NiCeR – empowering refugee youth

“What The Volk?!” Aufführung in Berlin am 03. und 04. Juni 2017

IMG_9626300dpiDas Musik-Theater “What the Volk?!”, das im Rahmen vom europäischen Projekt NICeR produziert wurde, wird am 03. und 04. Juni 2017 im Jugendkulturzentrum Pumpe Berlin aufgeführt.

Wer oder was ist dieses Volk, von dem alle sprechen? Wir reiten auf der Deutschlingswelle, tauchen ab im Tiefgang in die Volksmenge. Wir fragen: Was wäre, wenn Haifische Menschen wären? Wir schauen, wer Volksmund spricht und den Volkston trifft. Völkisch – Rechtes Sprechen taucht wieder an der Oberfläche auf.Können wir durch Sprache hindurch System,Herrschaft und Grenze erkennen? Und mit eigenem Sprechen Vielstimmigkeit in Bewegung setzen?
Das VölkischNationale bekämpft ein Menschenrecht – Migration… oder HaiNation?

Mit Theater, Tanz, Gesang und Musik betreibt das Theater X eigene Forschung zu Migration,Grenzen, Zugehörigkeiten und der Macht von Sprache. Wie können wir dem Gerede von „Leitkultur“ und „deutschem Volk“ etwas entgegensetzten?

Wann: Sa. 03. Juni // 19.30 Uhr PREMIERE und So. 04. Juni 2017 // 18.00 Uhr

Ort: JugendkulturzentrumPumpe, Lützowstr. 42 10785 Berlin

Who belongs to the nation? Who are the others?

About 40 young people between 14 and 25 years old took part in the first theater workshops organised on Saturday January 18th and on February 4th in Berlin.

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The two workshop-days started with a common breakfast that brought together the young participants from the neighbourhood and from welcome classes*. Then the group joined a two hours theater and drama training followed by a session that focused on the dramaturgy.

Through games and creatives methods, participants discussed and analysed the main topic of NICeR project: Identity. They divided it in three sub-topics: Nation, Culture and Language. In the two first workshops, they mostly worked on the concept of „Volk“ – „Nation“. Splitt up in 3 groups, the young people invented an imaginary character named „Völker“ and tried to answer together the following questions: Who belongs to the „Volk“/Nation? Who does not belong to it? Who are the others?
The questions were not easy to answer but most of the young people had a critical opinion towards the word „Volk“ and mostly linked it to discrimination, exclusion, nationalism, right-wing ideologies, conflicts between people, etc.


From February to April 2017, each participant will have the opportunity to join an orchestra training and develop their skills in music and singing. This workshop will take place every Tuesday in the early evening from 17h to 20h. The theater and drama session will take place every Thursday in the early evening at the same hours. On Friday, in the early evening, the whole group can join the cross-cultural language training that will focuse on pronunciation, elocution, breathing, etc.

In Berlin, Citizens For Europe gUG is working in partnership with JugentheaterBüro Berlin a self-organised CommUNITY-Theater where staff members and young people collaborate together in the creation of theatre performances. Their performances generally combine artistic and cultural action with political education, campaigning and the construction of an alternative and jointly designed theatre program in the neighbourhood. The theater is based in Moabit, a cosmopolitan neighborhood in the core of Berlin.

*German schools have special welcome classes for young refugees.


About the project

Logo nicerStarted in December 2015, the two-year NiCeR project aims at empowering refugee youth through performing arts workshops as well as at fostering a welcoming culture and intercultural education through awareness campaigns in the cities where they live.

30 young refugees and locals come together, create and perform a musical based on their personal stories and the testimonies of their families. On top of the creative workshop, a language and cross-cultural training give them the tools to understand each other and be part of the city where they live.

The project takes place in Berlin and is replicated in 6 European partner cities: Rome, Brussels, Sevilla, Timisoara, Liverpool, Nicosia.

photo brussels 5 photo brussels 4 photo brussels 3

Target group: in each partner city, 15 refugees and 15 non-refugees between 9 and 25 years old


  • Strengthen youth participation in cultural and social life at the local level
  • Develop their creativity, self-esteem and socialisation
  • Empower and give a voice to young refugees
  • Promote exchanges and friendships between refugees and locals
  • Promote tolerance and mutual respect
  • Provide with creative and languages skills
  • Go beyond stereotypes



  • Creative writing and theater workshop: 4 months, 4 hours/week, guided by a theater instructor: intercultural icebreakers to get to know each others, writing the screenplay, dialogues, songs of the musical, acting and performing class: distribution of roles, rehearsals, choreography, create costumes, setting up the scenery, lights, sound and props
  • Language and cross-cultural training: 4 months, 2 hours/week, guided by a language teacher: locals share songs and stories from their country with the refugees, role Play
  • Production of a transeuropean documentary on the project
  • Awareness campaign in primary and secondary schools in the Berlin area.

Citizens For Europe supports the implementation of the activities at the local level. We work together with our European partners to develop a methodology for the workshops, and foster a welcoming culture and intercultural education.

Dissemination and exploitation:

  • NICeR photo presentationWebsite
  • Final performance of the musical in each partner city
  • Documentary film
  • Awareness seminars in the schools to inform about the project and better inform young people about the situation of refugees.
  • Publications
  • Photo book about the project
  • Final event: presentation of the film


Phase 1: January-September 2016

  • During 4 transnational meetings, the European partner organisations develop the methodology, prepare the workshops, define the monitoring and evaluation tools.
  • Selection of the local teams : coordinators, theater instructors, language teachers
  • Establish collaboration with local partners : schools, refugees centers, NGOs, cultural and social district centers, local authorities

Phase 2: September-December 2016

  • Selection of the young participants recruited in partnership with schools, refugees centers, NGOs, cultural and social district centers.

Phase 3: January-Mai 2017

  • Implementation of the creative workshops and the language and cross-cultural trainings
  • Transational meeting of the European partner organisations
  • Shooting of the documentary: workshops, interviews with the participants
  • Final performance: presentation of the musical in each partner city

Phase 4: June-November 2017

  • Final evaluation of the project: final report
  • Editing of the documentary
  • Transnational meeting of the European partner organisations: final press conference
  • Awareness campaign: presenting the film, educational videos and publications to the schools, media and local authorities

European Partners


  • CIOFS – Lead Partner (IT)
  • Alfea Cinematografica Pisa (IT)
  • MCCS Commune de Molenbeek (BE)
  • AIDRom Bucharest (RO)
  • IIT Bucharest (RO)
  • RARe Studio Liverpool (UK)
  • Citizens for Europe (DE)
  • KISA Cyprus (CY)
  • Pluralis ASBL (BE)
  • Fundaciòn Juventud y Cultura (ES)

Our partner in Berlin


The JTB Youth Theatre opened in 2009 in the district of Moabitin Berlin. It is an arts organisation where staff members and young people collaborate together to the creation of theatre performances.

The performances combine artistic and cultural action with political education, campaigning and the construction ofan alternative and jointly designed theatre program in the neighbourhood

Among their most important projects:

  • Theater X: a young, alternative theatre in Moabit, conceived and managed by young people
  • Organisation of the annual youth theatre festival FESTIWALLA
  • KulTür auf!: a campaign for young people’s access to the established cultural institutions

A project funded by

logo_DG Migration and Home affairs
Migration and Home Affairs

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