Theme Days • 24.02.

11 am - 1 pm Studying Global Prayers 

Short presentations analyze the relationships between religion, the city and the production of knowledge. The subsequent discussions explore innovative methods of researching new religious movements in the city.

With Julie Billaud (Legal Sociologist, Berlin), Matilde Cassani (Architect, Milan), Katja Eydel (Artist, Photographer, Berlin, Stuttgart), Christian Hanussek (Curator, Berlin), Magdalena Kallenberger & Dorothea Nold (Artists, Berlin, Cairo, Istanbul), Boris Nieswand (Religious Ethnologist, Göttingen), Maren Ziese (Art Historian, Curator, Berlin). 

Moderators: Regina Bittner (Cultural Scientist, Dessau), Helmut Draxler (Culture and Art Theorist, Curator, Stuttgart, Berlin). 

3 - 8 pm Open Studio 
The journalist and critical cartographer Philippe Rekacewicz (“Atlas of Globalization“) joins participants of the Theme Days to discuss the global networking of new religious movements.

3 - 4.30 pm Building the New Religious City

Religious communities create new material spaces in the cities: colossal churches in Lagos, Islamic gated communities in Istanbul and architectural blueprints for a multi-denominational city center in Beirut are just some of the examples. The participants explore forms, blueprints and realizations of urban spaces purportedly pleasing to God and pose questions regarding utopias, heterotopias and topographies in the city.

With Ayşe Çavdar (Journalist, Istanbul), Sevgi Ortaç (Artist, Istanbul), Joseph Rustom (Architect, Beirut, Berlin), Asonzeh Ukah (Religious Scientist, Bayreuth, Lagos), Jens Wenkel (Filmmaker, Berlin, Lagos). Moderator: Regina Bittner (Cultural Scientist, Dessau)

4.30 - 6.30 pm Conversion

Religious movements transform urban spaces not just through numerous new buildings but also by converting old buildings, such as cinemas or factories, into places of worship. Yet above all, the city changes through the conversion of people who join new religious communities. Two parallel panels and a video installation examine these changes in Berlin, London and Rio de Janeiro.

With Sabine Bitter and Helmut Weber (Artists, Vancouver, Vienna), Amanda Dias (Ethnologist, Rio de Janeiro), David Garbin (Ethnologist, London) , Magdalena Kallenberger and Dorothea Nold (Artists, Berlin, Cairo, Istanbul), Kristine Krause (Social Anthropologist, Religious Scientist, Berlin, Göttingen), Martijn Oosterbaan (Anthropo-logist, Utrecht), David Spero (Photographer, London). 

Moderation: Kathrin Wildner (Ethnologist, Berlin, Frankfurt/O), Stephan Lanz (Urban Researcher, Berlin, Frankfurt/O)

6.30 - 9pm Transnational Routes
The new urban religious communities are often internationally networked because of the increasing mobility of people, goods and the media: They deterrorialize and reterrorialize themselves in Diaspora communities in globally networked metropolises. Gilles Aubry’s soundscapes from Kinshasa, Peggy Levitt’s lecture on immigration and new forms of religious architecture in the US and research reports on global Congolese Diaspora underline the signifi cance of the role of religious players.

With Gilles Aubry (Sound Artist, Berlin), Filip de Boeck (Anthropolo- gist, Leuven, Kinshasa), Gerda Heck (Migration Sociologist, Berlin), Peggy Levitt (Sociologist, Writer, Cambridge), Alain Okito (Pastor, Berlin). 

Moderator: David Garbin (Ethnologist, London)

9 - 12pm Christian Nollywood
One particular and extremely successful branch of the gigantic Nigerian film industry, also known as Nollywood, specializes in Christian production. Lectures and films focus on the motif and the significance of the city in these “Born Again Films”. Afterwards, the filmmaker Victor Okhai presents and analyzes the Christian Nollywood film “Unshakable Kingdom“ by Muyideen Samsudeen Ayinde.

With Ferdinand Mbecha (Media Scientist, Berlin), Victor Okhai (Filmmaker, Lagos), Tobias Wendl (Anthropologist, Art Historian, Berlin)

Conversion - Video Installation. Photo: M. Lanz
Presentation by Sabine Bitter and Helmut Weber. Photo: M. Lanz
Christian Nollywood with Ferdinand Mbecha, Jochen Becker and Victor Okhai.
Mapping Migrant Routes. Open Studio with Gerda Heck and Philippe Rekacewicz. Photo: M. Lanz