#transculturaltakeover – a cooperation seminar with roadto_

Hey everybody, my name is Cathrine and I am an anthropologist based at Heidelberg University.

I came to Heidelberg to study Anthropology and South Asian Studies, and have been working at the department of Visual and Media Anthropology located at the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (Bergheim) since 2008. One of the areas my research looks at is migration and mobility and how these affect social lives in different cultural contexts. With a particular focus on visual practices, including contemporary art, performance, photography, social media, exhibition making etc., I am interested in understanding their role in intercultural exchange and communication, notions of belonging and living together, and civic action. This is also a topic in many of my seminars in the field of transcultural studies, where I and my students engage with questions such as “What is migration and mobility doing to people and places?” “What do they need to shape their futures?” “How do they unfold their social capacities for living together?” or “How do people act as citizens, and what can be the function of creativity, activism and processuality in all this?”

Cathrine Bublatzky in conversation @ the road to_ Kick-Off

Of course, the network-activist group MIGRATION HUB Heidelberg is in line with these interests, and so it immediately caught my attention. I was very excited for the chance to cooperate with the group, as well as the “Roadto___” and the “Begeisterhaus” initiatives. Following this cooperation, I devised the research-based seminar “Post-Migration Urbanity and the city of Heidelberg” which I am currently teaching this summer and through which we, that is, my students and I, became members and partners of Roadto__.

And here we are:

Alongside the key themes and connected festivals of ‘Social Future’; ‘Right for development’; ‘Stories of Many’; ‘Do-It-Yourself-Together’, we are active outside the classroom under #transculturaltakeover and will be making a contribution not just through blogs, twitter and Instagram postings, but also offer support with our man- and mind-power, help to run initiatives like the HUMANS OF HEIDELBERG-Stories of Many, and become participants of other events such as the “Female Pleasure” & “Die Beste Zeit ein Mann zu sein” screenings (read the blog entry by Sara and Benedict), the twitter posting by Erin on the Walk at the Iqbal Ufer or the upcoming exhibition “Ankommen: Geschichten von Vielen/Arrival: Stories of Many”. Inside the classroom we have discussions that span across the fields of geography, anthropology, sociology or history. Particular themes of interest for us are postmigration, creative cities, conviviality, decoloniality or network society, and that’s just to name a few.


members of the seminar “Post-Migration Urbanity and the city of Heidelberg”

Since “Germany is now experiencing a process in which affiliations, national (collective) identities, participation and equality of opportunity are being renegotiated and adjusted in a post-migrant state, i.e. after migration has happened and has been recognized by the government, academia and the public as inevitable” (Naika Foroutan 2015, Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung, online publication), we are engaging with post-migration as a form of “social negotiation processes”. Central to these processes are mutual respect and understanding, dialogue, the production and exchange of knowledge, becoming informed citizens, and belonging to a particular community, neighbourhood and city.

In this sense we are very grateful for and excited by this inspiring cooperation, ‘inside’ perspectives of the Roadto__ project and its partaking organisations and actors in Heidelberg, and the chance to become active participants ourselves.

Our thanks go to Evein, Linda and Jasper and all the people who have so far agreed to talk to us and offer us access to their activities and stories in Heidelberg!

We hope to meet many of you along the ‘road to’ the Begeisterhaus.

Stay informed and follow our activities on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!

The next festival ‘Stories of Many’ at the Mehrgenerationenhaus in Rohrbach is coming soon (14.6 – 16.6. 2019). Join us when we gather stories of HUMANS OF HEIDELBERG in our photo booth, for the artist workshops Mapping Home: Memories on the Move with Nidhi Khurana and Stories of Many: A Visual Journey with Ruchin Soni (India), and many more!

Blog posting by Cathrine Bublatzky