Daughters and Sons of Gastarbeiters

They followed their parents from the villages of Anatolia, Southern Europe, the Balkans to Germany or were born in a working-class neighborhood of the Federal Republic. Their fathers and mothers were supposed to spur the economic upswing in Germany as “guest workers”. Their chapter is an important part of German post-war history. It is high time to offer their memories a forum!

The authors of different origins offer autobiographical stories from their family history in an artistic-performative form. The stories are accompanied by image projections from the family album, stage design, film and music and open up a discourse on the self-image and relevance of immigrants in German society.

At a time when ethnic and religious backgrounds play an increasingly important role in public debates, it seems all the more important to focus on the concrete reality of the lives of people with experience of migration in order to render common rhetorics of over-foreignization futile.

On the one hand, the stories told should contribute to the culture of remembrance in Germany and thus strengthen the self-image of immigrants in German society. On the other hand, they should animate others to join the project with their own experiences. It is time to include these biographies as a matter of course and normality in the German culture of remembrance and not to stigmatize them as more or less exotic multicultural peculiarities.

Since 2015, the authors’ collective has conducted numerous readings in various cities in Germany in response to requests.

Daughters and Sons of Gastarbeiters is an open literary platform launched in January 2015 in Berlin by Çiçek Bacik and Ferda Ataman. The spokesperson of the group is Çiçek Bacik.