Reimagine Belonging: Live

Since the launch of this site in 2015, we have been introducing our content to the world through interactive live events in cities across Germany and the US. The aim is to exchange ideas, build community, and connect visionary individuals and organizations who are engaged in the topics migration and belonging. Events have taken place in Berlin, New York, Cologne, Leipzig, and Seattle.

Typically, events consist of a panel discussion, live performances, an installation of our timeline of migration, citizenship and belonging, and a preview of our documentary film (With Wings and Roots). If you are interested in partnering with us to bring a Reimagine Belonging event to your community, please get in touch.


The first event took place on the May 2015 at the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Berlin, with the topic: How Do We Narrate Germany? Panelists included: Saraya Gomis (Teacher, Ernst-Reuter High School, and Black Diaspora School/EOTO e.V.), Leila Younes El-Amaire (i,Slam), Breschkai Ferhad (Neue Deutsche Medienmacher) und Çığır Özyurt (JugendtheaterBüro Berlin). The participants spoke about how migration and belonging are currently narrated in Germany, and what counter-narratives and resistance movements exist. The discussion was moderated by Pasquale Virginie Rotter, Wings & Roots Collaborator and Empowerment Trainer. A crew from I-Slam charmed the visitors with their Spoken Word performances. The panel can be watched online HERE.
The event was supported by the EVZ Foundation and the Heinrich Boell Foundation.


The launch event in New York City took place September 2015 at The New School University Center. Peter Kwong (CUNY Graduate Center/Hunter College), Tania Mattos (UnLocal), David Levy (Facing History) und Abraham Paulos (Families for Freedom) discussed Immigrant Rights, Racial Justice, and New Visions of Citizenship looking at history and contemporary politics, and was moderated by Wings & Roots director, Christina Antonakos-Wallace.
This event supported by the New School University Student Senate.


The third event in the series took place in April 2016 in Cologne. The topic of Contested Belonging in Polarizing Times was discussed by Mely Kiyak (Journalist, ZEIT online), Massimo Perinelli (Univeristät Köln), Emine Aslan (#ausnahmslos) und Gladis Douabalet Maika (Activist Jugendliche ohne Grenzen). The panelists discussed current social movements and how they are opposing the growing far-right movements in Germany. The panel was moderated by Nesrine Shibib (Coach e.V.). Electro Hafiz and Azadê set the tone for the evening program.
This event was funded by the German Federal Agency for Civic Education


In June 2016, we had the honor to hold our next event in one Germany’s oldest cinemas: UT Connewitz in Leipzig. Our panelists Tuğba Tanyılmaz (i-PÄD), Hajdi Barz (IniRromnja), Anna Nikolenko (LAG pokuBi Sachsen e. V.) and Vincent Bababoutilabo (Initiative of Black People in Germany, Leipzig) reflected on Racism in the Education System: Structures, Content and Struggles and discussed how racism affects the German education system and strategies of resistance exist. The panel and the evening were moderated by Berena Yogarajah from the Wings & Roots team. Watch the podium discussion HERE. Directly after the panel, Hajdi Barz presented our co-created project “Miman’s Story” as an example of anti-racist educational curricula. DJ Sithara, Spoken Word artist Nhi Le and the Band Ó – The Banzoi Syndicate led the guests into the evening program.
This event was funded by the German Federal Agency for Civic Education


In December 2016 Reimagine Belonging: Northwest Stories took place at the Hiawatha Artspace. Following several months of workshops and close partnership with youth and adults from Young Women Empowered, this event showcased the outcomes of our collaboration – the screening of Seattle stories, the live performance of poems, and a timeline installation and photobooth. Undocumented activists from Colectiva Legal del Pueblo shared the post-election realities for the immigrant communities, and Alex Guy from Led to Sea performed music from our film With Wings and Roots.
This event was funded by the City of Seattle office of Arts and Culture


We thank our cooperation partners and funders, without whom these events would not have been possible.
Fiscal sponsor: Cultures Interactive e.V.

Funders & Donors: The German Federal Agency for Civic Education, the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, EVZ Foundation, New School University Student Senate, the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation – Berlin, Whole Foods NYC – Midtown East and the Central Co-op.

Partners: Anti-Discrimination Office Cologne, Anti-Discrimination Office Saxony, AWO Mittelrhein – Opportunity Workshop for the Diversity and Participation, Coach e.V. – Cologne Initiative for the Education and Integration of Young Migrants, the Hiawatha Arts Space, ISD Leipzig – Initiative Black People in Germany, Humanity in Action – New York, New York Collective of Radical Educators, New School’s Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility, Public Against Violence e.V. (ÖgG), ROOTS & ROUTES – Cologne, Teach Dream, Young Women Empowered, StuRa University Leipzig, Urban Culture Bridge, UT Connewitz, and Volkshochschule – Cologne.


Berlin: Olga Gerstenberger, Regina Knoll
New York: Christina Antonakos-Wallace, Rachel Landry, Theresa Navarro
Cologne & Leipzig: Manjiri Palicha
Seattle: Christina Antonakos-Wallace, Cynthia Wu

Heather Posten

Poets and activists answered questions during the Q&A at Reimagine Belonging: NW Stories, including from one of our youngest audience members.

Gabriel Berretta

Audience in Berlin viewing preview of With Wings and Roots

Onur Simsek

In Leipzig the migration history installation focused on education and activism.

Gabriel Berretta

Çığır Özyurt, Saraya Gomis & Pasquale Virginie Rotter in Berlin discuss "How do we Narrate Germany?"

Joshua Chow

Each city had a pop-up installation of migration history - including this one in New York City.