Various crises of our time – wars, persecution, climate change and economic inequalities – force people to flee their homecountry and bring them to Munich, among other places. One reaction to these crises are civil society initiatives. Above all, around the year 2015, a civic movement across a broad spectrum of society emerged in the city, which demonstrated solidarity with refugees and addressed concrete demands to politics. However, the respective goals and needs of refugees who want to start a new live in Munich are as heterogeneous as the reasons for leaving your country. Among them are artists who are confronted with specific hurdles with practicing their art in a new city, beyond everyday challenges.
Under the working title “Artist Solidarity Platform” we want to understand which further conditions need to be created in Munich in order to respond to the needs of refugee artists. This research is based on existing initiatives and projects such as the Bellevue di Monaco, KinoAsyl, Open Border Ensemble, not residency etc. How can professional networks, which are naturally used by artists anchored in the city, also be made accessible to artists* who came as refugees? What hurdles exist, and what should the administration and funding scene, the cultural institutions and cultural workers do to remove them? What issues, that are not connected to the artistic work, require energy and time?
The “Artist Solidarity Platform (WT)” is a project by Büro Grandezza, a non-profit association that implements projects in the field of independent performing arts. When the Munich choreographer Anna Konjetzky in February 2022 initiated an “emergency residency” program for artists who had fled Ukraine, Büro Grandezza supported the implementation and financing with the non-profit structures of the association. In recent years, the managers of the project, Moritz Grebner and Andreas Kohn, have worked within the framework of the Munich Independent Scene Network for structural improvements in the situation of freelance artists and have enabled art and culture projects for refugees at the Bellevue di Monaco. The idea of a solidary platform for refugee artists as outlined above is to be substantiated in this research. The focus lies on numerous discussions with refugee supporters, cultural workers from the above-mentioned initiatives and projects and above all refugee artists themselves. In a second step, a systematic processing of these discussions should then present options, how structures of supporting refugee artists could improve.