Normality and Crisis: Memories of Everyday Life in Syria as a Chance for a New Start in Germany is a joint research project based at ZMO with civil society partners from Berlin and Brandenburg. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research(BMBF) for a period of three years (February 2018 - January 2021).
The project investigates the notions of societal ‘crisis’ and its conceptual Other, ‘normality’, from the perspective of Syrian refugees in Germany. The refugees’ past experiences in Syria inform their expectations for the future and are thus greatly significant for their integration into German society: How do they conceive of societal ‘normality’, based on their previous experiences in Syria? And how can these experiences be taken into account when developing strategies for working with refugees?
Based on an extensive collection and archiving of biographical narratives, the project documents and analyses memories of everyday life in Syria until 2011/2012. The research focuses on two themes; first, the conviviality of ethnically and religiously distinct societal groups and, second, experiences of and encounters with state authority.
Researchers, refugees, and (civil as well as state) actors who work with refugees will exchange views about the research results in a series of interactive workshops. Building on that, they will discuss challenges for the refugees settling into German society and jointly develop suggestions for how to facilitate an easier integration in Germany. These results will be used to develop training units and different media which will be disseminated to actors working with refugees.