from the Commissioner for Integration
of the district Tempelhof-Schöneberg, Berlin

to the XXV. Black International Cinema Berlin 2010

Migration has always - nowadays and in the past - created a multicultural reality. To acknowledge this fact and to anchor it in the center of society, remains a significant task for the coming years.

Despite the current efforts in the debate regarding integration politics, to acknowledge “diversity” being an “enrichment”, old ideas are still prevalent that there exists a “homo­genous majority” in the center of society, to which “foreign minorities” are challenged to assimilate.

In contrast to this I would like to point out: the city's society of Berlin is heterogeneous, people from different ways of life live here, together in active and dynamic connections. On the way to an urban society acknowledgement of a changed societal complexion, is a first step.

Not only portraying this diversity, but furthermore to actively realize it requires an open dialogue on a level playing field, equal opportunities and the right to participate.

Art and culture can build bridges, cross borders and pull away from stereotypical categorized thinking. Therefore, initiatives such as Black International Cinema Berlin are important for the capital of Germany.

In 2010, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of Black International Cinema Berlin. I extend my congratulations to the organizers of Black International Cinema Berlin, a cultural highlight which is unique Germany-wide.

I wish the events many guests and for all of us, new inspiration.

Gabriele Gün Tank
Commissioner for Integration of the district Tempelhof-Schöneberg, Berlin/Germany