Crossing Munich. Orte, Bilder und Debatten der Migration (Crossing Munich. Places, Images and Debates on Migration)

Crossing Munich is an interdisciplinary research and exhibition project on the history and presence of migration in Munich including the perspectives of ethnology, cultural anthropology, history and art.

Over one year 25 students and postgraduates discussed with the curators Sabine Hess (Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich), Andrea Engl (Department of Arts and Culture of the municipal administration of the City of Munich) and assistent curator Natalie Bayer (Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich) and with the exhibition designers Michael Zinganel (see ) and Michael Hieslmair (see ) on migration and urban theories and designed their own research projects. Then a unique collaborative process started whereas each research project cooperated with an artist (Ralf Homann, Manuela Unverdorben, Anna Witt, Fabian Hesse, Dörthe Bäumer, Karin Bergdolt, Matthias Weinzierl, Peter Spillmann) to develop artistically driven representations - under the supervision of Michael Zinganel and Michael Hieslmeier responsible for the general exhibition display based on urban typoligies.
The main objective of Crossing Munich is to represent Munich as a city, society and urban landscape totally affected by the history of migration. Thereby Crossing Munich tries to develop new narrations of the history and presence of migration in Munich by taking up the perspective of migration itself; that means to re-construct the history as a history of small and bigger struggles for rights and of strategies of self-integration. This demands a transnational approach as many economical strategies, cultural performances and biographies of migrants are transgressing national borders.
This approach also sheds new light on the history of Munich as a lately modernised metropolis which still tries to market itself as a city between “modernity and tradition”, between “lap-top and leather trousers” as one city marketing slogan says. In so far Crossing Munich analyses as well communal policies and city planning (e.g. the policies of the department of urban development of the municipality); it looks at the transformation of spatial discourses on migration as the “ghetto-discourse” and combines this with ethnographies on quarters densely populated by migrants; or it studies the historical development of the main station area by researching on how the different flows of mobility were regulated as well as how they inscribed themselves in the urban and architectural landscape.

The exhibition Crossing Munich. Orte, Bilder und Debatten der Migration (Crossing Munich. Places, Images and Debates on Migration) was shown at Rathausgalerie (Munich), July 10 - September 15, 2009.

Exhibition catalogue:

Natalie Bayer, Andrea Engl, Sabine Hess, Johannes Moser (ed.): Crossing Munich. Beiträge zur Migration aus Kunst, Wissenschaft und Aktivismus (Crossing Munich. Artistic, Academic and Activistic Perspectives on Migration). München 2009, 208 pages (with 85 colour and black/white images), ISBN-13 978-3-88960-108-7, Verlag Silke Schreiber

See also