Resilient Cities in Post-Migrant Societies

Migration is often regarded as a challenge or even a threat, despite its continuity in world history and the significant role it has played in the building of our current societies. In the context of ongoing migration movements and social reconfigurations, many countries are faced with economic, social and political challenges on a regional, national and transnational level. ZK/U aspires to explore the potentials of artistic work as a transformative tool in post-migrant societies, to shift the perspective on migration from instantaneous and threatening to continuous and offering opportunities. It has become apparent that the current global demographic situation is not temporary but ongoing and will thus have a lasting effect on the social figuration of neighbourhoods and cities. Therefore we need to re-think the notion of community as a set of inclusive practices and mutual processes of integration, and realize that what is often conceived as a ‘crisis’ is actually a chance that needs to be taken proactively.

The imagination of forms of local belonging that are inclusive of international backgrounds through social, artistic and creative activities thus plays an important role within ZK/U’s vision and practices. For example, ZUsammenKUNFT, a satellite project of ZK/U, provides a space for the encounter of creatives, newly arrived citizens and existing Berliners, with inclusion as an active and reciprocal process in mind. ZK/U is interested in welcoming residents, groups, projects and utopias that aim for the same goal through various approaches.

Our leading questions are:

How can we overcome social and legal restrictions for immigrants and create a sense of mobility and inclusion?
How can we build a space for inclusive practices that mediates locality and diversity?
What is the unique potential of bringing together culture, education and social engagement?
How can art, culture and craft offer a way out of social displacement and generate a sense of belonging?
How do we mediate the global and the local in the context of migration and refuge?

Related ZK/U projects: Haus der Statistik, ZUsammenKUNFT, ZK/U Residency, nomadicArt / Gyalpa