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3 Jahre Europa – Europe: 3 Years

Eine Dokumentation zu Projekten mit Geflüchteten – A Refugee Projects Reader

von Veronika Bernard (Band-Herausgeber:in) Eugene Sensenig (Band-Herausgeber:in)
©2020 Sammelband 204 Seiten


3 Jahre Europe – Europe: 3 Years bietet eine Zusammenschau aktueller Forschung und Europäischer Praxen zu Schlüsselaspekten von Migration sowie eine Kollektion von nachhaltigkeitsorientierten Best-Practice-Projekten mit Geflüchteten der Jahre 2015 bis 2018. Die deutschen, italienischen und österreichischen Beiträger des Bandes vermitteln eine Vielzahl kultureller, ideologischer, wissenschaftlicher, akademischer und nicht-akademischer Perspektiven und Hintergründe.
3 Jahre Europe – Europe: 3 Years offers readers a cross-section of current research and European practices concerning key issues of migration and a best practice collection of sustainable European refugee projects implemented during the years 2015 to 2018. The contributors to this volume are from Germany, Italy, and Austria, and they are writing from very different cultural, ideological, scientific, academic and non-academic perspectives and backgrounds.


  • Cover
  • Titel
  • Copyright
  • Editors’ Note
  • Autorenangaben
  • Über das Buch
  • Zitierfähigkeit des eBooks
  • Inhalt/Table of Contents
  • Einleitung/Introductory Section
  • Veronika Bernard: Leaving – Travelling – Arriving: Why this Book?
  • Kapitel Eins/Chapter One Schlüsselaspekte/Key Issues
  • Veronika Bernard/Eugene Sensenig: Leaving – Travelling – Arriving: What are the Key Issues on this Road?
  • Luigi Caramiello/Angelo Zotti: About Migration Flows – A Sociological Approach to Identity and Cultural Diversity
  • Claudia Lintner: Gastfreundschaft. Grenzräume. Warteräume. Alltag
  • Bernd Juen: Unbegleitete minderjährige Flüchtlinge (umF) – eine besonders vulnerable Gruppe geflüchteter Menschen
  • Christian Dorninger: Das Bildungssystem und jugendliche Geflüchtete
  • Erol Yıldız/Frauke Schacht: FluchtMigration: Vom Asyldispositiv zur Alltagspraxis
  • Monika Mokre: Die Rolle der Zivilgesellschaft
  • Maria Magdalena Mayer: Die Rolle von Medien, Emotionen und öffentlichem Diskurs
  • Kapitel Zwei/Chapter Two Europäische Projekte 2015–2018/ European Projects 2015–2018
  • Veronika Bernard: Leaving – Travelling – Arriving: A Look at (European) Refugee Projects 2015–2018
  • Antonio Camorrino/Angela Visconti: The Social and Cultural Inclusion of Unaccompanied Foreign Minors. Results of Projects in the Campania Region
  • Raffaella Monia Calia/Michela Forgione: Migrant Cultures in the South of Italy: The Case Study of the YOUTHINK Association
  • Karin Harather: DISPLACED. Über verlorene Lebensräume und sozialintegrative Orte des mit- und voneinander Lernens
  • Christine Ankele: Zwischen Störfeuer von außen und individuellen Erfolgen: Übergangsklassen an der HLW FW Kufstein 2015–2019
  • Elisabeth Lehner: Open Piano for Refugees & DoReMi – Das soziale Musikinstitut
  • Veronika Bernard/Marc Hill/Erol Yıldız: 3 Years Europe – An Intercultural Interview Film Project with Young Refugees from Syria and Lebanon
  • Rear Matter
  • The Editors
  • Contributors

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Veronika Bernard

Leaving – Travelling – Arriving:
Why this Book?

Let me start this volume with a private testimony: I am of migrant background. I am a typical European. Depending on how far you go back in time, my ancestors lived in France, Poland, Germany and Austria. They left, they travelled, and they arrived; somehow. They left their places of birth and origin for different reasons: Some left for religious reasons centuries ago (just to convert generations later and in a different place), others for marriage. The present generation of my family is Austrian on my father’s side and German on my mother’s side. When my parents married they decided to live in Austria; first in the flat and open multi-ethnic East of the country, after some years in the mountainous and narrow mono-ethnic West. It was the late 1960s and I was five when they decided to move to a pretty small village in the Tyrolean mountains; a tourist area, actually. Still, a couple having an Eastern Austrian and a German accent with a child having a German accent were exotic, not to say, alien to this rural community. The couple built a house there; for themselves and their child. But, did they ever arrive? No. Did I ever arrive? No. Were we welcome? No. Did the locals put obstacles in our way? Yes. Their house and garden became their small little world; with only a very limited number of contacts to the community surrounding them. They lived their own life. Having been brought up by my mother to speak standard German, in a rural area of heavy dialect speakers for whom standard German had to be considered their first foreign language, my childhood was a childhood of questions like: “What kind of a strange German do you speak?” “Are you spending your holidays here?” “Are you German?” From age twelve or so on I stopped answering such questions; I simply cut the conversation before it had a chance to start. My biggest wish, since then, has been to leave this country and move to a place of my choice; not of my parents’ choice. As a child you are not asked. You have to follow. As an adult you are free to choose. At least, that’s what they tell you. Unfortunately, some wishes never fully come true, no matter how hard you try. I am still here. I still live here; not because it is my choice, but simply, because life washed me ashore here. I had to compromise. Work has made it possible for me to move inside the country; from the village in the mountains to a small town near the German border; at least. And even nowadays, fifty years after my arrival in this part of the country, people – mostly colleagues, foreign ←11 | 12→language teachers, at a high school where I earn part of my income by teaching language classes – still ask me, “Why do you not speak the local dialect?” Just, that now I answer that question again. And the answer is: “Why don’t I speak the local dialect? Because of people who ask me this question!”

