To mark the 40th anniversary of the German-Turkish labor recruitment agreement (deutsch-türkisches Anwerbeabkommen) in 2001, DOMiD developed an exhibition on the history of Turkish immigration to Cologne. It was presented in Cologne's historic City Hall in two languages, German and Turkish. This project evolved from an earlier exhibition, "Foreign Homeland. A Story of Immigration from Turkey," which DOMiD showed in the Ruhrlandmuseum in Essen in 1998.
Telling the Story of Turkish Migration to Cologne
The exhibition relates stories of immigration from the perspectives of the so-called "guest workers," their neighbors, their friends and their colleagues. It covers a span of thirty years, from 1961 to 1991. The collection focuses on the early phases of migration in particular: the recruitment of laborers from Turkey, life in the dormitories, work in the factories, recreational activities, coexistence and contact with German neighbors, and the first generation's process of settlement and establishment in Germany.
A Successful Exhibition
In total, 400 different exhibits were displayed. These included personal keepsakes, objects of everyday use, documents, photographs, letters and newspaper articles. Tours were offered in German and in Turkish and were given most often to school groups. The exhibition was met with great interest from visitors, engaging both those with a personal "migration background" and those without.
All About the Exhibition
Together with the Research Center for Intercultural Studies (FiSt) at the University of Cologne, DOMiD organized a conference on "Migration in Cologne, Past and Present" at the University of Cologne. In conjunction, DOMiD published a bilingual exhibition catalog. In addition to many photographs, it included the information from the exhibition's guide panels. Unfortunately, the catalog is currently out of stock.