SPK Magazine 1/2016: Heimat?

What is Heimat? Meaning more than just “home,” it’s a hot topic in Germany right now. In the new issue, SPK Magazine joins in the debate on the future of society.

All Its Aspects

What should Germany be like? More open to the world or more sealed off from it? Are Muslims part of Germany while Islam is not? What kind of lives do we want to lead in Europe? Museums, libraries, and archives offer answers to these questions, because they show us how greatly different cultures have always benefited from mutual contact.

The German concept of Heimat – at the heart of this issue – is an emotionally loaded word that bears a number of related meanings, including simply “home.” It refers to the place where you were born and grew up, but also to the place you have made home. That place can be a village, town, or country. It may also be your spiritual or intellectual home. The term is often used to frame the kinds of questions that are posed above.

In the Heimat? issue of SPK Magazine, Kristina Heizmann reports from Spandau and Dahlem on how art can lend an element of stability to an uprooted life. You can also read about the radically changing role of museums. Elisabeth Tietmeyer from the Museum Europäischer Kulturen (Museum of European Cultures), Paul Spies, the new head of the Stadtmuseum Berlin (Berlin City Museum), and Udo Gößwald of the Neukölln Museum discuss the new significance of local museums.

In the Pergamonmuseum (Pergamon Museum), museum directors Nanette J. Snoep and Stefan Weber get together with Bulent Uçar, an expert on Islam, and Sascha Braun of the police union to find out whether the cultural diversity of Islam might not also offer a means of countering terrorism. The Islam debate is not the only topic, however. 175 years ago, Hoffmann von Fallersleben wrote The Song of the Germans, the original manuscript of which is kept in the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (Berlin State Library). We asked authors Tanja Dückers, Marica Bodrožić, and Jan Koneffke to write “new” anthems for Germany.

Plus: Swabian Hmong, Joseph Beuys, and the cemetery of the Prussians

Also in SPK Magazine's Heimat? issue: Udo Kittelmann curates an exhibition exclusively for this issue, Jürgen Kloosterhuis and Daniel Schreiber meet in the Bornstedt Cemetery, Stefan Müchler visits a Hmong family in the Swabian Alb region, Eugen Blume deciphers a masterpiece by Joseph Beuys, and Philipp Demandt (regrettably due to leave his position at the Alte Nationalgalerie soon) makes another visit to the “zoo of art.”

The SPK Magazine is published twice a year. Its layout has been designed by the Berlin-based StudioKrimm. Photographs for the current issue are by Ina Niehoff.