New friends, old acquaintances and good food from the Refugees` Kitchen!
Why not looking back in the middle of the year? In the last half year a lot has happened and the summer heat invites you to move as little as possible and let the thoughts drift, to all the beautiful moments and actions.
The extremely gray beginning of the year invited to a cozy and homely get-together. How good that the young, committed political groups of Unterhaus gave enough reason to do so. Whether joint reading and discussion rounds of the Oberhausener Falken, the "Linke Kneipenabend" of the Antifa Oberhausen in musically underlined atmosphere (every third Friday of the month starting at 7pm) or the game night Ludomania. In addition to these well-attended events, there were always a few extra events, often with a critical background and a person from the subject, who gave insights into topics such as the major Islamic organizations in Germany and their political orientation or glyphosate and its effects on nature and especially the insect world. For the hungry visitors, a vegan-vegetarian meal was often offered for a small contribution and chilled drinks are never lacking in the Unterhaus. We hope that in the future many more visitors enjoy the nice atmosphere of this extraordinary cultural and political location on the ground floor of the Oberhaus and we are looking forward to meet new people, who would like to participate in the planning and further development of the concept.
In the spring and the first warm days we took care of the further development of the Unterhaus. The kitchen has been renovated! Above all, Raymond, Ahmad and the Refugees' Kitchen Team have been working hard to bring a top-functional and beautiful kitchen to the lower house.
And it has been used right away quite intensively by celebrating Ramadan and especially the daily end of the fasting Iftar for one whole month as part of the intercultural theater festival D.Ramadan of Theater Oberhausen. In the first few weeks Salma and her brother Imad, together with Ahmad prepared the break of fasting for the guests of D. Ramadan which they could enjoy as soon as it got dark. After having listened to a performance or a talk about religion and tradition, intercultural encounters and, of course, food, the guests were invited to dine at our buffet . Ahmad even had the opportunity to discuss the Refugees` Kitchen concept and questions about working conditions for refugees, his way to kitev and culinary specialties from his home country on the big stage.
In the second half we had Husam and his two sons Karim and Rami as chefs. With their personal family dishes and nice talks, they too have been able to inspire the guests. Many thanks to all the cooks, the open-minded audience and the theater Oberhausen for these beautiful evenings!
Husam and Rami have prepared another very special feast following this event series. The jury of Advocate Europe, a competition format that promotes civil society initiatives and projects to strengthen the democratic thought in Europe, gathered for 2 days at our premises in the tower. Kitev as alumni of the competition with the project Refugees for Cocreative Cities provided the perfect setting for the election of the new winners. After a wonderful dinner on the 5th floor of the tower, Husam and Rami set up the buffet for the second day directly on the Museumsbahnsteig. There was a lot to talk about and the future of Europe looks a bit rosier after these two days listening to their conversations.
Another big event for the Refugees` Kitchen was the symposium "Glückauf Nachbar - Modellquartier Integration", where we were able to use our truck-lady Elli and the true Refugees` Kitchen for the first time this year. After a little beauty treatment, we went to Zeche Zollverein, where we were able to introduce our concept to the guests of the symposium and, at the same time, treat them with Syrian specialties cooked by Ahmad, Imad and Meis. Great heat, the somewhat stubborn Elli and time pressure made the whole thing not that easy. But we got support: 20 students from Loyola Marymount University in L.A. had previously helped us with D.Ramadan and came right when we needed them.
During a stay in Germany lasting several weeks, the American students kept coming to our tower to familiarize themselves with our way of working and our ideas. Their study visit focused on "Marketing for Good", with charitable initiatives and projects as a model for marketing and design strategies. For example, a new Refugees Kitchen concept was developed for multi-day event formats such as the D.Ramadan Festival. In addition, a variety of small marketing concepts and product ideas where you can clearly see the kitev influence have been developed by the group. A selection of final products will soon be online.
Together with the troupe we had a great time at Zollverein and were happy about the many enthusiastic comments of the guests.
The final event before we enjoyed a small summer break was the Zukunftsstadt event on June 28th. In the future, an "Ideenfabrik" will be set up in a former supermarket in the center of Oberhausen, inviting citizens to actively participate in urban development and at the same time presenting new knowledge formats and visionary projects. Together with the three Erasmus students Petra, Zuzanna and Lenka, we created colorful Oberhausen visions that invite to have fun and serve as a model for the future of Oberhausen and in particular the Ober- and Unterhaus .
Because a lot will happen here in the next few months:
United in the project "Junges Engagement Unterhaus", the events and meetings of the lower Unterhaus will be increased again. Joint cooking evenings, discussions and (international) film screenings are intended to invite a wide audience to join in and linger. In a first step, however, we will first of all spice up the location a bit. Various prank, decoration and even gardening are on the plan! If you feel like getting involved, feel free to contact us by e-mail or send a message to the Unterhaus Facebook group.
Further projects in the coming months:
The workshop series Meine-Deine-Unser Heimat is ready to start. In 3 workshop formats, the discourse on homeland is redefined and taken out of the context of demarcation and national pride. For this purpose, both old-established OberhausenerInnen as well as refugees and new arrivals get the opportunity to enter into a dialogue with each other.
"Homeland as a concept whose definition varies according to the individual should be given a new mediating meaning in the context of intercultural understanding."
The prelude is "Critical Cooking" in cooperation with the Multi-Initiative Oberhausen, in which young people from 13 countries visit Oberhausens` young people, we'll cook a meal together and during this talk about cooking, nutrition and food and how those themes are connected to topics such as home, customs, similarities and differences encountered.
Another novelty is the collaboration with Sina Ebell, who accompanies us for half a year and works on a very special project. More about this soon!
We thank all participants, who have made this year so far very exciting and wonderful!