migrantas - a visual language of migration

Working with public urban spaces as its platform, migrantas aims to make visible the thoughts and feelings of those who have left their own country and now live in a new one.

Mobility, migration and transculturality are not the exception in our world, but are instead becoming the rule. Nevertheless, migrant women and their experiences remain often invisible to the majority of our society.

Migrantas works with issues of migration, identity and intercultural dialogue. Their work incorporates tools from the visual arts, graphic design and social sciences. Members of the collective, mostly women who have themselves immigrated to Germany, develop the projects with other migrant women in a horizontal dialogue.

- 10 Projects, 6 Cities
- 470 women + 72 childrens
(72 different national, social & cultural backgrounds and legal statuses)
- 54 workshops
- 1100 drawings
- 68 pictograms
- 75.000 free postcards (19 pictograms)
- 1.500 silkscreened bags (2 pictograms)
- 5 digital animations (4 pictograms – 1 per motif+1 styks animation)
- 3000 stickers (2 pictograms - 1500 per motif)
- 150 badges (1 pictogram)
- 10 T-shirts (1 pictogram)
- 1000 free A3 posters (1 pictogram)
- 4000 A5 reviews of 4 projects
- 3000 A5 flyers about the migrantas concept
- 1000 A5 flyer about the travelling exhibition

- Posters campaign:
Seville 2010: 68 A3 pictograms, 3 of them 150 x 200cm, on display in a free showcase for 8 weeks
Cologne 2008: 3 A1 pictograms, and 1 A0 motif on 1300 advertising spots for 12 weeks
Hamburg 2007: 3 pictograms on 270 advertising spots for 3 weeks
Berlin 2005: 3 large format pictograms at 90 bus stops for 2 weeks
Buenos Aires 2003/2004: 6 backlit pictograms – 110 x 148cm, on 180 advertising spots for 6 weeks

- Digital animations:
Berlin 2006: 4 15’ digital animations on Berlin's underground trains for 2 weeks
Berlin 2011: 15´digital animation on Berlin´s underground trains for 2 weeks

- Publications:
Migrantas’ pictograms have been used as illustrations for the covers of the following books:
* Seyla Benhabib and Judith Resnik: Migrations and Mobilities:
* Citizenship, Borders, and Gender –(Combined Academic Publ. 2009)
* Susanne Stemmler: Multikulti 2.0 (Wallenstein, Berlin 2011)

Migrantas has carried out projects in different cities with the following associations:

Europa Kind + Europa Schule
A visual language of diversity
Berlin 2010

In this project we will be working together with two school classes: one from year 5, and the other from year 6. The project itself will develop out of a dialogue with the school pupils, who com from German and various other family backgrounds. This should lead to the production of pictures highlighting the ways in which inter-cultural self-awareness is expressed in everyday life. How is multi-linguality and multiple belonging experienced when it has been part of daily life since a young age?. The process through which individuals develop self-awareness of their own cultural experiences and learn to interpret them positively, is of central importance here. The aim of the project is then portray this self-awareness in public spaces. This will be done via fortnight-long presentation on the "Berliner Fenster" on the city´s underground train network. At the same time an exhibition in a central location will be held, and the press and everyone involved in the project is invited to the opening event. Funding Berliner Projektfonds Kulturelle Bildung.

Animationen: vom 1. bis 9 Nov. im Berliner Fenster
auf allen Linien der U-bahn ausgestrahlt werden.

Haus der Kulturen der Welt
Ausstellungseröffnung: 2.November um 18 Uhr
3.bis 9. Nov. 2011
Entritt frei

Aziz Nesin Primary School (German/Türkish)

Hier und Dort Heimat
Neue Heimat - Zwischen den Welt
Friedrichshafen 2010

Between March 5th and April 25th 2010 the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen exhibited “pictures of immigration at the local, national and international level”. On display were “works by artists who live and work in Germany, as well as pieces with a specific focus on the theme of migration”. Migrantas provided a number of exhibition pieces and organised a public action: individuals were invited to take part in a 'workshop station', where they were encouraged to draw about their own daily experiences and feelings of 'a new homeland'. By the end of the exhibition migrantas had developed three new pictograms which were then published as postcards.
Action: During the exhibition 1,000 bags printed with the pictogram 'homeland here and there' were distributed.

- Gloria Tirapequi Rojas von Interkulturellen Frauenbeitskeis GEA e.V.

