Refugees – a homemade challenge

Germany took in over 950k asylum-seekers in 2015. When a wave of refugees reached the Munich central station back in September 2015, hundreds of volunteers received them with smiles, food and clothes. But what happens afterwards?

How should we welcome these people in our everyday life, at work, or in universities? Melusine Reimers helps refugees to integrate into academic life in Germany. She talks about how stereotypes and the phenomenon of “othering” prevent us from seeing them as fellow humans with unique qualities and dreams. She raises awareness for this phenomenon so that our society can overcome it.

About Melusine Reimers

Melusine Reimers studied Philosophy and Psychology in Bonn and holds a Master’s Degree in Philosophy, Sociology as well as Theater, Film and Media sciences. She’s interested in doing philosophical research about society and contemporary political topics, which is why she is planning to pursue an academic career outside of Germany, where she finds that the research system is less old-fashioned.

The main topic of Melusine’s philosophical interest is the construction of ‚the subject‘ in relation to the construction of borders and nationality, social norms and habits. Another one includes the social norms people are usually confronted with and how they deal with those confrontations. For her, being a philosopher means having a social responsibility to do something that deals with problems of people living in our modern era.

In 2013 Melusine Reimers founded aeWorldwide to transmit philosophy and political theory in practice. aeWorldwide is an organization that helps asylum-seeking academics to integrate into an academic environment in Germany. Its main focus is to change the image of refugees in society and media, opening minds and thus finding a way to a long-term integration of refugees.