Cambridge Analytica

A data science company gains access to a huge amount of personal data for certain purposes. Is this really a surprise? By now, every internet user should know that every bit of data which he/she puts out there can get used by someone else. With or without consent. Since many years, governments and companies implement new laws and invent new techniques to spy on everyone 24/7. And many people even applaud their actions because they keep “bad terrorists” away (while keeping the underlying structures that reproduce terrorism intact). Continue reading “Cambridge Analytica”

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Sophie Scholl: “Stand up for what you believe in even if you are standing alone”

Denkmal für die Geschwister Scholl und Christoph Probst als Teil des Weiße-Rose-Mahnmals
Monument to Hans and Sophie Scholl and the “White Rose”

Some days ago, I saw a very interesting theater play: “Sophie and me”, written by the Austrian author Ursula Kohlerts. The story is about a fictional friendship between the two German women Sophie School and Traudl Junge. Both of them have lived under the Nazi regime, but had never met each other in reality. The play brings them together to ask the audience the important question: What would you do?
The women get to know each other as young girls at a “Bund deutscher Mädchen” (League of the German girls) camp and become best friends. The following scenes show how both characters will develop in very different ways.

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The Rise of Racism and Xenophobia in Europe

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During my time in Prague, I had the chance to visit the Franz Kafka Museum. Kafka’s life demonstrates that multicultural societies are nothing new in Europe. Kafka was a Jew. His mother tongue was German. He was born in the Czech Republic. He died in Austria. Despite the lame rhetoric of racist and populist politicians, Europe was always home to people with fluid identities.

Continue reading “The Rise of Racism and Xenophobia in Europe”

Common Myths about Migration

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In the beginning of September, I was one out of 100 participants from 50 countries selected for the IOM Summer School on Migration Studies in Prague, Czech Republic.
IOM, established in 1951, is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration and has more than 100 offices worldwide. IOM joined the United Nations on September 19, 2016. The IOM Summer School was a great opportunity for me to gain more knowledge about migration theories and policies. I could discuss the root causes of racism and xenophobia with scientists and share interesting stories with people who work in NGOs, refugee camps and detention centers worldwide.

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Ossip Mandelstam: The tragic Life of an incredible Poet

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Some days ago, I went to the exhibition “Ossip Mandelstam – Wort und Schicksal (word and destiny)” in Heidelberg’s oldtown. The Jewish Russian poet and essayist was a student at Heidelberg University in 1909/10, and it was here that he started writing. His tragic life shows how much our lives are influenced by policy-makers and that beautiful art always finds a way to come to the surface.

Continue reading “Ossip Mandelstam: The tragic Life of an incredible Poet”