Immigration: the more the merrier

Thursday 11 November, 5.30pm until 8.00pm, Programmkino Tilsiter Lichtspiele, Richard-Sorge-Str. 25a 10249 Berlin, Germany

Venue: Programmkino Tilsiter Lichtspiele, Richard-Sorge-Str. 25a 10249 Berlin, Germany

Tickets: Tickets cost €4.50 and can be purchased on the door. For information please call NovoArgumente +49 30 4409292 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


The immigration issue has become linked to almost all the other major debates in Germany today, from education and crime to the question of economic growth. It is increasingly perceived as a problem, as commentators point to the poor performance of immigrant children in German schools or to studies showing rising unemployment rates amongst young people of certain ethnic origins. Other debates allude to the idea that large numbers of Turkish immigrants have failed to integrate into their host community, citing the controversy over Turkish-language schools. The aim of promoting integration is now enshrined in German law. As a result of these debates, campaigners who argue that Germany can’t cope with the rate of immigration have become more assertive. Liberal critics respond by insisting that immigrants have contributed a great deal to the cultural enrichment and the economic stability of the country.

The More The Merrier by UK film-makers WORLDWrite, attempts to make a positive case for immigration as the free choice of individuals who want or need to move to other countries. The film argues that a debate about immigration should be closely linked to the question of how we want to live and of whether we cherish the concept of freedom of movement. From this perspective much of what is currently seen as a defence of immigration – the notion that immigrants can help the economy by filling skill gaps etc – actually reduces the debate to a very narrow and partial focus.

Can a case be made for immigration and freedom of movement in its own terms, or is it always a matter of weighing economic and cultural benefits against the costs? Should supporters of immigration argue for open borders and freedom of movement, or treat immigration on a case-by-case basis? Is there a risk that arguments in favour of immigration involve unfairly labelling critics as simply racist?


This event is supported locally by the British Council, the United Kingdom’s international organisation for cultural relations and education.

It will feature a screening of the 15-minute film The More the Merrier followed by a panel discussion. The film Neukölln Unlimited will be showing at 10.30pm: tickets for this and the debate together cost €7.00.

The debate itself will be in German and will be attended by David Bowden, as a guest representative of the Battle of Ideas Organising Committee.

Guido Jansen, of the British Council, Germany, will give a brief introduction to the organisation’s activities in the area of migration and integration.

Speakers
Sabine Beppler-Spahl
board member, Freiblickinstitut e.V; CEO, Sprachkunst36

Hanaa El-Hussein
chairwoman, Committee of Experts on Integration and Migration, FDP-Berlin

Dervis Hizarchi
public relations officer, consultant and board member, Turkish Community of Berlin

Karl-Erik Norrman
founder and secretary-general, European Cultural Parliament; former Swedish ambassador; author, The Gala Concert, Verdi/Wagner 200 years

Dr Marina Seveker
senior researcher, Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies (IMIS), University of Osnabrück

Chair:
Johannes Richardt
head of PR and communication, NovoArgumente

Produced by
Sabine Beppler-Spahl board member, Freiblickinstitut e.V; CEO, Sprachkunst36
Recommended readings
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Kenan Malik, kenanmalik,com, 27 November 2010

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Thilo Sarrazin, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 30 August 2010

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Frank Schirrmacher, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, 30 August 2010

Ausländer her

Wir wissen nicht, ob es der Plan von Thilo Sarrazin war, die Diskussion um die Zuwanderung nach Deutschland abzuwürgen. Sicher ist, dass seine Streitschrift genau das bewirkt.

Reiner Klingholz, Der Spiegel, 30 August 2010

Neukölln Unlimited Trailer

Agostino Imondi & Dietmar Ratsch, Indi Film, 8 April 2010

The More the Merrier

WORLDbytes, 2008

Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them

Immigrants do the jobs we can't or won't do - and their diversity enriches us all. Left and right; free-marketeers and campaigners for global justice; enlightened patriots - all should rally behind the cause of freer migration, because They need Us and We need Them.

Philippe Legrain, Little, Brown, 4 January 2007


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