Claiming Common Spaces VI: House of Solidarity
In Defence of the Migration Society
HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin
With members of the research consortium “Transforming Solidarities”, Derya Yıldırım & Grup Şimşek, El Khat, Gazino Neukölln, Noufãn, Onom Agemo & The Disco Jumpers feat. Natalie Greffel, Thelma Buabeng & Celina Bostic a.o.
The consortium “Transforming Solidarities” together with HAU Hebbel am Ufer hosted an evening “In Defence of the Migration Society” in November 2023: a polyphonic intervention expressing opposition to current migration and asylum policies. At the invitation of HAU Hebbel am Ufer “Transforming Solidarities” is now once again setting up shop at HAU. This time, the consortium is establishing a “House of Solidarity” to invite people to speak to and listen to each other, to commemorate and mourn and, above all, to collectively imagine in discussions, concerts, comedy, spoken word, and celebrations. What more can we achieve if we’re able to stop the spread of hate and degradation, anti-Semitism and racism, sexism and misogyny, imperialism and capitalist extraction? And how can we get there?
One solution arising through research, civil society, art, and culture is developing practices and infrastructures of solidarity. These are what make living together in a migration society conceivable, allowing people to stand up for each other, the world, and the planet. This uprising needs to gain traction now more than ever. In light of the attack on the right to asylum in Europe, of the tactics of division between “people like us” and “the others”, and of the dwindling infrastructures for public services and the common good. Solidarity must urgently push back against the discourse of hatred and offer solutions to social and political problems beyond deportation and marginalisation. The “House of Solidarity” aims to develop visions and methods for living together. Because this is the challenge we are facing today: protecting the migration society and reinventing our atomised world.
The “House of Solidarity” is opening as a home for constructive conversations on the challenges of the migration society.
The first evening will tell the story of an attempt to support efforts to oppose racism and nationalism. Looking back to 1993 with the tour of the “Wohlfahrtsausschüsse zur Abwehr des gegenrevolutionären Übels” – a union of committees fighting counter-revolutionary forces – practitioners from then and now will gather for a moderated panel talk, discussing what it takes for solidarity to flourish in a society that’s shifting towards the right.
The second evening will focus on movements from throughout Europe. The threat of an EU in the hands of right-wing movements and far-right parties has been looming for some time. How can we better understand the danger we’re facing? Activists, academics, and journalists will explore this question, looking for ways to stop current attempts at social division.
What kind of resistance do we need to counter the advance of the right? What utopias are we aiming for? Beyond the liberal self-image of the “centre” which is ultimately in favour of deportations and border walls, alliances against exploitation an oppression are building solidarity at local and global levels. In collaboration with the artist collective parallelgesellschaft, the third evening will focus on these perspectives through music, spoken word, and stand-up comedy – in defence of the migration society.
The three days open with improvised political comedy: actress Thelma Buabeng and musician Celina Bostic present their “Security” programme: together they form a fictitious security team that appears in racist, discriminatory situations, a special unit against discrimination!
The music in the “House of Solidarity” programme is also a plea for cultural freedom and diversity, which is so necessary in society. Two concert evenings make it clear how migrant music culture has long been part of the pop canon: Derya Yıldırım & Grup Şimşek’s Anadolu-Rock combines Anatolian folk with psychedelic and progressive rock and Onom Agemo & The Disco Jumpers with singer Natalie Greffel present electrifying Afro-funk. The noisy electronics of Noufãn connect trumpet and Farsi poetry, Eyal El Wahab, as El Khat, explores the musical tradition of his Yemeni-Diasporic history and Gazino Neukölln place Turkish and Arabic songs in a queer-feminist context.
“Claiming Common Spaces VI” is a project by the Alliance of International Production Houses funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.
In cooperation with the Berlin University Alliance project “Transforming Solidarities. Practices and Infrastructures in Migration Society”.