07. 04. 2020. Shakuhachi


Meine japanische endgeblasene Bambusflöte trage ich überall mit mir hin. Das Holz ist hell und das Utaguchi (blasendes Ende) ist schräg nach außen geschnitten, und am Rand wird ein kleines Stück Elfenbein (Kinko-Schule) eingefügt, so dass subtile Tonvarianten erzeugt werden können. Die Glocke (ausgestelltes Ende) besteht aus dem Stamm der Bambuspflanze mit ihren Wurzelenden. 

Ich habe ziemlich lange gesucht bis ich „meine“ Flöte gefunden habe. Sie ist nicht besonders schön, hat viele Kratzer und Abnutzungsspuren aber hat mir auf Anhieb Töne geschenkt. Sie kommt aus einem japanischen Kloster und ermöglicht mir täglich mein Suizen zu praktizieren. Somit ist diese Flöte für mich nicht unbedingt ein Musikinstrument sondern ein Mittel um mein seelisches Gleichgewicht zu wahren.

I carry my Japanese end-blown bamboo flute with me everywhere. The wood is light and the Utaguchi (blowing end) is cut diagonally outwards, and a small piece of ivory (Kinko school) is inserted on the edge, so that subtle tone variations can be created. The bell (flared end) consists of the stem of the bamboo plant with its root ends.

I searched a long time until I found my flute. It is not particularly beautiful and has some scratches and signs of wear. The flute found its way to me from a Japanese monastery. I can’t yet play it very well, but I perform suizen breathing exercises daily that calm and ground me. So the flute is not so much a musical instrument for me, but rather a mean to maintain my mental balance.


04.04.2020. Blondel









If the light falls on the surface at a certain angle, it can be reflected from the upper level and, after refraction, from the lower level, too.

This way, double and multiple images can be created.

A Blondel mirror I took from my grandma. It is a full figure mirror, around 120 years old, and has never been repaired. It literally sits now with my daughter and I at the table, in the dining room. The frame is carved out of incredibly lightweight wood, guilt and painted with some brass-like tint. The painting is getting a patina, and it covers the wooden handwork perfectly; it still looks like it was made of copper of brass or bronze. Its back is also wooden: dried, shrunk, maybe even a bit rotten. There is a cut-glass margin which skews, distorts and sometimes duplicates the images of the objects in it. The silver of the mirror is perfectly intact.

When I met the mirror, it was sitting between the two large windows of my grandma’s bedroom. It was surrounded by minimalistic, sombre, black solid furniture, with a nightstand below, which was full of old-style perfumes, more or less rancid lipsticks, creams and talc. Behind it, the windows opened to an unusually big, wild and chaotic bed of lilies of the valley. Their smell would get into the room during the sunset airings. It lived through my grandma putting her lipstick on with a disgusted grim on her face, me dancing in front of it a couple of minutes later and more than thirty years ago. I smuggled it out of my grandma’s house while she was lying far away on her dying bed. ‘You can take the mirror now’ she said unexpectedly gracefully and surrealistically certain about what was happening behind her back. It was taken across four countries, covered in nasty newspapers and grease-smelling ropes to not attract attention.

A couple of days ago, after a careful consideration, sitting in front of it, I ticked the boxes: ‘any other mixed background’ for my ethnicity and something vague like ‘any other gender’ in an official paper.





We observe our everyday objects. The way we relate to them.

What do we see if we take a closer look at them? What do we know about their composition and material? What is their structure? How do they function? What are we using them for? What do we know about their stories?

On this platform we collect object-stories.





How does it work?

  1. If you want to develop your object-story with us, send an idea: a picture and/or 2-3 sentences. We will get back to your within one week, ask questions from our perspective and we will develop your story together.

2. If you want to send a completed object-story, go ahead!

In both cases, we will get back to you and decide on sharing your object-story together.

We reserve the right to not publish material that is harmful to any community or individual.

We are happy to answer your question and discuss your suggestions.


Ildikó, science (RO/DE).

李璇 Li Hsuan, visuals (CN/UK).

Rita, conception and narratives (RO/HU/DK/UK).


These are the formats on which we can share object-stories:

Language. We are happy to share bi-lingual stories. At the moment, you can communicate with us in English, German, Chinese, Hungarian and Romanian. You can send your object-stories on any of these languages, and please be mindful of the fact that you still have to provide and appropriate English translation, too, as we use English as a lingua franca.

