Rebuild Refuge Europe

At Festival Illegal 11 November, World Culture Museum (Gothenburg)

On 11 November, Rebuild Refuge Europe project partners presented their work during Festival Illegal, organised by No One is Illegal Network at the World Culture Museum in Gothenburg.

About Rebuild Refuge Europe

The recent influx of refugees in Europe, mostly from the Middle East and Northern African countries, is widely interpreted in media and political discourse as a crisis and a threat. In several national elections the extreme right and openly xenophobic parties have gained substantive support. Re-build Refuge Europe's objective is to counteract this discourse and beliefs.

It builds on creative cultural proposals and offers spaces for processes of co-creation to be developed, in which refugees and migrants are considered as a constitutive part of the remaking of European communities.

During Festival Illegal, we held a presentation and talk about the outcomes of Rebuild Refuge Europe project and the role of arts in shifting narratives on migration in Europe.

From Sweden

iHopP is a creative project led by the National Museums of World Culture with the aim to create an intercultural dialogue platform to facilitate integration of newcomers and local community members. In iHopP, we used digital storytelling for the voices to get heard and to give meaning and context to the participants' experiences. We filmed more than 24 stories in Gothenburg in 2017. Each story is ca. one-minute long.

Watch iHopP stories

Workshop curator: Linda Tedsdotter (Visual artist, organizer and teacher). Storytelling workshop with expert Jerk Elmen from Livs Levande Berättande.

From Finland

ARTISTS at RISK (AR) is a new institution at the intersection of human rights and the arts dedicated to mapping the field of persecuted visual art practitioners, facilitating their safe passage from their countries of origin, hosting them at "AR-Safe Haven Residencies" and curating related projects. Perpetuum Mobile (PM) initiated Artists at Risk (AR) to provide a platform and network to support these art practitioners that are targets of politically motivated threats and persecution in a time of need. This encompasses facilitating a safe exit from countries of origin; assistance in the procurement of travel documents; providing legal assistance; and matching ARs with so-called AR-Safe Havens and residencies in the AR network.

More about AR residencies.

From Greece

UNIVERSITAS group show – on the subject of migration and learning – is presented AthenSYN in collaboration with Avtonomi Akadimia. The exhibition marks an attempt to conduct a discussion about common learning in today's Europe with an eye to our common future. It is part of UNIVERSITAS, an artistic research project conceived by AthenSYN and Avtonomi Akadimia, a series of artist workshops with migrants and Athenians in the refugee camps of Athens and the venues of the Athens Biennale, curated by Katja Ehrhardt. Based on the combination of culture and education through shared knowledge, it aims to create a practice- based model of a "community of teachers and learners. It develops a new form of shared knowledge, which remembers its origin as a community; and sets a new paradigm by creating a place of study and horizontal transmission of knowledge for the less privileged that demonstrates the cancellation of existing bio-political exclusion of migrants. This new paradigm is shaped into a book of stories Krytyka Polityczna Athens, edited by Joulia Strauss.

UNIVERSITAS exhibition was first presented in Athens, in April 2017 in collaboration with Athens Biennale and curated by Sotirios Bahtsetzis. It presented works by Thomas Killper, Sebastian Bayse Schäfer, Vilelmini Andrioti, Gudrun Barenbrock, Manaf Halbouni, Joulia Strauss, Georgia Kotretsos, Susanne Winterling, Dimitris Tzamouranis, Dionisis Christofilogiannis, Kalliopi Vagiannaki and Liwaa Yazji. It was supported by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Athens.

UNIVERSITAS was conducted in collaboration with the Allianz Cultural Foundation.

Finally, we had an exhibition of iHopP and selected works from Universitas by Manaf Halbouni, Kalliopi Vagiannaki, Joulia Strauss, Yorgos Maraziotis and Ahmad Alkhatieb at Världskulturmuseet in Gothenburg during Festival Illegal. This comes shortly after the exhibition at Transeuropa Festival in Madrid 25 - 29 October, curated by Yorgos Maraziotis.

For more information:

iHopP digital stories: Rasha Shaaban (

Universitas: Katja Ehrhardt (

Artists at Risk programme: Marita Muukkonen ( and Ivor A Stodolsky (