As a project of the Transcultural Caravan, Professor Josef Wieland accompanied a research team of eight Zeppelin University students to the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum Dresden to visit the exhibition “Racism – The Invention of Human Races”. The exhibition that ended on January 6th, analysed the workings and scientific methods of racial classification, illustrated its media dissemination, addressed the history of the Deutsches Hygiene Museum in terms of racial propaganda under National Socialism and illuminated politics of racial exploitation in the colonial period.
The ZU research team was joined by sociology students from Dresden’s University of Technology and Professor Heike Greschke, and by Dr. Susanne Illmer, Dr. Carola Rupprecht, and the exhibition’s curator, Susanne Wernsing from the Hygiene-Museum.
During a guided tour, the workshop participants obtained a better understanding of the ideas, the scientific methodology and the specific practices which enabled racist ideologies throughout history to achieve their objectives. After the tour, a workshop was held to discuss aspects of racism. Led by Professor Wieland, the founder and head of the Transcultural Caravan, the participants reflected on the exhibition and prominent approaches to address inequality issues, scrutinising, above all, the potentials of a transcultural approach and its – primarily economic – perspectives. All panel members agreed on the importance of empathy skills and the avoidance of prejudices when facing social diversity in any given context or interaction.
One of the student participants summarises the excursion and workshop as follows: “It became clear to us that when approaching socially diverse encounters, a transcultural and open-minded attitude is asked for. Possible difficulties can be reduced by focusing on basic shared interests rather than differences. This, in turn, will make any follow-up communication easier and more likely to happen. In this respect, a transcultural approach can serve as a proper strategy in individual and professional settings to cope with social diversity without mentioning it. Therefore, I believe that a transcultural approach can be labeled as a promising conversation starter.”
For more information please check: https://www.transcultural-caravan.org/
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