Medium. Choose from any of these possibilities:

  • Three visuals (photos, drawings, paintings, diagrams, etc.): no smaller than 1MB and no larger than 5MB, jpeg format, high resolution (minimum 72 dpi, ideally 300dpi).  
  • One text of max 1000n (meaning: 1000 characters including spaces): doc or docx extension.
  • One soundscape of max 60 sec: mp3 extension.
  • One video of max 120 sec: mp4, m4v, webm, ogv, wmv and flv; alternatively, you can upload the video on youtube with password, and send the link and the password, too.

You can send material on one object. Choose maximum two of the above-mentioned media to describe the object, respecting the given extensions and resolutions.


We accept only original work of yours, and we edit them respectfully with you in agreement.

The platform displays the object-stories and has the right to share them and use them for artistic and scientific research, in which case we will inform you.

As author, you are liable to clear any copyright issues that might come up regarding your object-story. If you want to share your object-story with any other platforms you need to notice us first and mention this project as resource.

Send your object-stories and ideas to:

Thank you for taking part.

projects research uncategorized

YOU ARE WELCOME – guidebook

YOU ARE WELCOME is a Europe for Citizens project (Networks of Towns) which arose from the recognition of the risks posed by the rise of xenophobia, intolerance and discrimination in Europe. The project brings together eleven partners from eight countries in Europe committed to supporting migrant and refugee integration, community development and promoting evidence–based policymaking in the area of migration. The project’s aim is to deconstruct the process of the stigmatisation of migrants, help communities involved overcome stereotypes and develop counter narratives for more accurate perceptions of migrants and refugees in the participating countries. 

This guidebook summarises the more than two-year long work of the international partners:

projects uncategorized

You Are Welcome final report

The project «YOU ARE WELCOME: European Network for Integration of Refugees at Local Level and Combating Hate Speech» was funded with the support of the European Union under the Programme

“Europe for Citizens”Applicable to the Strand 2 – Measure 2.2 “Networks of Towns”

Four events have been carried out within this project:

Event 1

Participation: The event involved 122 citizens, including 84 participants from Dresden (Germany), 10 participants from Prague (Czech Republic), 4 participants from Helsingor (Denmark), 15 participants from Thessaloniki (Greece), 2 participants from Budapest (Hungary), 1 participant from Kriva Palanka (Northern Macedonia), 2 participants from Bratislava (Slovakia) and 4 participants from Oldham (United Kingdom).

Location / Dates: The event took place in Dresden, Germany, from 7/04/2017-10/04/2017.

Short description: The aim of the event was to bring for the first time all the representatives of all partners together and discuss the aims, activities & methods, outputs and expected outcomes of the project as well as to invite citizens from Dresden and third-country nationals and introduce them the project. The activities aimed to encourage native citizens from Dresden, international participants and third-country nationals that live in Dresden to interact with each other culturally and socially in the first public event under the title “Voices & Images of a New Land” at Johannstädter Kulturtreff. The event included the following activities: i) art exhibition “Fragments of Memories” with artworks by artists from Germany, Syria and Bulgaria, ii) concert “Orient meets Occident” -duet of an Ukrainian piano player and a Syrian oud player, iii) screenings of the short films“Voices & Images of a New Land” and“My Right is Your Right” produced byJKPeV, iv) documentary film screening“Dresden Refuge” produced by Europa Transit, v) round-table discussion on migration, stereotypes against refugees and migrants and how to tackle HateSpeech.

Event 2

Participation: The event involved 324 citizens, including 11 participants from Dresden (Germany), 2 participants from Prague (Czech Republic), 2 participants from Helsingor (Denmark), 218 participants from Thessaloniki (Greece), 3 participants from Budapest (Hungary), 81 participants from Kumanovo (NorthernMacedonia), 2 participants from Bratislava (Slovakia) and 5 participants from Oldham (UnitedKingdom).

Location / Dates: The event took place in Thessaloniki, Greece from 24/11/2017 to 27/11/2017 at the Museum of the Roman Forum.

