Academy of Migrant Organizing
Assembling Community Knowledge, Skills & Tools for a Solidary Future
The »Academy of Migrant Organizing - Assembling Community Knowledge, Skills & Tools for a Solidary Future« is a migrant organizing program promoting a "new" strategic way of transformative organizing as it was and is being practiced in many unions and movements around the world. The program is specifically aimed at migrant, refugee and BIPoC organizers in Germany, with the goal of starting a joint process of reflection, research and education with three public events mainly designed by the expert group: We want to lead the discourse about identity and solidarity of and with migrants out of the political dead-end.
How can we use migrant organizing to unite for a future of solidarity and together strengthen frontline communities whose political struggles have been ignored and marginalised for far too long? Connecting to recent campaigns for the right to vote for migrants as well as affordable housing, health care, workers rights, and fundamental rights in Germany we thus want to engage in a critical discourse about political representation, agency and transformative community organizing, as diaspora communities, social movements and trade union campaigns show that migrants are at the forefront of the struggles of the last decade.
The 60th anniversary of the guest worker agreement between Germany and Turkey, the ongoing "Conference on the Future of Europe" and the new German "traffic light" government demand new strategic and methodological responses from social movements, political educators and civil society actors, especially to let refugees, migrants and BIPoC have a say in shaping our common future – a solidary European migration system, a just climate transition, as well as democratic and healthy societies.
Our Academy Fellows
In our »Open Call for Experts in Migrant Organizing« we invited migrant, refugee and BIPoC organizers living in Germany to become part of our expert group to bring their knowledge, skills and tools to the political landscape of Germany and Europe. We are happy to announce that we received almost 50 applications in just 2 weeks – all of them strong voices and smart minds throughout Germany who organize migrants and refugees in civil society initiatives, political movements, social associations, activist art, culture and research projects or trade unions in order to fight together for their rights and a solidary future!
Here we now proudly present our selected expert group of 9 migrant organizers. More "Associates" who will engage in dialogue with our fellows in the public programme will be introduced in the coming weeks.
Ali is a human rights activist from Iran, who is living in Germany. He has been an activist of Amnesty International for 5 years and of Fridays for Future Europe since 2018 now, and currently he is busy with evacuating activists at risk from Afghanistan. Apart from this Ali is a member of Grüne Jugend Deutschland and the Steering Committee of the Global Young Greens as well as its Regional Coordinator for Europe.
Anna is an artist, architect, journalist, editor and activist. She is a creative member of the Nordic Folkecenter for Renewable Energy (Denmark); member of the Sinus_3 design and architecture studio (Poland); founder and member of the Polish queer feminist collective Dziewuchy Berlin (Germany); initiator and member of the International Council of Polish Women+ (global). She takes part in exhibitions, develops creative actions, publishes illustrations, lectures about feminist activism and art, sustainable architecture, urban planning and theory. Anna lives in Berlin and Puszczykowo (Poland).
Berena is a second generation migrant and political activist. Her experiences of belonging have never based on concepts of identity. The longing for change and the will to join a struggle that is led by a common vision and the desire to win - that is where she finds friends, peers and comrades.
Daniel is a movement researcher and organizing trainer focused on the problem of workers’ organization, power, and strategy. He has participated in workplace, migrant, and housing struggles in the United States and Germany. Through the Werkstatt für Bewegungsbildung, he facilitates spaces where ordinary people can experiment with toolboxes that help them build rewarding, resilient, and politically effective organizations. As a co-host at Spadework podcast, he helps circulate organizing insight more broadly. He lives in Berlin.
Karam, born and raised in Damascus, Syria before moving with family to Amman, Jordan. Started his academic career as an English language student at the Arab College in Amman. After graduating in 2011, Karam started his Bachelor’s degree at Hashemite University in Zarqa City, Jordan, specializing in literature and cultural studies. Beside studies, he was an active member of the university theatre, which qualified him to play in several international theatre festivals. In 2013, he graduated from Hashemite University and started to work with ActionAid ARI as a Community Mobilizer at the Zataree refugee camp. Currently he is focusing on his on research in Social Anthropology, refugeness, migration after myth and its implications on mental health for new comers.
Tarek is a political scientist, educator, consultant and activist in social, migrant/anti-racist as well as in queer movements. They are currently completing their Master of Arts in Global Studies at Humboldt University in Berlin with support of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. Previously, they worked as a community organizer in queer communities in Marburg and studied political sciences at Philipps-University of Marburg. Their focus lies on domestic and social movement policies. Tarek deals with social movements, queer politics, police- and migration/border-regimes from both, an academic and a political intersectional perspective. Such a perspective puts an analysis of the social and material formations of class upfront. They are also engaged with the QTI*BIPOC United collective in Berlin and write for media platforms such as analyse&kritik (ak) and wissenschaft und frieden.
Vincent is a Berlin-based musician, author and activist working at the intersection of art and politics. In recent years, his artistic and political projects have focused in particular on migration, flight, decolonisation, exploitation and resistance, as well as the search for positive visions for a just society in which we can all be different without fear. Vincent is a member of numerous civil society initiatives such as the NSU Tribunal and the Initiative Black People in Germany (ISD-Bund e.V.). His publications include the audio walks "ZURÜCKerzählt" and "Unser Land. Punkt", the theater performance "Eigensinnige Leben" as well as the anti-racist music-pedagogical writing "Africa Bling Bling Hakuna Matata".
