The Europe Challenge

How can groups and communities throughout Europe contribute to the establishment of public spaces, and participate in democratic debates?

Public libraries all over Europe – which number around 65,000 in total, by the way! – are addressing this question. They are public, safe, cultural and accessible spaces that facilitate access to social participation and knowledge. Seven of these libraries are now participating in the Europe Challenge; the ZLB is one of them.

The projects

Unerhört und ungesehen ("Unheard and unseen")
a project by 
Oyoun - Kultur NeuDenken (link: Oyoun | Kultur NeuDenken)

Every country in Europe is experiencing migration and the resulting fusion and emergence of new languages and vocabulary. Unerhört und ungesehen ("Unheard and unseen") involves the creation of one or several interactive, dialogue-based installations that focus on LGBT perspectives and the language used by LGBT people with a migrant background.

"What archiving practices exist locally and are visible above all in the communities concerned without recognition by the city's hetero- or homonormative mainstream? We are above all examining alternative practices, collections of stories, community actions inspired by solidarity, cross-generational aids, resistance movement overlaps and the fruit they have borne, or the mutual consolation they offered." (Oyoun)

How can we archive queer forms of community and solidarity in independent and alternative organisations and thus document what space can be opened up by music and club culture, especially for migrant queer and trans* people and their communities? The collective Oyoun and three members of these communities join us in undertaking a research trip. Together we create our own archives, allowing us to write alternative stories.

The outcome of the workshop will then be edited by Oyoun and developed into interactive, dialogue-based installations. Queer perspectives and the language used by queer people form the focus of the work.

Transcodiert ("Transcoded")
a project by
Biba Nass (no pronoun) 

Transcodiert – queer literature magazine Transcodiert is a publication that features LGBT literary works and a platform that permits trans- and intersexual, non-binary, queer and questioning people to express themselves artistically. The works of art range from contemporary literature, poetry, prose and short stories to illustrations, collages and photographs. In the public sphere and in published books, there is a lack of literary records and writings from the perspective of the LGBT community for queer people who are interested in art and culture.  That is also one of the reasons behind the creation of Transcodiert.
"This project is about creating stories in the search for a self-determined identity - by the community for the community. Talking to each other and seeing the associated problems in writing can have an empowering effect. It also offers the cisnormative society the chance to question its binary gender perspective, as something expressed through art becomes particularly accessible." (Biba Nass, Transcodiert magazine)


Was siehst du, was ich nicht sehe? ("What do you see that I don't see?")
a project by 
mehr_blick [Tam* (hen) and Tamo* (hen)] mehr_blick 

The project Was siehst du, was ich nicht sehe? involves the design of so-called "reading glasses". These "reading glasses" will be "added" to books as an independent object to make it possible to critically reflect on the contents described in the book through the questions and food for thought they contain. The development of the glasses and the design is part of the project. With these "reading glasses", children's and young adult literature can then be utilised as an instrument for a more multi-dimensional reading and learning that also includes LGBT perspectives.
"Many stories that are told in picture and children's books do not feature any perspectives with regard to queerness, family diversity, gender, identity and the depicted gender roles. Many of these representations are problematic and one-dimensional, instead of intersectional and discrimination-aware. There is a major need for innovative approaches to circumvent these gaps and to find new ways to nudge a respective reflection and dialogue. Other forms of discrimination besides those related to LGBT issues can also be highlighted within the scope of this project." (Tam* and Tamo*)