The movie „Leben Verboten“ deals with the life of migrants in Germany and expresses the difficulty to stand up for elementary human rights in Germany.

In Tübingen, migrants living in the local sports centre, in cooperation with the group „Solidarity & Action: Tübingen für alle“ and the information café, have organised a panel discussion with the title „Kein Platz zum Leben“ (engl. „no space to live“). They wanted to discuss the living situation of migrants in the centre with invitees of general town’s people, as well as representation of the local authorities.

Ela Boyacos is committed to helping migrants at the information café at the sport centre. In an interview, she talks about how the discussion took place and how volunteer work with migrants can look like.

Ms Boyacos, could you describe how the event took course?

Ela Boyacos: The inhabitants of the sports centre have, together with the group „Solidarity & Action“, sent an invitation to the local authorities in order to discuss the situation at the centre together in a panel discussion. It was wonderful that women and men from for example Syria and Afghanistan raised issues and interpreters of different languages were present. The migrants spoke about their urgent needs; not knowing when they will leave the centre again, among other things. The event was very well frequented and received.

Did the event help to improve the living situation of migrants?

Ela Boyacos: To my knowledge, it didn’t within the centre. But, just recently, some families with pregnant women and children under one year of age were transferred to a different accommodation.

Could you tell us about your experience as far as volunteers are concerned who want to help improve the living situation of migrants?

Ela Boyacos: It’s important to talk to each other and learn from each other. A lot of different perspectives come together. Our perspective is surely different from those of the migrants. We have to learn from other people what it means to support each other – and what we can accomplish when we organise each other.

What experience have you made while working with migrants? What should  we take into account?

Ela Boyacos: These people are victims of war who did not want to flee. But they are self-determined people who want to lead an independent life. If you for example offer spare time activities that aren’t frequented, you shouldn’t be disappointed. You should openly ask them: What can I do in order to help? What exactly is it that you need and can I give it to you? That’s the task at hand. Not for the migrants but together with them. And that of course also on a political level.


Additional literature


Henry Jenkins and Nico Carpentier: Theorizing participatory intensities. A conversation about participation and politics (2013)


This conversation started in Prague, the Czech Republic, during a panel moderated by Irena Reifová at the symposium ‘On Empowered and Impassioned Audiences in the Age of Media Convergence’. The event was organized by the Faculty of Social Sciences at Charles University. The text contains a series of discussions. First, there is a conversation about the nature of the participatory democratic utopia and participatory culture and how groups take (or do not take) advantage of the affordances of new and emerging media. It also emphasizes the political nature and potential of popular culture and touches upon its connection to institutionalized politics. Three other key areas are mentioned: the role of different cultures of leadership, the significance of organizations in structuring participatory processes, and the need to enhance civic learning, providing more support for participatory cultures. This is combined with an interlocking discussion about the definition of participation and how it is tied up with power. It covers the differences between participation and interaction, engagement, interpretation, production, curation, and circulation. Finally, there is an underlying strand of discussion about the role of academia, focusing on the relationship between critical theory and cultural studies, the need to deconstruct our own frameworks and the question of which language to use to communicate academic research to the public.


Nico Carpendier: Beyond the Ladder of Participation: An Analytical Toolkit for the Critical Analysis of Participatory Media Processes (2016)


Participatory research is facing three challenges—how to deal with the theoretisation and conceptualisation of participation; how to support the research with analytical models; and how the evaluate the research outcomes. This article aims to address these three problems by distinguishing two main approaches (a sociological and a political) in participatory theory and developing a four-level and 12-step analytical model that functions within the political approach. In this analytical model, a series of key concepts are used: process, field, actor, decision-making moment and power. The normative-evaluative problem is addressed by reverting to the critical perspective to evaluate the societal desirability of particular participatory intensities. This critical perspective—potentially—adds a 13th and final normative layer to the analytical model.

