Press Releases 2016
Press Release

Europa21. Thinking tomorrow's society.

  • Robert Bosch Stiftung and Leipzig Book Fair put focus on immigration and integration

Leipzig/Stuttgart, January 13, 2016 - Never since the Second World War have there been so many displaced people at the same time. Worldwide there are 60 million people fleeing their homes, and hundreds of thousands are on their way to Europe. Europe's future will be distinctly influenced by the way it handles migration and refugee movements, and the integration of migrants will remain a central challenge and continuous task over the next decades. The Robert Bosch Stiftung and the Leipzig Book Fair will put a focus on immigration and integration during the coming book show, held from March 17th to 20th 2016. Titled "Europa21. Thinking tomorrow's society", authors, scientists, journalists and representatives of the public will come together from different countries to speak about the background of refugee movements and the resulting challenges. They will discuss ideas and visions for an open and united Europe.

"Many citizens have met the refugees with empathy. In order to maintain or even establish our political and civic competence, we all need research, information and education in addition to that empathy," explains curator Insa Wilke. "Intellectuals and artists from all over Europe will have a key role in utilising their rhetoric expertise and specific perspectives and forms of expression to facilitate an objective and constructive public discourse on the future of Europe."

"The Leipzig Book Fair offers an ideal setting for such a dialogue on Europe’s future, because authors, publishers, media professionals and readers all come together here in early spring," says Leipzig Book Fair director Oliver Zille: "Our programme Europa21 is open to many directions, but it also wants to send a clear signal for a united Europe and an open society."

Europa21 consists of three columns: a discussion forum of international experts at the Café Europa, an evening event with audience participation in central Leipzig, and audio stations in the entrance area of the Leipzig Book Fair.

Café Europa: Podium for European Dialogue

Between March 17th and 20th there will be six discussion rounds held in Café Europa in Hall 4. Authors, scientists and journalists will discuss the following topics:

  • Context: history, causes and significance of the refugee movements from the Middle East
  • Change: how has Europe changed already, and how will it still have to change
  • Facts: refugees in Europe - Europe and the refugees
  • The art of language: who says what about whom - literature and responsibility
  • Rhetoric: the Fourth Estate and its own asylum policy
  • Debate: the return of religions?

Neues Rathaus: Discussion Round with Audience Participation

On Friday evening, March 18th, politicians and artists will debate the openness of our society, as well as its limits. Titled "Living together in the past, present and in the future", participants at the Neues Rathaus will develop ideas of how societies and cultures can and want to live together in Germany. The audience will be invited to participate in the discussion with questions, ideas and comments, which will be subject to a reality check immediately as far as that is possible.

Audio Stations in the Glass Hall: Asylum Seekers Have Their Say
Several thousand asylum seekers from a number of different countries arrived in Leipzig in 2015. What are the individual stories behind this number? Where are the people coming from, and what are their hopes? A team of reporters will talk to asylum seekers located in the Leipzig region. During the duration of the fair, their voices can be heard at the audio stations in the entrance area of the Glass Hall.

Notes for the Editorial Offices

The full programme for "Europa21. Thinking tomorrow's society." and other events regarding immigration and integration will be released at the pre-Leipzig Book Fair press conference on February 18th 2016.

Contact

Julia Rommel
Phone: +49 (0)711 46084-750