Short description: The aim of the 2nd transnational event was to raise awareness about the
YOU ARE WELCOME project and the migration issue. The transnational workshop and lecture “Otherness Dialogue” was facilitated by Dr. Rita Julia Sebestyen from Otherness project. A presentationbytheorganizingpartnerfromThessaloniki,AddArtwasgivenabouttheirlocalart workshop where Greek pupils and refugee children worked with comic artists and in the end, they created their Super Hero illustrated by the Greek comic artists. A study-visit to the refugee centre ARSIS that takes care of unaccompanied minors who are asylum seekers. Activities: i) photo exhibition “Dreaming of a New Life” by the Iranian photographer and film director Morteza Jafari that documented the arrival of refugees and migrants to the Aegean islands, ii) illustration exhibition “Human Right – Human Wrong”, where comic artists and illustrators from Greece displayed their work which reflected the topic of Human Rights, iii) postcard campaign against Hate Speech under the title “Human Right – Human Wrong”, the postcards are illustrated by the same artists of the exhibition and convey Human Rights messages, – the postcards were distributed to all the guests and the guests then were asked to send these postcards to their friends and relatives from their countries in order to achieve a bigger impact, iv) the female vocal group Pleiadesperformed melodies from different regions and countries all over the world about migration, v) screening of the documentary film “School on the Move” – a documentary film about involving refugee children that live in a refugeecampinGreecetobeinvolvedinananimationfilmandlearnaboutanimationfilms,vi) screening of short animation films about Human Rights by TAF (Thessaloniki Animation Festival).

Event 3

Participation: The event involved 230 citizens, including 8 participants from Dresden (Germany), 8 participants from Prague (Czech Republic), 12 participants from Helsingor (Denmark), 8 participants from Thessaloniki (Greece), 133 participants from Budapest (Hungary),8 participant from Kumanovo(NorthernMacedonia),51 participants from Bratislava (Slovakia) and 2 participants from Oldham (UnitedKingdom).

Location / Dates: The event took place at Patyolat in Budapest, Hungary from 23/05/2018to 26/05/2018.

Short description: The aim of the event was to follow up on the current progress of the project and to assess the impact made with regard to the project objectives such as combatting migrant stigmatisation and Hate Speech. During the event the project partners discussed the current sociopolitical situation in Hungary and the state’s migration and integration policies. The Amnesty International Hungary gave a presentation on the current, and past, refugee & migrant situation in Hungary. A study-visit to the Hungarian Helsinki Committee was held, iv) Meeting a refugee from Afghanistan living in Budapest for the last 9 years, v) Lecture on the history of migration in Hungary and its past and present attitudes towards migrants and refugees by by Prof. Michael Miller from the Central European University, vi) Study-visit to Aurora, a social community space, vii) presentation by the refugee organisation Menedék about their work with refugees. The public event took place at Patyolat in Budapest, Hungary (25th of May 2018) which included the following activities: i) short video about a local theatre workshop organized by Glaser Jakab Foundation – the organizer of the public event in Budapest , ii) screening of a short video about theIdomeni Refugee Camp produced by AddArt NGO from Thessaloniki, iii) music concert by Kardos Dani Duo, iv) Mickey Yonas: I’m Angelina Jolie, a physical theatre performance questioning societal ideas and viewpoints by a theatre group from Israel, v) screening of the Hungarian film “TheCitizen”.

Event 4

Participation: The event involved 230 citizens, including 8 participants from Dresden (Germany), 8 participants from Prague (Czech Republic), 12 participants from Helsingor (Denmark), 8 participants from Thessaloniki (Greece), 133 participants from Budapest (Hungary),8 participants from Kumanovo (NorthernMacedonia), 51 participants from Bratislava (Slovakia) and 2 participants from Oldham (UnitedKingdom).

Location / Dates: The event took place in Dresden, Germany from 16/11/2018 to 19/11/2018.

Short description:

The aim of the event was to summarise and evaluate what the project partners have done so far and present the Guidebook which includes information about the migration and integration policies of the project partners, best practices to involve third- country nationals and native citizens through local art workshops and events and the local campaigns against Hate-Speech. The 4th transnational meeting and final event included the “NO HATE Film Festival” at Museum Technische Sammlungen in Dresden, Germany (16- 18 November 2018) which included the following activities: i) choir Dresdner Kneipenchor that sang songs from all over the world and act locally in Dresden, ii) introductory documentary film: “Waiting for the Summer‘s Return” directed by Barbara Lubich, iii) 9 Documentary film screenings which are about conflicts or wars witnessed by 9 different European cities; the documentary films were directed by Xuban Intxausti, v) „Street Stories“ photo exhibition by a Syrian and Palestinian photographer which document the daily life of refugees in 2 refugee camps in Lebanon, vi) Travelling exhibition- “PLEASE OPEN! Crates of Knowledge” which is about the qualities and qualifications that refugees bring with them, vii) WELCOME short film screenings produced by the project partners, vii) 3 workshops: 1) storytelling workshop, 2) Hate-speech online, 3) Zine workshop, viii) Round-table discussion about the rise of populism in Europe and the division between the countries of the EU, ix) Solo dance performance “Mirror” about identity by the Ivorian performer Jean-PaulMehansio.

uncategorized workshops

woolwich 2019

Otherness Dialogues Workshop for the EU project: Open European Societies.

