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 organised the tour for the Euro-Med Award winners ‘Combatants for Peace’ with the ALF 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 series of events held in 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 the 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, Prof. Dr. Caroline Y. 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 series of events 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 in August 2013 in Berlin. The so-called “Bürgerfest des Bundespräsidenten” is a large event in the garden of the Federal President of Germany, particularly honouring those organizations which are involved in voluntary civil engagement. The Network was honored 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.
In March 2014, about 20 members of the German Network participated in the annual meeting of the German Network of the Anna Lindh Foundation. The meeting took place at the Centre for Mediterranean Studies of the Ruhr-University in Bochum. Besides the presentation of the outstanding works of the members, the thematic orientation of the series of events “Mediterranean on the Spot” (Fall 2014) was discussed. Using a matchmaking wall, new project ideas for the cooperation of the members were developed.
At the end of the two-day Network Meeting concrete tasks for the Cluster ‘Science’ were planned. Projects in the research field ‘Migration in the Euro-Mediterranean region' were the focus of the ‘Migration’ Cluster meeting of the Anna Lindh Foundation in September in Berlin. The cultural highlight of the meeting was the second visit of the annual reception of the Federal President of Germany. The panel discussion “Engagement without borders – Dialogue is not enough, Encounters matter” took place at this event, where Anna Lindh members were invited to discuss the challenges and consequences of the globalisation. The members told their own stories on stage: Whether they helped refugees find a new home, trained students to set themselves “against oppression in the name of honor” or supported Roma, the German Anna Lindh members always found their own ways to take responsibility.
The panel discussion set up the beginning of the annual series of events of the German Anna Lindh Network. In September and October 2014 the series of events “Mediterranean on the Spot” took place. Chances and challenges of Euro-Mediterranean encounters were the focus of the events. Through projects, plays, lectures, discussions and seminars the diverse image of the Euro-Mediterranean area with its profitable and challenging aspects was reflected.
In October 2014 new ideas and collaborations as well as project development and exchange across the Mediterranean were the central aspects of the Cluster meeting ‘Arts and Culture'. In Bremen, participants gained insights into the international art project “Mosaics of Inclusion” (Diakonisches Werk Bremen), the Dance-Theatre-Project “Ashtar Theatre” (Büro für Kultur- und Medienprojekte gGmbH) and in the artistic aspects of international summer camps (Aktion Sühnezeichen Friedensdienste).
In July 2015, the Cluster Meetings ‘Migration’ and ‘Arts & Culture’ focused on projects with the topic “Refugees in Germany”, which is currently affected by the refugee crises in the Mediterranean and by the persistently high number of refugees in Germany. Experts from the Anna Lindh member organisation “heimaten e.V” gave an insight into their long-standing work with and for refugees.
In September 2015, the 17th annual meeting of the German Network of the Anna Lindh Foundation took place in Nuremberg. During the Meeting the members continued their work on developing the project idea "Intercultural work with refugees in the German network", which was the main result of the Cluster Meetings ‘Migration’ and 'Arts & Culture' in July 2015.
From October 2015 until April 2016, the German Network of the Anna Lindh Foundation organised the fifth time the series of events "Mediterranean on the Spot" in many German cities. The nationwide series of events focused on “New neighbourhoods” and dealt with the vivid, constantly changing culture of our cities, shaped by interactions between migrants and the host society.
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 Prof. Dr. Caroline Y. 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)