Sevilla Plural
Imagenes de la migración en el espacio urbano
Sevilla 2010

In March 2010 workshops were held in various social centres in Seville which led to new drawings, audio, photos and pictograms to be developed. On March 17th these were then exhibited at the 'Oficina de Derechos Sociales' (ODS) in the 'Centro Vecinal de Pumarejo'. On March 18th, during an interactive art event ('Intervenciones en Jueves') held at the Calle Feria flea market, posters displaying images of migration were put up in the streets, and postcards were distributed during an urban action. This project was part of the 12th international ZEMOS89 festival - 'Microbios, seres vivos diminutos' which was held between March 15th and 21st 2010, together with ZEMOS98, and sponsored by the UNIA.

- Asociación de inmigrantes Tungurahua.
- Centro de Educación de adultos Manolo Reyes Cerro de Àguila.
- Curso de Español para inmigrantes del Centro Vecinal El Pumarejo - ODS - Asoc. Lengua y Mundos en Sevilla.
- AMIVSA Asoc. de Mujeres Inmigrantes Voluntarias y Solidarias de Andalucía Parroquia San Leandro de la Barriada del Carmen.

Images of migration in urban space
Cologne 2008

This was a showcase project undertaken as part of the 2008 Cologne intercultural week, together with the 'Bühne der Kulturen'. It was sponsored by the city of Cologne and held under the patronage of Mayoress Angela Spizig. It included workshops with migrant women, urban actions with pictograms on posters and postcards, and an exhibition in Studio Dumont.


Images of migration in urban space
Hamburg 2007

In September 2007 nine workshops were carried out together with women from 20 different countries and cultures. During November 2007 pictograms were designed and then displayed to the public on three posters. These were put up in 70 of Hamburg's underground stations and on around 200 Morris columns throughout the city. An exhibition was held at the FrauenFinanzGruppe's main buildings between November 9th 2007 and January 17th 2008. It was sponsored by the Fonds Soziokultur (Bonn, Germany), the Hamburgische Kulturstiftung, and the FrauenFinanzGruppe-Susanne Kazemieh (Hamburg).


Interkulturelle Werkstatt
Supporting networks of migrant women and female artist living in Berlin
Berlin 2006

This was an intercultural workshop which began with the creation of a network of migrant women's associations. Eight workshops were carried out which led to a campaign during which 29,000 free postcards were distributed via 450 restaurants and pubs in Berlin. Similarly 300 bags were also produced. Furthermore migrantas took part in an exhibition entitled 'Stadt der Frauen', held in the Kommunale Galerie in the district of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf between November and December 2006. This was sponsored by the state of Berlin (LSK), and the European Social Fund (ESF).

- Artist

Bilder Bewegen
Setting interculturality and migration in motion
Berlin 2005

Five workshops were organised which led to a campaign using digital animations for TV. These were broadcast on the TV channel installed on Berlin's underground train network between November 21st and 25th 2006. An installation was also developed for the window display of the 'Galerie im Saalbau' in Neukölln, and was financed by the 'Berliner Senatsverwaltung für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kultur', and Kulturamt Neukölln. Bilder bewegen II A campaign was developed under the auspices of the 'Ernst-Reuter-Initiative für Dialog und Verständigung zwischen den Kulturen' - a joint initiative started by the Turkish and German ministers of foreign affairs. This led to digital animations on Berlin's underground transport network being broadcast between December 18th and 23rd 2006.


Pictures of Migrant Women in Berlin
Berlin 2005

Eleven workshops were undertaken with women from 19 different countries. A series of 21 pictograms was developed and exhibited in the 'Galerie im Saalbau' between September and October 2005. Three large format posters were installed in 90 bus stops in the district of Neukölln, and on three billboards in the districts of Kreuzberg and Neukölln. This project was financed by the 'Berliner Senatsverwaltung für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kultur', and the Kulturamt Neukölln.


Proyecto Ausländer
Berlin - Buenos Aires 2003-2004

Making of a serie of 12 Pictograms (Berlin). Installation in backlight advertising spots in the centre of Buenos Aires (Dec 2003 - Jan 2004). Publication of 700 booklets (Asunto Impreso, ISBN 9789505330010, sold out). Supported by Publicidad Sarmiento.

Young | Di Como | Leinauer
Contact information
Marula Di Como | Florencia Young
c/o Di Como - Ebertystraße 19
D-10249 Berlin
| migrantas@yahoo.com

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