More than 3.2 million people have left Ukraine since the invasion by Russian forces on February 24. Some found shelter in Germany. The Ernst von Siemens Foundation offers Ukrainian museum staff the opportunity to work in cultural institutions in their host country, in order to better integrate.
This professional integration program was recently launched by the Ernst von Siemens Art Foundation, given the magnitude of this unprecedented population movement on the European continent. The principle : any German museum can hire an exhibition organizer from Ukraine to work in it. The foundation will provide financial support to museum institutions participating in this initiative, so that they can accept these Ukrainian refugees for a year. Many museums across Germany seem ready to take the plunge. Whether they are located in Berlin, Dresden, Augsburg, Gotha, Lübeck or Potsdam.
Martin Hoernes, Secretary General of the Ernst von Siemens Art Foundation, has also extended this program to Russian curators who have left their country. Many are anti-war dissidents who have faced repression by Vladimir Putin’s government. According to the art newspaperThe two Russian exhibition organizers approached by the Ernst von Siemens Foundation to take advantage of this integration program have turned down this offer, assuming their Ukrainian colleagues need it more than they do. The French Ministry of Culture has a similar position. He recently announced the creation of a One million euro fund to welcome Ukrainian artists and cultural professionalsas well as the dissident Russians who have clearly taken a stand against the Kremlin.
Guide training for Syrian and Iraqi refugees
The new program of the cultural foundation Ernst von Siemens is reminiscent of the “Multaka” project. It offers Syrian and Iraqi asylum seekers the opportunity to undergo guide training to offer guided tours in their native language at various German museums. “By addressing visitors in understandable language aimed at all age groups and leveraging peer-to-peer communication, the ‘Multaka’ project hopes to facilitate refugees’ access to museums, help them find points of social and cultural connection and their participation in the public sphere”we can read on the official website of the project.
Inspired by this concept, Oxford Museums joined forces with refugee organizations last November to launch their own version of the initiative. Over the next five years, more than 200 refugees and asylum seekers will be trained as tour guides at various cultural institutions in the British city.
(ETX Daily Up)