Residents #5: Sarah Albrecht and Derviş Hızarcı
Multi-religious discourse in urban society
Each school year, lab.Bode invites experts from various disciplines to question the collections of the Bode-Museum from different perspectives. Not least because the artworks on display here repeatedly confront pupils, teachers and freelancers at lab.Bode with religious and Christian themes. Many young Berliners have little connection to these topics, are not socialised religiously or feel they belong to a different religion. This observation was the starting point for Sarah Albrecht and Derviş Hızarcı’s three-day residency in March 2020.
What points of contact do the objects in the Bode-Museum offer for a dialogue between people in a diverse urban society such as in Berlin?
How can access-barriers and racist exclusion be reduced or avoided? Which questions are currently relevant for museums on the topic of religion?
For this, both experts took a look at the museum system and its employees. They also talked with lab.Bode and Nushin Atmaca, who is involved in the Federal Cultural Foundation’s programme “360° – Fund for New City Cultures” at the Museum für Islamische Kunst in Berlin and board member of the Liberal Islamic Association. At the end of the residency, they developed ideas for possible project formats together with lab.Bode.
lab.Bode residents: Sarah Albrecht and Derviş Hızarcı
Sarah Albrecht studied Islamic and religious studies and political science in Berlin. Study and research stays took her to the Middle East, North Africa and the USA. She earned her doctorate at the Berlin Graduate School of Muslim Cultures and Societies, with a dissertation on contemporary debates on the interpretation of Islamic norms. She taught and researched as a research assistant at the Institute for Islamic Studies at Freie Universität Berlin and taught as a lecturer at the Evangelische Akademie Berlin. In her publications, she focusses on questions about the lives of Muslims in predominantly non-Muslim societies, especially with the interpretation of Sharia law for Muslims in the West. Albrecht is particularly concerned with building bridges between academic and public discourses in order to meet the challenges of our religiously plural society. For this reason, in addition to her university activities, she has worked for many years as a lecturer in adult education for the church and other institutions and is also the founding director of the Kompetenznetz Islam und Gesellschaft e.V. (Competence Network Islam and Society).
Derviş Hızarcı is an expert on the topics of anti-Semitism, racism and discrimination. Since August 2019, he has been the anti-discrimination commissioner of the Berlin Senate Department for Education, Youth and Family. After studying education in Berlin and Magdeburg and completing his traineeship in Berlin-Lichtenberg, he became a teacher at the Carl-Von-Ossietzky- Gemeinschaftsschule in Berlin-Kreuzberg. In 2011, he became acquainted with the Kreuzberg Initiative Against Anti-Semitism (KIgA)*, which offers educational programmes against anti-Semitism in a diverse society, and has led it as chairperson since 2015. Previously, he was chairman of the supervisory board of the Turkish Community of Berlin (until 2015). In 2014, Hızarcı, together with Chaban Salih and Hakan Tosuner, founded the non-profit organisation empati. Here, too, interreligious dialogue is a focus of his work: in 2015, for example, he conducted a pilot run of the DialoWG project, in which Muslims and Jews live together in a shared apartment, and prepared studies for the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community, which were included in the Second Anti-Semitism Report of the German Parliament.
*The educational institution KIgA e.V. develops innovative concepts for the pedagogical confrontation with anti-Semitism in migration societies. Since 2003, it has been developing practical pedagogical approaches and materials for political education.
We apologize that the videos are only available in German.
Questions to Sarah Albrecht and Derviş Hızarcı before and after their residency
Who are you?
What are your first spontaneous associations to the Bode-Museum?
What interests you in particular?
What do you expect from your stay?
What are you looking forward to?
In addition to the conversations with Nushin Atmaca and lab.Bode, there was plenty of space to ask questions during the three-day stay at the Bode-Museum. In a second interview, we asked both residents to reflect upon their stays:
How would you describe your residency in one word?
What topics did you deal with?
Did anything surprise you?
Were you able to learn anything?
What comments did the residency inspire you to make?
Your vision for the Bode-Museum?
What do you think the Bode-Museum has to offer?
What topics could the museum contribute to?
Why are we having this conversation in the cafeteria?