance the house of immigration society in the amount of 22.13 million euros.
Photo: BeL, law firm for architecture
Prof. Dr. Rita Süßmuth, retired President of the Bundestag / Patroness "House of the Immigration Society": Germany is de facto an immigration country. Migration and social diversity will continue to shape the Federal Republic in the future. The fact that we accept refugees in large numbers is not anchored in all parts of the population. The events in 2015 also triggered uncertainty and fears among many. Cologne is an excellent example of successful integration and living together. Cohesion comes from working together and living together. The “House of the Immigration Society” will make an important contribution to this.
Bassam Ghazi for the Import Export Kollektiv, Theater pedagogue, director and diversity trainer at the Schauspiel Köln: What was there first? You or your story? This project, through which we will be able to walk in the future with our children and tell them stories of our parents and grandparents, is on its way.
Christiane Benner, Zweite Vorsitzende IG Metall: "Finally the time has come and "das Haus der Einwanderungsgesellschaft" (the house of the immigration society) is being built! With more than 500,000 members with a migration background in the IG Metall, it is very important to us to tell and visualize the history of all people who are living and working here. For years, we have been supporting the demand for an independent museum for the history of migration. "
Mark Terkessidis, Migrationsforscher und Autor, Beiratsmitglied bei DOMiD: There are museums for cutlery and for chocolate, for sports and for arts and crafts. In the case of the children under the age of six, especially in the cities of the old federal states, children with a migration background are consistently in the majority. Does one still have to justify why there should be a museum for migration?
Serap Güler, Integrationsstaatssekretärin NRW: We are a country of immigration! So many people from other countries have found a new home here. It is high time for this history of immigration to be appreciated, made visible and told: through a central museum of migration.
Dr. Rolf Mützenich, Chair of SPD group in the German Parliament: Not only does migration have history in Germany, it is one of the pressing issues of our time. I campaigned for this project in order to enable a place of remembrance for culture and foster an exchange on migration issues.
Can Candan, Filmmaker, Director/Producer of Duvarlar - Walls - Mauern: The funding for the new „House of the Immigration Society“ is such an important opportunity to appreciate Germany as a country with a rich history of migration and all the contributions migrants have made to this society with the stories and experiences from the past, discussions in the present, and imaginations for the future.
İbrahim Arslan, Activist and survivor of the racist arson attacks in Mölln 1992: Migrant-situated knowledge has not been considered for decades, although it has always been and remains expert knowledge concerning racism. This knowledge now has a museum.
Gabriele Hammelrath, Memeber of Parliament NRW, SPD: My heartfelt congratulations on this great success. In addition, my great appreciation for the intensive work and the tireless commitment - because only through this has the important step on the way to the Migration Museum come about. Of course, I offer you my support for the next steps.
Prof. Dr. Karim Fereidooni, Junior Professor of Didactics of Social Science Education at the Ruhr University Bochum; racism researcher: Germany is a migration society. A society shaped by migration must honor such achievements that have been made. A migration museum is an important step to represent the cultural memory of our diverse society.
Samy Charchira, diploma social worker: If we want to shape our future as a society, we cannot deny our present. The country of immigration Germany urgently needs a migration museum. That commands already the historical truth.
2020 - mid 2023 Planning and preparation of the construction phase; Development of permanent exhibition; Participatory programs
mid-2023- End-2024 Construction
Beginning 2026 Completion and opening