Why do I tell you all this? Why do I tell you this at the beginning of a volume discussing key issues in dealing with refugees, in particular, underage refugees? You may guess: Because it’s all there. Leaving; travelling; arriving – and most of the issues to be discussed: basic needs, like housing; basic challenges, like language skills and integration – and the basic obstacles put in your way, like discrimination, by people who see you as not belonging to the place you chose to come to and live in. It’s all there; although we were Austrian citizens, spoke German, were white and Catholic. So, what to expect for people coming who are none of all this?

In summer 2015, when the news started being full of reports and pictures of people leaving, travelling, and hoping to arrive in Europe, somewhere, my own history and that of my family made me anticipate these people’s future. Would they arrive? Would they have a chance to arrive amid the obstacles in their ways? Hoping for a yes, my guts feeling told me that for a huge number of them it unfortunately would be a no. While – my own experiences given – I saw the people’s future empathetically, the remaining members of my family saw these people with feelings of aggression, not to say, of hatred. The standard remarks were, “We also experienced a war, and this was worse; but we would never have left our house and our country. Besides, where should we have gone? There was war all over the continent”; “Those people, they are no refugees; look how well they are dressed, and all of them having smart phones; when you have to flee you have nothing; and if you say so, if you tell the truth, you are seen as a bad person, as a right wing, as a Nazi”; “Why don’t they send them all home again? Do I wish them bad when I say so? No, I don’t. I wish they went home where they belong. That’s nothing bad!” In short: Why should others have it easier, why should others have it better than they – in particular, when those “others” were strangers to the place and had done nothing to deserve to be there; this right had to be earned; best over generations. And what was the divide in my family was the divide in European countries: The divide between those who felt going somewhere else to find a better life was natural, not to say, a human right; and those who saw the ones coming as people looking for the easy way out; as looking for an easy, pampered life supported by a tax funded social welfare system and, thus, for a life at the local population’s expense.

Unaware of all this, the people who had left Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Ethiopia, Somalia and else after stop overs in Iran, Lebanon and Turkey reached ←12 | 13→Europe; Greece, Italy, Austria, Germany and the Scandinavian countries in particular in summer and autumn of 2015 and during the following years. This was a reality.

In late 2015 I got into contact with a group of about 20 teenage and young adult refugees from Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan when teaching German classes at a school in the Austrian federal province of the Tyrol. When working with them and, thus, being confronted with all the obstacles bureaucracy put in their ways I felt it was necessary to draw public attention to these young people’s lives. So I launched a three years interview film project together with my colleague Erol Yıldız who like me is a member of the University of Innsbruck based research focus Cultural Encounters – Cultural Conflicts. A report of this project, in which four of the young refugees participated, can be found at the end of the second chapter of this book.

From the very start of the interview film project it was part of the plan to also analyse and publish whatever would be the findings of the interviews as far as the young people’s motives and motivations, backgrounds, future plans, problems, and, of course, also individual successes in finding their places in the foreign place they had stranded in were concerned. The original thought, though, was to pack the findings into a single article in an academic journal.

The closer the interview part of the project approached finalizing in 2018, after three years of intense work with the under-age refugees of the migration movements of 2015 (and the years following) the clearer it became that there was a lot more potential to the issue than “just” turning the findings of interviews into a single article; in fact, more than enough potential for a book – this book.


ISBN (Hardcover)
2020 (Februar)
Migration Refugees Sustainability Interculturality Civil Society
Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2020. 204 S., 13 s/w Abb., 3 Tab.

Biographische Angaben

Veronika Bernard (Band-Herausgeber:in) Eugene Sensenig (Band-Herausgeber:in)

Veronika Bernard (Dr. phil.) ist dem Institut für Germanistik der Universität Innsbruck zugeordnete Privatdozentin und Mitarbeiterin des Forschungsschwerpunktes Kulturelle Begegnungen – Kulturelle Konflikte. Sie ist Autorin und Herausgeberin zahlreicher literatur- und kulturwissenschaftlicher Publikationen. Eugene Sensenig (PHD) ist österreichisch-amerikanischer Professor für Politik- und Kulturwissenschaft an der Notre Dame University in Zouk Mosbeh (Libanon). Er ist der Autor zahlreicher Publikationen in seinen Fachbereichen. Veronika Bernard (PhD) is an Associate Professor at the Department of German Language and Literature at the University of Innsbruck (Austria) and a member of the research focus Cultural Encounters – Cultural Conflicts. She is the author and editor of several literary and cultural studies publications. Eugene Sensenig (PHD) is an Austrian-American Professor of Political Science and Cultural Studies at Notre Dame University at Zouk Mosbeh (Lebanon). He has published extensively in these fields of research.


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206 Seiten