Fleeing to Thuringia – Past and Present
The project “200 Years of Fleeing to Thuringia” examines the experiences of displaced persons and refugees from many different backgrounds. Not only does it present the fates of those who have come to Thuringia from Syria, Afghanistan or Sudan in the past decade, but also those who fled the war in the Balkans in the 1990s, and the many who arrived shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall from the former Soviet Union. It also includes stories of Germans displaced after World War II, as well as refugees who came and legally stayed in our region under earlier versions of the German Asylum Act.
In researching for the project, the young Berlin artist Lydia Ziemke travelled to every corner of Thuringia, spoke with people from widely varying refugee backgrounds, and scoured the archives to learn about the experiences of newly arrived Thuringians of the past and present, to tell their stories and put them in context. In the process of this multigenerational collaboration, Ziemke finds catalysts in the form of literature, music, art and film to help listeners understand the phases of displacement and migration. An impression of her research will be presented in a listening station in 2019 which will be further developed as an extensive audio installation in 2020.