Discussion and performance: environmental and climate migration

Werkstattbühne, Theater Bonn
Rheingasse 1

Discussion and performance about environmental and climate migration: Fleeing in the face of climate change? STAY

The Republic of Fiji is the presiding country of this year's international climate conference (COP 23) in Bonn, directing our attention to regions most threatened by climate change. Over the long term, it is predicted that the inhabitants of low-lying Pacific Islands and heavily populated river deltas will likely have no choice but to permanently migrate, or relocate.

How do vulnerable states secure themselves against climate risks? How might people be protected from displacement due to climate change? What happens to those who are robbed of their homes and their livelihoods? What level of responsibility do we share? And what does it mean – as the philosopher Vilem Flusser puts it – to “create a home when one is homeless”? In this performative-discursive event, held in co-operation with the Bonn Institute for Migration Research (BIM) e.V. and Theater Bonn, the Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt) brings a complex topic for climate diplomacy to the broader public during the climate conference.

The performance “STAY” provides an introduction to the topic, thematising future migration movements in light of the current paths of refugees and migrants. The Australian artist-duo Sonja Hornung and Richard Pettifer have conceptualised a participatory performance, realised in collaboration with young people residing in Bonn and originating from Syria, Eritrea, Afghanistan and Lebanon. In the ensuing panel, “Fleeing in the face of climate change?”, representatives from the scientific field, civil society, political advisors and the global south discuss climate-based and environmental factors which can lead to migration. Who is more likely to flee due to climate change? And why is the term 'climate refugee' a misnomer?



7:00pm: “STAY. A participatory performance for COP 23” by Sonja Hornung and Richard Pettifer

With: Issa Al Favaj, Bashar Al Nahhas, Omar Alzoubi, Oukba Diab, Hiba El Nagar, Zeynep Haemakers (Theatre Pedagogue),  Mostafa Hossaini, Mohammed Kalash, Bashar Omar, Ward Shahda, Malek Shaheen, Samuel Tareke, Melchi Vepouyoum

Short welcoming speech
Dr. Harry Lehmann, Federal Environment Agency, Head of Division Environmental Planning and Sustainability Strategies

8:00pm-21:30pm: “Fleeing in the face of climate change?” Podium discussion with:

  • Prof. Dr. Walter Kälin, Envoy of the Chair of the Platform on Disaster Displacement (previously the Nansen Initiative), Professor Emeritus for International Humanitarian Law, University of Bern
  • Jan Kowalzig, Advisor for Climate Change and Climate Politics at Oxfam Germany
  • Peter Ruhenstroth-Bauer, Managing Director, UNO-Flüchtlingshilfe, the German partner of the UNHCR
  • Md Shamsuddoha, Director of the Center for Participatory Research and Development, Dhaka/Bangladesh
  • Sophia Wirsching, Advisor for Migration and Development at Bread for the World

Moderation: Miriam Vogel, Advisor of the German Federal Agency for Civic Education

Concept/organisation: Fotini Mavromati, Commissioner for the Arts, German Environment Agency

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free entry

Flyer English/German



Fotini Mavromati
Commissioner for the Arts
German Environment Agency
Wörlitzer Platz 1
06844 Dessau-Roßlau

T. 0340 / 21 03-23 18                   
E. fotini [dot] mavromati [at] uba [dot] de    

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