Kicking off Matthias Lilienthal’s term as general theatre director of the Munich Kammerspiele in autumn 2015, the theatre has actively supported a residential project for refugees in downtown Munich. The organisers’ vision was to have the entire theatre address themes of escape, arrival and welcoming culture; employees and audience members have been encouraged to support the refugees in building networks, meeting basic needs, e.g. finding accommodation and work, and helping them participate in social, cultural and political life. By means of artistic, political and concrete humanitarian involvement, the theatre hoped to stimulate broader reflection on the fate of refugees, as well as European asylum and immigration policies. In this way, the Kammerspiele hoped to become Germany’s first “Welcome Theatre”.
The theatre staged a large congress as the season opener in October 2015. The event intended to establish contact between local interest groups, refugee organisations and supraregional authorities, and present their activities in a public forum. Scholars and political experts like Ousmane Diarra, Carolin Emcke, Napuli Paul Langa or Heribert Prantl have outlined new directions in European refugee politics and offered perspectives on how global migration policies could be shaped in the future. The congress has been accompanied by an extensive artistic programme with concerts, performances and theatre productions. The project has also invited musicians, performers and theatre artists like Gintersdorfer/Klaßen, Nicolas Stemann, Adnan Softic or Taigue Ahmed as well as organisation like CUCULA, the Silent University, the Refugee Radio Network, Bellevue di Monaco or Culture Kitchen to present their latest works.
Artistic directors: Björn Bicker, Malte Jelden
Artistic production directors: Judith Kurz, Moritz Schleissing
Participants: Gintersdorfer/Klaßen (DE/CI), Kiron University, Napuli Paul Langa, Elspeth Guild (NL), CUCULA, Culture Kitchen, Refugee Radio Network,
François Gemenne (FR), Giusi Nicolini (IT), Didier Bigo (FR), i,Slam, Grada Kilomba, Bellevue di Monaco, HAJUSOM, Heribert Prantl, Ousmane Diarra (ML), Mark Ernestus' Ndagga Rhythm Force (SN), Adnan Softić, Taigué Ahmed (TD), Carolin Emcke, Bernd Mesovic, Naika Foroutan, Mark Terkessidis, Rimini Protokoll (Daniel Wetzel), Hate Poetry and others