Institute of Cultural Management, Ludwigsburg University of Education, April 23, 2020

Actually, the student laboratory should have started with a personal encounter. The Israeli project leader, Dr. Chava Brownfield-Stein, head of the Master’s program “Art Education” and lecturer for art education at the Hamidrasha faculty of Beit Berl College, had been invited to present her students’ first ideas for working together on the topic.

But, then, everything turned out differently: due to the Corona pandemic, the encounter had to take place virtually instead. Dr. Brownfield-Stein accepted the situation with good humor, her screen fading in a collage that displayed her original flight data and noting “that’s how it could have been...” Dr. Dalya Markovic from Tel Aviv was the second lecturer in the project. Besides her, the two lecturers, Prof. Dr. Clemens Klünemann and Dr. Christiane Dätsch, were participating in the teleconference, as well as ten German Master students who had decided to take part in the project.

Dr. Brownfield-Stein presented Israel’s multicultural society, which many of her students took as a starting point for their case studies. Almost all of them can provide evidence of an immigration history that goes back to their most recent family roots. So the question arose: How is this heritage compatible with the collective identity of Israel? Numerous Heritage Centers in Israel maintain these narratives from the diaspora. But why—as one of the Israeli students asks in his case study—is this cultural heritage important when entry into the homeland of Israel represents the completion of Jewish identity? German students had to think about their ideas at the end of this meeting as well. Are they compatible with the Israeli approach of shared heritage? How can the tandems work together now? First attempts to answer these and other questions will be explored during the summer semester.

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PHOTOS: Digital journey to Germany: Dr. Chava Brownfield-Stein on ZOOM (Screenshots)


Faculty of Art - Hamidrasha, Beit Berl College, February 24, 2020

What role does cultural heritage play today for the individual and for the collective identity of a group, a region, or even a nation? Which narratives are created and officially used in times of globalization and migration? These questions were the focus of the kick-off meeting in Israel between Dr. Christiane Dätsch, Ludwigsburg, and ten students of the Art Faculty Hamidrasha, Beit Berl College, on February 24, 2020.

The aim was to introduce Israeli students to the concept of the project and to encourage them to develop questions for their own small research projects on the topic. Dr. Dalya Markovich, lecturer at Beit Berl College, gave some input on this topic with her presentation on identity in global and migrant societies, noting that Jewish-Israeli society also represents such an immigration society. Connected with this were considerations of the extent to which one’s own multicultural background can lead

to a shared heritage or perhaps provoke contradictions.

Following lively discussions among the participants, Dr. Dätsch introduced a second, European approach and the corresponding (political) framework of the concept. Based on theories of collective memory, European states are trying to look at their historiography in a more dialogical way and to write a common history of Europe. In view of the worldwide migration movements, the concept of Cultural Heritage is, thirdly, also understood as a cultural human right: It is no longer exclusively linked to one’s origin, but can also imply a freely chosen heritage. However, several questions were raised. Is this concept too daring? Does culture really help to secure peace? And why are there so many conflicts over the concrete ownership of cultural heritage; for example, in post-colonial contexts? Many questions remained unanswered, but they were thought-provoking and inspiring.

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PHOTOS: Impressions from the kick-off workshop: Dr. Christiane Dätsch, Dr. Dalya Markovich, Dr. Chava Brownfield-Stein (from left to right) and students (© Chava Brownfield-Stein, Sapir Barel).