Main partner and organiser

Throughout this workshop we will explore our memories and/or imagination of what we could call a safe space, and take different positions related to it. We will use description, storytelling and some performative elements to experience diverse points of views. Roles, languages and characters we choose will express these positions, which will interact during the proposed games. The methods are based on creative writing and personal storytelling methodologies, stemming from object-, character- and space-related narrative structures.

Photo by Olga Yocheva


  • How can we meet in a short time, in an easily accessible way with people speaking different languages, having different cultural background?
  • How can we give voice and empower participants through storytelling to express their individual, personal feelings, while understanding their own cultural, historical, social, economic, linguistic background?
  • How can we create positive, reinforcing discourses together?
  • How can we raise empathy and foster social inclusion through metaphoric-artistic language?

Key notions:

Observing. Space, time, exercises are conceived to allow perception, observation, reflection and self-reflection.

Boundaries. Storytelling uses the sideways technique, never enters spheres of privacy or trauma. The personal stories are related to the participants’ lives in a way that they are in control of their boundaries. 

Metaphor. The workshops often employ the simple and effective use of metaphor as a vehicle between semantics and imagination, which helps the participants express themselves in an artistic framework to protect their privacy and foster their creativity.

Empowerment. Storytelling fosters expression and (re)formulation of own, hybrid, fluid, hyphenated identity, without re-traumatizing or labelling.

Main aims:

  • To inspire storytelling through recollecting quotidian events.
  • To help the participants reflect on and retell their life events.
  • To enhance observation and co-creation.
  • To foster empathy.

refugee integration lab 2018

“Creativity in Human Rights and Solidarity”

Thessaloniki: 1-9 July 2018.

Refugee Integration LAB (RL) arose from identification of the dangers of xenophobia, intolerance and discrimination arising in Europe, and brings together 9 countries and 10 partners committed to work on Human Rights, Refugee and Integration projects. RL is all about improving the existing non-formal education methods and finding new ways of communicating a message to refugees (and similar vulnerable groups of people) in an inclusive and approaching way with regards to: integration into society, racism, equality, human rights, solidarity, minority groups, cultural indifferences, differences based on religion, membership of particular ethnic groups, gender equality etc. With RL we want to “give additional tools and ideas to other organizations so they can strengthen their work with refugees and help them to get on their way of integration in the new surroundings”. 

Othernessproject was represented by Ayse Tolunay and Simon Fern.

1) AddArt – Thessaloniki, Greece (Organizer)

2) Seiklejate Vennaskond – Tartu, Estonia (2 participants)

3) Institute for Cultural Relations Policy – Budapest, Hungary (2 participants)

4) With the power of humanity Foundation – Pecs, Hungary (2 participants)

5) ÖJAB – Österreichische Jungarbeiterbewegung – Vienna, Austria (3 participants)

6) Stichting CAAT Projects – Utrecht, Holland (3 participants)

7) Comune di Cinisello Balsamo – Cinisello Balsamo, Italy (3 participants)

8) Othernessproject – Helsingør, Denmark (2 participants)

9) Jugend- & Kulturprojekt e.V. – Dresden, Germany (3 participants) 

10) loveLife Generation – London, UK (2 participants).

Main aims:

  • Empower organizations and project managers to convey various purpose messages to refugees and similar groups of people in an appealing way;
  • Indirectly aid and improve the refugee integration process;
  • Insert creativity as a focal point when using non-formal education methods and their work with specific target groups such as refugees- Provide a first-hand experience of the situation in the refugee camps to the participants;
  • Give participating organisations new funding tools and ideas for achieving their goals;

  • Enable and facilitate Networking between organisations working with refugees and human rights.
projects uncategorized

language united 2018

Language United / contact-making event (June 2018 – Thessaloniki – Greece). 

‘Solidarity and Intercultural Dialogue.’

Language United was running from 17th to 21st June 2018 arose from identification of dangers of xenophobia, intolerance and discrimination in Europe with participation of 10 partners from 10 countries. 

Language United / contact-making event (June 2018 – Thessaloniki – Greece):
Language United was running from 17th to 21st June 2018 arose from identification of dangers of xenophobia, intolerance and discrimination in Europe with participation of 10 partners from 10 countries.

Othernessproject was represented by Ayse Tolunay and Arash Setodeh.

