New Life in Exile
The Körber-Stiftung’s focus topic New Life in Exile assists people who live in exile in Germany and reflect on their experiences of war and migration, the loss of their homeland and their arrival in a foreign culture. The foundation aims to afford visibility to the journalistic, artistic, scientific and political endeavours of people living in exile, provide exiles with a voice and pave the way for debate about the issues related to this topic. Furthermore, the foundation also intends to build bridges between the issues facing people living in exile today and those who were driven into exile in the past. This not only demonstrates continuity, but also raises awareness of Germany’s historical responsibilities and, thus, strengthens social cohesion.
When people are persecuted because of their political views, religion or ethnicity, their life may be under threat, and they often have no choice but to escape into exile. When they do so, they lose their homeland, their social environment, the language they grew up with, and opportunities for professional development. Life in exile, therefore, poses questions about identity.
Germany’s history means that the country has a particular responsibility to protect people from persecution. Under National Socialism, numerous people were deprived of their rights and driven into exile. Many continued to stand up for democracy, the rule of law and human rights while in exile. With these experiences in mind, the Körber-Stiftung has committed itself to supporting people living in exile in Germany who share our democratic values and view themselves as mediators between different worlds.
Life in exile is an extreme experience that has diverse consequences on the bearing of journalists, artists, politicians, scientists and photographers. Although exile can silence people, it has triggered bursts of creativity in the past and continues to do so today. People who live in exile discover unfamiliar perspectives; develop a different relationship to the country in which they were born, and gain an understanding of their new homeland from the outside. The Körber-Stiftung is convinced that these people’s experiences enrich German society.
The foundation’s focus topic New Life in Exile supports exiles living in Germany in their attempts to participate and apply their skills and abilities in society. The aim is to make their new beginnings visible and provide a forum for their experiences. Moreover, the foundation helps exiles from different countries share their experiences, and start a conversation with the broader population including discussions about the challenges, opportunities and historical experiences that are linked to life in exile.
Finally, by encouraging exiles to participate in public debate, the Körber-Stiftung promotes understanding about the situations faced by people who have been persecuted and strengthens social cohesion within a vibrant civil society.
until February 2018: New Life Course (Information in German)