Arriving and Staying

That the programme took place at all was due to a lucky coincidence. The originally scheduled programme for the lecture series 2015/16 centred around Hamburg’s bid for the Olympics 2024 and the event’s envisaged effects on the city. When the public voted against the bid in a referendum, the municipality and many of its organisations and institutions had to re-think their programmes. So did the HafenCity GmbH in regards to the HafenCity Lectures when they, after running the Olympia Lectures programme for one semester, approached the authors of the other concept submitted in early 2015. All of a sudden – some say by popular demand – the “refugee crisis” was ranked #1 on the city’s agenda and Ingrid Breckner, Alexa Färber, Bernd Kniess, Dominique Peck and Kathrin Wildner were given the chance to put the HafenCity Lecture series 2016/17 together under the title How Migration Produces the Urban.


The lecture series kicked off with three pairings programmed to arrive at the field of How Migration Produces the Urban. Wolfgang Kaschuba (director, Berlin Institut for empirical research on integration and migration (BIM) and Tobias Zielony (photographer) offered two perspectives on how facts – statements about reality, not reality – are produced on what is called migration. Manuela Bojadžijev (member, Berlin Institut for empirical research on integration and migration (BIM) and Doris Kleilein (architectural journalist) centred their lectures on how migration unfolds in time and space. Reinhard Olschanski (author, politician) layed out how resentment is mobilised by some as a business model and thus determines what can be called identity politics, to which Gesa Ziemer (director CityScienceLab) responded with the idea that new technologies will deliver the (de-)materialization of space into information as an integral part of these politics.

The second part of the programme was conceived as a serial organisation of aspects of How Migration Produces the Urban in projects and with project work as a mode of remaining in the field constructed in the first part. Without going into detail into the individual lectures on Mobility (Gerda Heck & Michael Hieslmaier), Law (Barbara Wessel & Jakob Kempe), Dwelling (Martin Leo, Maja Momic and Maryam Jafari), Work (Clarissa Reikersdorfer & Jens Tiedemann) and Education (Joachim Schröder, Maren Gag & Michael Stenger), this serial reading offered an insight into vectors of transformation in the organisation of How Migration Produces the Urban. Projects and project work might assemble a pertinent amount of force to re-negotiate how we, as world citizens and inhabitants of Hamburg, can be propositional towards the urban again.
If the Olympic idea holds true that taking part is the most important thing, the question is in what and how. The documentation of the HafenCity Lecutres How Migration Produces the Urban can be found at hafencity-lectures.de