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To help ‘translate‘ utopia into reality, we need a concrete image, the figure of a real ‘Vorschein’ – as stated in Ernst Bloch’s philosophical theory. CUCULA is indeed such a ‘Vorschein’: As opposed to theoretical debate about the refugees’ situation in Europe, we opt for pragmatic and immediate action, the ‘practice of making’.
As a pilot project, CUCULA investigates in new approaches, articulates concrete solutions within the realm of refugee politics. By putting the pilot to the test we want to question established structures and to formulate possible alternatives.
We aim for concrete and direct action while keeping our independency and flexibility. We interact, experiment and activate in order to collectively create new perspectives and to enter a constructive dialogue.
In our talk we would like to introduce our pilot project CUCULA and hopefully open up a fruitful dialogue.
Corinna Sy, Sebastian Däschle and Jessy Medernach are the co-founders of CUCULA.
CUCULA – Refugees Company for Crafts and Design – is a project initiative, which helps refugees build their own future. It is an association, a workshop and an educational program, all in one, established for and together with refugees in Berlin. By manufacturing design furniture based on Enzo Mari’s ‘Autoprogettazione’ plans, the aim is to enable refugees to finance their living and education. Complementary, the educational pilot project provides education to people, for whom the doors to society are otherwise closed. CUCULA wants to establish a ‘welcoming culture’, which helps refugees to break with the notion of ‘victimhood’, and at the same time unfold their self-efficacy and to open up a perspective for a self-determined life.
CUCULA, a small Design Workshop and a refugees company, actively engages in the social, political and cultural debate, challenging established structures and formulating alternatives through trialling the implementation of a concrete and novel business model. Contrasting the theoretical debate, the initiators strive for a pragmatic, immediate and action-oriented approach, achieving ‚together with‘ the refugees and not simply doing something ‚for them‘.