262 faces for integration and tolerance
The schools “Thomas-Mann-Gymnasium” in Stutensee, “Max-Planck-Gymnasium” in Rüppur and the “Ludwig-Marum-Gymnasium” in Pfinztal were part of the art installation INSIDE OUT. Main goal of the project was to advertise for integration, tolerance and an open-minded society.
The project deals with the topic of integration, coined by the discussion about flight and migration society has witnessed in recent years. It is titled “Karlsruhe: Refugees Welcome”. Portrait photographies are displayed, showing students of the three participating schools as well as people living in refugee accommodations in and around Karlsruhe. The random arrangement of the pictures makes the spectator view a big mass of people, students and refugees all mixed up. It states: It is insufficient to argue with abstract numbers and statistics when discussing about flight and migration. When looking behind the statistics into the peoples faces one thing becomes apparent: You are seing humans. Humans with fears and doubts, with hopes and dreams. Humans wishing for a future for themselfes and their families. You are seing people no different than you.
The project is initiated and organized by two students from Karlsruhe, Nicolas Lange and Kai Vorberg, who have cooperated with INSIDE OUT before.
Nevertheless, the project in Pfinztal showed, that despite everything there are still descripancies in the perception and rating of the refugee topic, and not every person seems to show such obvious respectfulness and openness. Huge parts of the installation which wanted to “just” demonstrate for the values tolerance, integration and an open society were destroyed by perpetrators apparently from the political right wing. Read the open letter from the organizers which was phrased as a public reaction:
In light of recent eventsOn last Friday, the 7th of October, an installation of the Inside Out Project “Karlsruhe: Refugees Welcome” was applied to the hill in this public yard. It is a cooperation of the Ludwig-Marum-Gymnasium and two other schools with refugee accommodations from and around Karlsruhe as well as the internationally acting supporting organization of Inside Out.Main goal of the project was, to advertise values like integration, tolerance and an open-minded society. For this purpose, portraits of students and refugees were displayed all mixed up at the schools.We now had to regretfully notice, that the installation at the Ludwig-Marum-Gymnasium only lasted a few hours. Less than 48 hours after the ending of the mounting work on Friday evening, the installation was discovered roughly damaged on Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately, the wilful intent was completely obvious. In answer to that, the police is now establishing in this issue.We consider this kind of vandalism, this deliberate destruction as an indicator to have touched a sore point with this project, while the exact motivation of the offenders remains to be seen. The persons, whose lack of understanding, insufficient empathy and intolerance is strictly criticized by the core of the project reveal themselves through behavior like this. Confronting signs of tolerance with intolerance reveals how slight their own field of vision is. It shows how important it is, to take a stance for an open and respectful interaction.It shows, how important tolerance and particularly education is. With this in mind, we feel confirmed to have hit the right time for our project. We would like to thank all supporters and volunteers and call all friends of the project to continue to stand up for their imaginations of openness and a vibrant and tolerant society.
Nico Lange und Kai Vorberg
Over time, the project grew to a by far bigger venture than just the installations at the participating schools. It extended to multiple cooperations and a variety of events and art exhibitions.
As an acknowledgement, the organizers of the project were rewarded with the “Ludwig-Marum” price by the eponymous foundation.
The organizers thanks go to all participants and supporters of the project, especially to the students and refugees as well as the refugee aid Karlsruhe, whithout whom none of this would have been possible.