The DFF is part of the large-scale model programme 360° – Fund for New City Cultures of the Federal Cultural Foundation, which supports 39 cultural institutions nationwide in opening up interculturally and reaching out to people that have not been addressed in the past. To achieve this goal, an outreach manager and a diversity manager have been working as 360° agents at the DFF since June 2019.
Under the guidance of the 360° agents, we will examine closely how we can best reflect society’s diversity in our staff, programming and audience engagement . The active involvement of our staff in the process creates the preconditions for sustainable changes on the way to opening our house further to hitherto underrepresented groups.
A start has been made: staff members from all departments of the DFF deal with topics related to diversity and inclusion in regular working group meetings, train themselves with regard to simple and interculturally sensitive language and expand the programme of the house with (online) exhibitions, film series and workshops.
Why does the DFF participate in the
As an institution with global connections, the DFF works actively from the culturally diverse metropolis of Frankfurt am Main to shape an open society. This is also set out in the our mission statement.
Migration has decisively shaped coexistence in Frankfurt as well as throughout Germany and will continue to do so in the future. By participating in the 360° programme, the DFF has made it its mission to reach out more to people with a migration history and to create ways for them to actively participate. To this end, the DFF team wants learn from migrant communities in Frankfurt, address them in a more targeted way and involve them more in its activities. We strongly feel, that only by doing so will our house remain a lively place for film culture in the future.
While for many years, the DFF cinema has been presenting films and events with guests from all over the world, often in collaboration with other local groups or organisations. The festivals and film series organised by the DFF focus on current filmmaking and film history in different parts of the world.
While the DFF’s this openness has almost become a matter of course in the cinema programme and at the festivals, there is still more need for action in other areas. Participation in the 360° programme provides the DFF with the necessary resources for sustainable measures.
First results of DFF’s intercultural work in the 360° programme
The 360° agents of the DFF have been working closely with migrant communities in Frankfurt since the start of the programme in June 2019: They are expanding existing connections to important organisations and establishing new contacts. Cooperation partners include DaMigra e.V., the umbrella organisation of migrant women’s organisations, the intercultural meeting place OASI of Caritasverband Frankfurt e.V. and KONE-Netzwerk zur Förderung kommunikativen Handelns e.V..
In November 2019, an event to mark UNESCO’s International Day of Tolerance was held in cooperation with DaMigra e.V.. Under the title “Tolerance – a critical stocktaking”, the DFF offered a four-hour workshop with speakers Charlotte Njikoufon (KONE e.V.) and Bethânia Ramos-Schröder (Ába e.V.). Afterwards, the cinema showed the award-winning documentary FREEDOM FIELDS (LY/GB/NL/US/QA/LB/CA 2018, R: Naziha Arebi) about the Libyan women’s national football team.
The Diversity Working Group was formed at the beginning of 2020. At bi-monthly meetings, the group members provide input and discuss issues around diversity, equity and inclusion. They engage in self-reflection and are renegotiating topics that affect the daily work in our different departments. The group is open to staff from all departments. On the initiative of the members, smaller working groups on the topics of anti-discrimination, language, LGBTIQ+, staff and inclusion have emerged from the working group, which also meet every fortnight and bring questions and results to the table.
Virtual Exhibition: The Exotic, the Daring.
Silent Film Posters from the 1020s from DFF’s Archives.
A project of the 360° agents and staff of our education department.
How were films advertised 100 years ago? What do film posters for silent films of the Wilhelmine imperial era and the Weimar Republic tell us about the spirit that prevailed in society at the time? These are the underlying questions of this online poster exhibition, which the 360° team realised with the help of the DFF’s museum education staff. The selected film posters show that there is plenty of evidence of blackfacing, racism and sexism. They illustrate the power and gender relations of the time, some of which are still valid today.
Visit the virtual exhibition here.
In response to the murder of the Afro-American George Floyd by a white police officer and the #BlackLivesMatter movement, both DFF staff and members of the DFF community compiled a list of films that deal with black empowerment and racism. The DFF cinema then screened a series of films in September 2020 featuring works by Spike Lee, the most important and well-known director of New Black Cinema.
In August 2020, Dr. Uta George (Deputy Head of the Office for Multicultural Affairs) held a seminar on the use of plain language for interested staff members. The seminar resulted in several concrete work assignments for the DFF team. A second workshop for other interested staff members is planned.
Further training on interculturality and interculturally sensitive communication is planned for all interested staff members.
In the Southern Lights film series, which focused on filmmaking from the global South, 15 films by young, up-and-coming filmmakers were screened at the DFF cinema in October and November 2020, revolving around the themes of racism, migration, identity, women’s rights, labour rights and sexual identities. A workshop with DaMigra e.V. accompanied the screening.
The museum’s education department curated the online film poster exhibition “The Exotic, the Daring” with selected film posters from the 1920s. 100 years after their release, these will be examined for their presentation of what was considered “the other”.
The opening of the DFF to the diverse communities and the sustainable structural reorganisation in the areas of staff policy, exhibition and event planning as well as addressing the public are a long process that the entire team is expected to support. Participation in working groups and training courses are supposed to create a greater awareness of diversity-related issues among the entire team. The measures set out in the Diversity Working Group are to be successively implemented to ensure that the DFF remains a lively, open place for film culture.
The 360° Programme
With the programme 360° – Fund for New City Cultures, the Federal Cultural Foundation supports cultural institutions in dealing more concretely with migration and cultural diversity and in creating new access and visibility for groups in society that have not been adequately reached so far. To this end, the model programme promotes a variety of approaches aimed at diversity-related openness in the areas of programming, audience and staff.