The larger project Migration in Museums: Narratives of Diversity in Europe was started in January 2007 with the support of the Hauptstadtkulturfonds (Berlin). It had a threefold scope. First, it consisted of collecting interview materials from artists of immigrant origin in numerous European cultural metropolises. Second, organizing a large international conference in Berlin bringing together museum experts, researchers, artists and representatives of immigrant NGOs. Third, making the interview and conference results public.


A total of twelve interviews were carried out with writers and film makers of immigrant origin from Amsterdam, Athens, Berlin, Istanbul, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Oslo and Warsaw. The interviews were half-open whereby a total of fifteen questions were asked about migration experiences, individual and collective memories, history and the artists’ biography and works.


The documentary Migrants Moving History: Narratives of Diversity in Europe (23 minutes) was launched at the international conference Migration in Museums in Berlin (October 23 to 25, 2008). Since then, it has been shown at several film and immigration festivals. The film can also be watched on this site. It creates a virtual dialogue among artists of immigrant origin in Europe on questions of immigration, history and identity.


The conference Migration in Museums: Narratives of Diversity in Europe brought together some hundred participants from around Europe and overseas to discuss challenges of displaying history and art in European museums. A central focal point were the challenges posed by Europe’s increasing diversity due to past and present immigration. Seven museums hosted the conference in Berlin, namely the Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum für Film und Fernsehen, the Erinnerungsstätte Notaufnahmelager Marienfelde, the Jüdisches Museum Berlin, the Jugendmuseum Schöneberg, the Museum Neukölln, the Kreuzberg Museum and the Stadtmuseum Berlin/Märkisches Museum. Conference participants worked together in small, moderated workshops of 12 to 13 persons. The thematically-oriented workshop lasted for 1.5 days. The workshops started off with a public opening and followed by public concluding presentations. Discussions were recorded and analyzed.


A publication with conference proceedings is available at the homepage of the Network Migration in Europe.


The film project was carried out by the historian Rainer Ohliger (concept and interviews), the film maker Wiebke Pöpel (camera and editing) and Benjamin Kahlmeyer (camera). The Berlin conference in October 2008 was organized in cooperation with Helmuth Braun (Jüdisches Museum Berlin), Martin Düspohl (Kreuzberg Museum), Bettina Effner (Erinnerungsstätte Notaufnahmelager Marienfelde), Dr. Claudia Gemmeke (Stadtmuseum Berlin/Märkisches Museum), Dr. Udo Gößwald (Museum Neukölln) and Petra Zwaka (Jugendmuseum Schöneberg).


The website provides access to the documentary and to selected parts of the interviews.