Yağmur was born in Izmir, Turkey, and moved to Germany when she was 21 years old, to continue her studies, which she had started in Istanbul. She has been involved in activism for a long time and she was mostly influenced by the Gezi Park demonstrations, which she experienced when she was 18. She worked as a journalist for different media and right now works for a human rights organization and is active at the campaign Deutsche Wohnen und Co. Enteignen, which focuses to expropriate private housing companies in Berlin.
Zeynep was born in Elazığ, Turkey. She ranked 18th in Turkey overall in the university entrance examinations and graduated from BA in English Language Education at Boğaziçi Üniversitesi in Istanbul in 2020. She came to Germany in December 2020 to study and started working at Gorillas in February 2021 as a rider to make ends meet. In order to stop problems such as systematic wage theft, lack of health and safety equipment, as well as racist and sexist harassment, Zeynep organized with other workers in the Gorillas Workers Collective. Currently, she is a member of the newly established Workers’ Council at Gorillas and continues her studies at Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena in the department of MA English and American Studies focusing on linguistics.
The Process & Outcomes of the »Academy of Migrant Organizing«
The program consists of an online skillsharing workshop, an assembly of solidarity in Chemnitz specifically connecting to the work of local initiatives for a democratic and diverse society in Saxony, a community conference in Berlin with our partner »Oyoun«, which is a cultural hub for the diasporic community, as well as a digital launch and an exhibition of educational resources for skillsharing purposes that will be presented online and in the partner venues in Chemnitz, Berlin and Porto. Between the public the expert group will meet in online reflection sessions to discuss the most urgent strategic and methodological questions of migrant organizing.
How to Organize Migrant Power through Feminist Artivism, Urban Movements & Workers' Collectives
Online Skillsharing Workshop
Saturday, 29.01.2022, 10-17 (CET), Zoom
Migrant Community Struggles for Equal Rights, Dignity & Justice in Germany
Assembly of Solidarity in Chemnitz
Academy of Migrant Organizing for a Future of Solidarity & Justice
Community Conference, Oyoun Berlin
Migrant Organizing Toolbox
Digital Educational Resources as part of the Handbook for Transnational Activists
Launch: Friday, 01.05.2022
The Team Behind the Project
The process and output will be carefully supervised and curated by a young group of organizers, activists and artists with a migrant background: Kasia and Georg as part of the team of EA Berlin, a graphic designer and a video team.
Abou was born in Mali in 1985. After graduating with a degree in English, he worked as a teacher, construction worker, transporter and lecturer. Fleeing from Mali to Germany, he spent 15 months at the border fence in Melilla. With a camera he documented the fates of the people at the border. This resulted in his first directorial effort "Les Sauteurs - Those Who Jump", which premiered at the Berlinale Forum in 2016. In 2019 his new documentary film “My New European Life” was released, documenting his isolation in a refugee home, an essayistic reflection on Europe's invisible borders and on filmmaking as an act of self-empowerment.
Elena Bianco is a multidisciplinary artist from Milano, currently based in Berlin. Her work is a journey of emotional and social exploration that aims at promoting self-expression, kindness and human connection. She is active in the fields of illustration, graphic design and street installation art.
Georg leads the School of Political Hope (SPH), develops ideas, thoughts and concepts for a democratic and solidary future - and most of all likes to bring people together to make them a reality ... He was born near Gdansk in 1987 shortly before the peak of the Solidarnosc movement. He is at home in Berlin, studied psychology at the University of Cologne and discovered theatre and activism as an autodidact.
After his school days, he took his first steps with political youth theatre projects. In 2012, the political show "Hope Dies First" and in 2014 the generational performance "Life in Progress" were invited to the political youth theatre festival Festiwalla at the House of World Cultures in Berlin. His interest in working with "real" people also arose from his work as coordinator for "100 Prozent Köln" (2011) by Rimini Protokoll at Schauspiel Köln. Since then he has developed, produced and realised numerous documentary long-term theatre projects with young people, refugees and professional performers.
From 2014 to 2016 he was artistic-paedagogical director of the Junge Akademie der Künste der Welt/Cologne. In 2015, he staged the war phone transcripts of the Ukrainian artist Alevtina Kakhidze and her mother in "Phone Calls from the Cemetery". In 2017, he initiated the SPH – a school supporting progressive citizens, communities, movements, labour unions, and civil society organisations with storytelling, community organising and artivism. Georg works for SPH as a facilitator, organiser, educator, artivist, and consultant.
Georg works as Grassroots Organizing & Training Manager for European Alternatives and is responsible for the projects "Trust Beyond Borders", "Workers Without Borders" and the "School of Transnational Activism".
Jonas is a filmmaker, activist, photographer and musician, whose work is centered around global justice. Since 2020 he is working for #LeaveNoOneBehind in campaigning, calling for an immediate evacuation of the refugee camps on the Greek islands, an end of the illegal push-backs at the external European borders like Belarus-Poland or an evacuation of people from Afghanistan. Since 2013 he works and lives between Latin America and Berlin, mainly focusing on a long-term documentary project following protagonists of civil resistance processes calling for social justice and peace in Colombia and indigenous movements across Latin America.
Kasia Wojcik is project coordinator at European Alternatives since october 2021 as well as a dramaturg, curator and poet, working at the intersection of art and activism. She is part of the artists* collective "Staub zu Glitzer" and has worked with director Gesine Danckwart as well as for the Performing Arts Program of LAFT Berlin. She has been a progressive activist for transnational solidarity since 2016. Since 2017 she is part of International Institute of Political Murder (IIPM) by Milo Rau. As a dramaturg and curator she took part in "General Assembly", "The New Gospel" as well as "School of Resistance".