“On common ground” deals with the myriad of ways in which Islamic beliefs and cultures are entangled with European societies. The intention is to search for ideas and methods that provide opportunities to learn, critically reflect, and getinto a dialogue about these entanglements, and their stabilities and instabilities.

The Topoi funded event uses the motto of the European Cultural Heritage Year 2018 – Sharing Heritage – as a point of departure to explore the place of “Islam” in discourses about Europe’s heritage, and in heritage-making practices. Starting from an anthropological perspective of heritage as “an active process of assembling a series of objects, places and practices that we choose to hold up as a mirror, associated with a particular set of values that we wish to take with us into the future” (Harrison 2013), we will discuss the motivations and practices that shape and are shaped through these discourses and imagine possibilities for the future.

A World Café is a dialogic format that is intended to facilitate open discussion and link ideas within a larger group in order to trigger the collective intelligence in the room and generate new ideas. Participants are an international group of museum professionals, researchers, activists, and artists who will move between a series of tables where they get into discussions in response to specific themes, concepts or questions chosen and problematised by a group of table hosts.

The focus of these tables is on practices that allow for sketching out future perspectives and ideas. They address the following questions: How to acknowledge differences and diversity through our daily practices? What do democratic spaces look like that inspire people to engage with multiple, sometimes contradictory, perspectives and voices? Are some aspects of Islamic heritage regarded as more difficult to “share”? How can we transcend boundaries and deal with the colonial legacies of Islamic heritage in Europe?

Themes and Table Hosts

Creating Multivocality
Aisha Deemaz, Sharjah Museum Department
Miriam Kühn, Museum für Islamische Kunst – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Acknowledging difference and diversity
Bahareh Sharifi, Kulturprojekte Berlin
Lisa Scheibner, Kulturprojekte Berlin

Negotiating heritage
Cornelia Kleinitz, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Nasser al Damarki, Sharjah Archaeology Museum

Dealing with conflict
Constance Wyndham, University College London

Transcending Boundaries
Adela Taleb, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Workshop Review


16:00 - 16:15
16:15 - 18:15
Introduction to tables
19:00 - 21:00
Get together
09:00 - 09:15
09:15 - 10:00
Discussion round 1
10:10 - 10:55
Discussion round 2
10:55 - 11:15
Coffee break
11:15 - 12:00
Discussion round 3
12:10 - 12:55
Discussion round 4
12:55 - 15:00
Lunch break
15:00 - 16:30
Reflection of table discussions
16:30 - 16:45
Tea break
16:45 - 18:00
Reflection of table discussions