Berlin – City of diversity
Berlin is a cosmopolitan city, with a rich history of migration and cultural exchange. From the Hugenottes around, across Bohemians, Poles, Jews from Eastern Europe, workers from Southern Europe and Asia, to the international cultural elite of today – These have all left their mark on the city. Thanks to this influx of different nationalities and religions, Berlin has become a fascinating metropolis, a first class cultural hub and a political centre.
One in four Berliners has no German passport. In the neighbourhood of Neukölln alone, people from 163 different nationalities live side by side. Does this lead to a joint sense of community? Do the inhabitants see multiculturalism as a chance? How do old and new Berliners judge their city’s changing character?
Hadmut Bittiger is addressing these questions in her audio-visual installation »Berlin – City of diversity«. She conducts interviews with Berliners from different origins and asks them all the same questions:
“Do you feel you are part of Berlin?”
“How has migration shaped cultural life in Berlin?”
Hadmut Bittiger records these messages and highlights their essence in her installation.
Hadmut Bittiger brings out the necessity for respect in diversity. She shows that communities can only live together successfully if people live their own culture and accept each other’s differences at the same time. As a result, enriching insights, shared values and mutually beneficial capacity.
EXAMPLES OF INTERVIEW ANSWERS
HEADS, FLOOR INSTALLATION Berlin – City of Diversity 1
One out of four Berliners has no German passport. Is the city’s diversity an opportunity or does make people move farther apart? Twenty people from Berlin with different nationalities were asked to give their opinion on this question in their mother tongues. The original voices can be heard through the sound modules in the heads at the push of a button. The heads themselves with their many inter-connections represent acceptance and areas of similarity. › Link to the exhibition
WALL INSTALLATION Berlin – City of Diversity 2
Coloured globes move around the city boundaries of Berlin. They contain text from press cuttings from international newspaper. They are testimony of the dynamic and open-minded diversity of this city – a young metropolis full of a packed history about migration and cultural change. The roads into and out of the city correspond to its main traffic arteries and symbolise the permanent inflow and outflow of migrants.