(Access provided by Universitätsbibliothek Tübingen)

The communicative construction of FEMEN: naked protest in self-mediation and German media discourse


In this article, we investigate how FEMEN employs female nudity to raise public attention in their mediatized strategies and how this form of naked protest is represented and interpreted in German media discourse. We will show that the significant media presence of FEMEN’s naked protest actions and its self-portrayal as the new feminism of our days have become increasingly ambivalent over time. As this is of great importance with regards to public perceptions of feminism, feminist activists, and feminist agency in general, our analysis provides a detailed investigation of the processes of appreciation and devaluation of FEMEN as an expression of contemporary feminists and feminism. Employing a qualitative discourse analysis, the article highlights the interwoven processes of contextualization and decontextualization in FEMEN’s self-mediation and news coverage in Germany. It is shown that FEMEN’s protests from 2008 to 2013 materialize in “local” actions, but are increasingly constructed and interpreted on a transcultural level. In this analysis, we identify the core interpretative scheme of decontextualization that becomes apparent in three forms of detachments. As we show, these forms of detachment are a core issue in the media’s devaluation and depolitization of FEMEN and feminism in general.
(Access provided by Universitätsbibliothek Tübingen)

Der Film „Leben verboten“ zeigt das Leben von geflüchteten Menschen in Deutschland und verdeutlicht dabei die Schwierigkeit, elementare Menschenrechte in Deutschland durchzusetzen.

Unter dem Titel „Kein Platz zum Leben“ haben Geflüchtete aus der Kreissporthalle in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Bündnis „Solidarity & Action: Tübingen für alle“ und dem Infocafé eine Podiumsdiskussion veranstaltet, um über die Lebenssituation von Flüchtlingen in dieser Halle zu sprechen. Eingeladen waren die Tübinger Bevölkerung sowie Vertreter und Vertreterinnen des Landratsamts Tübingen.

Ela Boyacos engagiert sich in der Flüchtlingshilfe im Infocafé der Kreissporthalle. Im Interview erzählt sie uns, wie die Veranstaltung verlaufen ist und wie Freiwilligenarbeit im Umgang mit Flüchtlingen erfolgreich gestaltet werden kann.

Frau Boyacos, können Sie uns beschreiben, wie die Veranstaltung verlief?

Ela Boyacos: Die Bewohner/-innen aus der Kreissporthalle haben zusammen mit der Initative „Solidarity & Action“ eine Einladung an das Landratsamt geschrieben, um in einer Podiumsdiskussion über die Situation in der Kreissporthalle zu sprechen. Sehr schön war, dass sowohl Frauen als auch Männer z.B. aus Syrien und Afghanistan auf der Bühne zur Sprache kamen und auch Übersetzer verschiedener Sprachen anwesend waren. Die Flüchtlinge haben über ihre dringlichsten Probleme gesprochen, unter anderem weil sie auch nicht wissen, wann sie wieder aus der Unterkunft hinaus können. Die Veranstaltung war sehr gut besucht und das Feedback im Nachhinein war sehr positiv.

Hat die Veranstaltung zu einer Verbesserung der Lebenssituation der Geflüchteten geführt?

Ela Boyacos: Innerhalb der Halle meines Wissens nach nicht. Aber vor kurzem wurden einige Familien mit schwangeren Frauen und Kindern unter einem Jahr in eine andere Unterkunft gebracht.

Können Sie uns von Ihren Erfahrungen berichten, was engagierte Freiwilligenhelfer/innen tun können, um die Lebenssituation geflüchteter Menschen zu verbessern?

Ela Boyacos: Wichtig ist, dass man miteinander spricht und auch voneinander lernen kann. Es treffen unterschiedliche Perspektiven aufeinander, unsere ist mit Sicherheit eine ganz andere als die der Geflüchteten. Wir müssen von anderen Menschen lernen, was es bedeutet, sich zu unterstützen – und was wir erreichen können, wenn wir uns organisieren.

Welche Erfahrungen haben Sie im Umgang mit Flüchtlingen gemacht? Was sollte man beachten?

Ela Boyacos: Diese Menschen sind Opfer des Krieges, die nicht fliehen wollten. Aber sie sind selbstbestimmte Menschen, die auch ein selbstständiges Leben führen wollen. Wenn man zum Beispiel eine Freizeitaktivität anbietet, die nicht besucht wird, sollte man nicht enttäuscht sein. Man sollte die Menschen ganz offen fragen: Was kann ich tun, um zu helfen? Was genau braucht ihr und kann ich euch das geben? Das ist die Aufgabe. Also nicht nur für die Geflüchteten, sondern gemeinsam mit ihnen etwas bewirken. Und das durchaus auch auf politischer Ebene.

Poster Session | Results


Here are the results of the Presentation of Young Scholars´ Research Projects in our Poster Session.


Tanya Muscat | Macquarie University, Australia



Cathrin Despotovic | University of Bremen, Germany



Jorge Alejandra Delabre López | Universidad Nacional Autónoma, México



Kaya de Wolff | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany



Barbara Zoé Kiolbassa | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany



María J. Martinez | Freie Universität Berlin, Germany



Débora Medeiros | Freie Universität Berlin, Germany