The Werkstatt der Kulturen is a cross-cultural organisation in Berlin that showcases the diversity of migrant, hybrid and minority art and art forms. Its mission is to reduce discrimination and marginalisation and foster cross-cultural understanding.
The Werkstatt der Kulturen (WdK) is an organisation which was founded in 1993 as a forum for Germans and migrants. It is the only cultural institution in Berlin whose main focus is cross-cultural and which showcases creative work reflecting the diversity of the Berlin population. The WdK space offers people from outside the predominantly western, white culture the possibility and independence of working within their own parameters.
A forum for exchange, meeting and dialogue
The aim of the organisation‘s work is to overcome separation, to encourage peaceful coexistence and to create a new format of shared experience for Berlin residents with a different cultural heritage. The Werkstatt der Kulturen offers a space for the views and expressions of ethnic cultural minorities which are rarely reflected in hegemonic discourse, as well as providing a forum for exchange, meeting and dialogue. As a venue for critical discourse, it organises exhibitions and panel discussions, carries out history projects and collaborates with the Werkstatt Religionen und Weltanschauungen (Workshop of Religion and Philosophy), which supports interfaith dialogue.
The Werkstatt der Kulturen organises a variety of events, festivals and film and concert programmes. The most well-known event run by the WdK is the four day Karneval der Kulturen (Carnival of Cultures), an urban street festival which reflects Berlin’s diversity and internationality, has been organized annually since 1996 at the beginning of summer. As a mixture of joie de vivre, dialogue and social encounter, the carnival celebrates the variety of artistic expressions and contributes to build a heterogenic and pluralistic community in Berlin.
Black History Month, with events on black culture and history, is held annually every February, while the nationwide Creole World Music Contest takes place every two years, providing bands and musical projects in the world music scene and fusion music a forum for networking and sharing experiences.
Food for thought: Which other places do you know where cross-cultural dialogue fosters peace?