The ALF Network in Germany collaborated on large scale cross-cultural dialogue programmes with civil society partners in countries including Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Palestine and Turkey. The German network is headed by the Goethe-Institut e.V., since March 2012 the ZAK has been the coordinator of the German network of the Anna-Lindh Foundation.
Between 2006 and 2007, the ALF took part in the Council of Europe’s flagship Pestalozzi Program for the Training of Education Professionals through seminars in Donaueschingen (Coping with Cultural Diversity in school and out of school (2006) and the 116th workshop on New Competences (2007)). In the framework of the German Presidency of the EU in 2007, the ALF’s annual Heads of Network meeting was hosted in Berlin as well as the very first Euro-Med Youth Parliament which brought together young people from across the region.
In 2010, the final preparatory meeting for the Anna Lindh Forum was held in Munich in partnership with the Network and focused on the theme of ‘Cities, Migrants and Diversity: Valuing Diversity, Understanding Migration’. In May 2010 the Heinrich Boell -Foundation (Schleswig Holstein and Berlin) and ‘Radius of Art’ supported and organized the tour for the Euro-Med Award winners ‘Combatants for Peace’ with the member ‘Kreisau Initiative’ and journalist Farah Lenser. Through the ALF support scheme, the German Network organised in April 2011 a series of events entitled ‘Mediterranean on the Spot’ which included lectures, panel discussions and cultural events with guests from countries including Egypt, Algeria, Israel, Palestine and Tunisia.
In 2012, the ALF, in collaboration with the Network, organised the Journalist Award in the Allianz Cultural Foundation’s headquarters (Allianz Forum, Pariser Platz, Berlin). The Journalist Award 2012 was framed by an Expert Roundtable: Zakia Abdennebi (Reuters, Morocco), Francesca Caferri (La Repubblica, Italy), Jenny Friedrich-Freksa (Kulturaustausch, Germany), Jörg Lau (Die Zeit, Germany) and Karim El Shenawy (BBC Arabic, Egypt) discussed “Responsible Media Coverage” with reference to migration. This event was followed by a nationwide series of events entitled “The Mediterranean on the Spot – Migration and Flight” as a continuation of the Common Action 2011 and again realised through the ALF support scheme. A combination of artistic and performative as well as reflective scientific and educational approaches made it possible to treat the subject in a multi-perspective way and therefore to do the complex subject matter justice.
The series of events was concluded by a meeting of experts and representatives of scientific institutions in order to establish a cluster ‘Science’ in the German Network – with the aim to foster the scientific exchange between members of the German and the International ALF Network. Besides this rather new cluster in the German Network, there is also a cluster focusing on ‘Migration’ and another one with the emphasis on ‘Arts and Culture’. In addition to the nationwide Network Meetings, Cluster Meetings are held annually, identifying relevant topics and thematic impulses for the work of the National Network.
In the preparation phase for the Anna Lindh Mediterranean Forum 2013, Caroline Robertson-von Trotha was involved in the preparatory meeting ‘Migration and the new Perspective on the Diversity in the Mediterranean’ in Algiers (March 2013). Members and representatives of the German Network were present and involved in the Forum 2013 in Marseille, e.g. in thematic workshops and sessions on good practice in reference to ‘Diversity’.
In autumn 2013, the German Network realised an additional Common Action as a sign of solidarity and to further strengthen the visibility of the ALF. Entitled “The Mediterranean on the Spot: Diversity in practice and its limitations”, the third edition of the nationwide series of events included workshops, seminars, theatre projects, concerts, readings, films, lectures and discussions on the topic. As a kick-off event, the German Network was invited and present at the annual reception of the Federal President of Germany on August 30th-31st, 2013 in Berlin. This so-called “Bürgerfest des Bundespräsidenten” is a large event in the garden of the German President, particularly honouring those organisations which are involved in voluntary civil engagement. The Network was honoured to present a programme involving interactive mini-workshops, readings, music, theatre, a photo project about Anna Lindh and to offer complementary information about the Foundation.
Further involvement comprised the following aspects:
- Contribution to the Anna Lindh Report on Intercultural Trends 2014 concerning the differing results of the corresponding Gallup Survey in Germany in 2009 and 2012
- Attendance of Caroline Robertson-von Trotha at the Moroccan Network Meeting in Marrakesh: Talk on ‘Culture of Associations in Germany’ (June 2013)
- Arab Consultative Meeting ‘Re-Thinking Citizens’ Participation’ in Tunis for the ALF programme Citizens for Dialogue (January 2014)