In 2015, the re:publica ran under the motto of “Finding Europe”, addressing the situation and experiences of refugees in Germany and Europe throughout the entire conference. Even though 2016’s focus was on our tenth anniversary, the subject remains just as current, relevant and, accordingly, all the more urgent. That is why this year we were presenting our re:fugees track supported by Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, which offered refugees and helpers a stage from which to present and discuss their experiences, ideas and innovations. Within this context, we have put out a call for a tandem project with helpers, where refugees, together with partners, could support and explore the re:publica. Track topics focussed on the digitalisation of refugee migration and help, youth media projects and the media coverage surrounding human rights and refugees.
"re:fugees" – With the re:fugees sub-conference this year, held together with the German Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb), we will discuss aspects of migration and integration, and aim to provide a stage specifically for refugees and their supporters.
What role does a smartphone play for refugees on their long journey to a foreign country? Noor Nazrobi surveyed Afghan refugees on their smartphone usage. In his Day 2 “re:fugees” track talk on smartphones as life savers for refugees, he presented ideas on how to improve the lives of refugees.
In the "Demands on Politics and Policy-Makers" podium discussion, refugees Firas Alshater and Fatuma Musa called for more housing and quicker asylum procedures in Germany. They directed these demands at Florian Pronold (SPD), who participated in the talk as representative of the German government.
Climate change, mining or land theft: Increasingly, more and more people's living spaces are either massively under threat or have already disappeared. But there are no rights for them to appeal to, nor are there laws which protect them. Sociologist Saskia Sassen gives them a voice on Stage 1.
YouTube comedian Firas Alshater, aka "Zukar", explains to Germans what it's like to be a refugee in Germany. Refugees find out from him what makes Germans tick. He made clear why the reactions to his clips give him hope for a happy and peaceful coexistence between Germans and their newly arrived neighbours in the "re:fugees" sub-conference.
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