Greetings from
the Commissioner for Integration of the district Tempelhof-Schöneberg, Berlin
to the XXX. Black International Cinema Berlin 2015

Our world is not an “intact” world. It never was. Crises and wars forced and are forcing people to leave their homes, families and friends. Worldwide, more than 50 million people are fleeing. More than half of these people are fleeing within their country, without crossing international borders. Nine out of ten refugees live in so-called developing countries, as most refugees just flee to an adjacent neighboring country.
Only a fraction of the people who flee are coming to Europe. According to UNHCR, only four percent of the fugitives seek refuge in Europe. An escape to Europe is not only expensive, it is also dangerous. With a tremendous effort, Europe closes its borders tightly – forcing refugees to often take fatal routes.
And yet it is often argued, Europe has to carry a burden, which is too heavy, and terms such as “streams” and “waves” are mentioned. If we take a close look at the numbers, we notice very quickly that we are far from that. In Bavaria, one refugee is opposing 305 inhabitants, in Jordan the ratio is 1:11.
Often the reasons for flight are questioned. For most of us, who never had to deal with the thought of leaving one’s native roots behind, family or perhaps even children and flee to a threatening uncertainty – this misery is not only hard to imagine, it is unimaginable. For those of us who live in peace and prosperity, it is a humanitarian imperative to offer support in religious charity or non-religious solidarity.
The form of charity or solidarity in practice has different faces, it may be, among others, politically, legally, neighborly, but also culturally.
Culture is characterized by a variety of possible identities and has cross-border contours. Culture can transport pictures and stories and make love, but also hatred visible in this ever closer shifting world.
Crossing borders is also the approach of the Black International Cinema Berlin Festival. For many years it has enriched the Rathaus Schöneberg with its manifold program. This year we were not able to provide space to this festival due to building alterations. However, we remain loyal to the Black International Cinema Berlin Festival and are pleased to be able to be involved.
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” (Maya Angelou)
The Black International Cinema Berlin also grows, it becomes older and more creative every year.
I am happy to see again and again how great the commitment is to the Black International Cinema Berlin.
I thank all participants for this exemplary series of events and wish the guests many interesting impressions and an active exchange.

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

"I may not make it if I try, but I damn sure won´t if I don´t..." - Oscar Brown Jr.
"Mankind will either find a way or make one." - C.P. Snow
"Whatever you do..., be cool!" - Joseph Louis Turner
"Yes, I can...!" - Sammy Davis Jr.
"Yes, We can...!" - Barack Obama


Supporters and Associates

Checkpoint Charlie Stiftung Mediawave Festival United Against Racism
Euromight - Your Guide to Afro-Europe Tulip Photo African Women in Europe Embassy of the United States of America, Berlin/Germany Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Wave - International Youth Web Magazine