DEUTSCH / ENGLISH / العربية
Berlin, for example, is the capital of Germany. A home for over 3,700,000 people with 193 different nationalities. These are an unbelievable number of cultures, stories and views that meet each other countless times each day and that make up this city.
Arab culture is part of it, shaped by around 132,000 Arabs living in Berlin and many more people who are interested in this way of life.
With the photo project “Arab Culture in Berlin” we want to give everyone who is interested, an opportunity to immerse themselves and to experience with all senses a cross-section, a side of Arabic and its symbiosis with the German capital.
What was already used as a source of inspiration in ancient times also gave us many different ideas in our project. Feeling religion, enjoying culinary delights, meeting people with interesting life stories or getting to know the beauty of Arabic script were just some of the aspects we were able to experience.
With our exhibition, it is also important to us to promote transcultural freedom.
Old-fashioned, often prejudice-based structures of thought have to be broken. Interest should be aroused, because only people who enter into an exchange can really understand each other in the end. Regardless of nationality, obsolete ideals should be overturned and new ways of life adapted bit by bit. This is the only way to create a network in Berlin to create a space for better coexistence.
BEHIND THE PROJECT
We had one particular goal for our photography project: the intense engagement in Arabic culture in Berlin, followed by an exhibition of our work.
The work process was instructed by “After School Hustle” , a non-profit organization with the goal of supporting teenagers in the area in and around Berlin to tap their full potential.
Our project included workshops in photography and basic editing. Furthermore, we discussed intermediate results and refined the selection during our meetings. In addition to artistic concerns, the main focus was always on a reflected exploration of the actual topic: Arab influences in the capital city.
Therefore, stereotypes were questioned and motives were discussed.
That way, the curated photographs were taken in a period of five months (October 2019 to February 2020). The facets of city and culture captured by Berlin-teens can be found in every handiwork of the exhibition.
We want to start a dialogue - between photographer and observer, Arabic Berliners and inhabitants from other cultural circles. “What represents Arabic culture in Berlin?”, our leading question, is answered through every picture: documentary recordings alongside controversial perspectives sculpt a tiny section of the German-Arab world - and encourage you to engage on your own.
Elif ÇetinDavid Killian