Partner organisations:

1.Arbeit und Leben (Germany) (Lead organiser): Education for democracy/organising projects and seminars,

2. AddArt (Greece): since 2014 – collective of 30 members,

3. International Public Association“Education Without Borders” (Belarus): training courses since 2003 

4. Multi Kulti Collective (Bulgaria): collective cooking workshops,

5. Othernessproject (Denmark),

6. Pirkanmaan Sininauha ry (Finland) : loneliness projects,

7. Madiba Società Cooperativa Sociale (Italy),

8. ZAVOD NEFIKS (Slovenia): Language clubs and Erasmus projects,

9. Léo Lagrange Centre Est (France): Education and workshops against discrimination/working with kids and teenagers,

10. Reconciliation Consulting Group (UK).

–  Two different workshops discovering the use of language and how we can work around its idea as means of communication and national identity, 
– A storytelling workshop and language game. The aim was how communication can go beyond the borders of language,
– Brainstorming ideas about the grand project of language united: 2 international meetings (2 events +1 final meeting) + 1 kickoff meeting. There is also an expectation of a making a handbook to bring awareness.

art uncategorized


What would you do if you could be reborn in any body at any place? What would you do if you could choose your gender? Your lifespan? From one minute to eternity? If you could choose your surroundings? Sea? Desert? Palm-trees? If you could pick the people around you? If you could build a community from scratch? What would you do with the given hardships in your society?

If you could move around four different stages of human existence – would you? If you could join us in a crossover between science, installation, performance lecture – would you? If you could save someone – would you? Whom? Yourself? Or somebody else?

IF is a cross-over genre: a participative performance using 4 interactive installations, which invite the audience into different levels of action and interaction, by choosing life-circumstances: gender, lifespan, friends, relations, society and future. A performer leads the whole game of existence, orientating the audience among the rules of the games, reacts and responds to their actions, and, at well-defined moments, acts out roles related to the 4 stages-installations-games. Participants can choose at each stage the level of their activity from watching to acting.

Duration: 90 mins.

Language: English.


Rita Sebestyen (RO/HU/DK): writer and director

Minni Katina Mertens (NO/DK): performer

Sara Vilardo (IT/BE/DK): performer

Ivan Wahren (SE): light and sound designer

Mira Nadina Mertens (NO/DK): dramaturge

Stine Ebbesen (DK): videos and documentation

Trine Heller (DK): graphic design 

music courtesy of Ya Tosiba

Premiere: Bådteatret (16-21 October 2017), and: Actor Training in a Globalized World (24 October 2017).

The performance is approved by the Danish Arts Fund (Statens Kunst Fond) for the communication and ticket sale scheme (billetkøbsordningen).

“As an audience member you are free to participate to the degree you wish; as such you can observe the action or take part in it by playing. It is a quirky analogy to the real world – I would, however, recommend that you, as far as possible, allow yourself to participate actively to make the most of the experience. (…) The performance is thought-provoking, exceptionally thought-provoking even. (…) I would readily recommend this little philosophical piece as it offers a great opportunity to reflect. I was entertained!” Original review in Danish by Sofie Herdorf Krøyer,, 20 October, 2017.

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Research and performance details + technical rider.  By Stine Ebbesen.

uncategorized workshops

gribskov 2018


How can we relate within a short time, how we communicate, if our background is different, and we do not even speak the same language?
Are we curious about each other at all? If yes, how we pose questions, and how we answer them?
How we tell our own stories, and what kind of stories we tell about ourselves?
How do we ask the others about their stories, and what kind of other stories will we be able to process, to understand? Whom can we empathise with and why?
How can we get more empathetic and communicative?

The endless series of questions were not answered, not even asked. This time, we inhabited the space, we moved around, we perceived it and ourselves and each other. Movements, gestures, sound became of high importance in establishing connection.
Sounds, the beat of the drums were able to express a wide range of emotions, feelings, and even could tell simple stories. Owning stories and narratives are the cornerstone of empowerment, self-empowerment and the ability to relate.

This workshop was offered within the framework of a Europe for Citizens programme: You Are Welcome, having 13 partners in 7 countries around Europe.

Participants: unaccompanied refugee minors and students from the Nordsjællands Efterskole.

Time: 7th and 10th March 2018.

Led by: Rita Sebestyen

Lead organizer from Gribskov: Lisbeth Eckhardt-Hansen

Assistant: Marin Hermanssdottir

Othernessproject, Gribskov Center – Red Cross, Nordsjællands Efterskole, You Are Welcome, Europe for Citizens.