What women say – refugee & migrant women in German speak out.

One day when we still had the space in Ohlaher Straße we gathered a number of us together and wrote down little snippets of our experience here in Germany as refugee and migrant women. Here is an example what we women of iwspace had to say:

quotes from refugee and migrant women in Germany iwspace.wordpress.com 07

I want to know what the government is: is it a building? Or are there people in there?”

quotes from refugee and migrant women in Germany iwspace.wordpress.com 03

…the pictures we have of Europe are of a paradise and we come expecting to be in Hollywood and then we see what it is all about and we get frustrated…”

quotes from refugee and migrant women in Germany iwspace.wordpress.com 02

Ausländer, black, foreigner, refugee – you are hit by these names. Since you were born you are called by your name. You are something and all of the sudden you are nothing: you are a refugee. “

quotes from refugee and migrant women in Germany iwspace.wordpress.com 09

“We know there are illiterate Germans too.”

quotes from refugee and migrant women in Germany iwspace.wordpress.com

The picture they have of us is that we’ve never seen a fork before coming to Germany, that we don’t use pots to cook…you try to engage yourself with a man and you have to stop because they think you’ve never been on a bus or a train.”

quotes from refugee and migrant women in Germany iwspace.wordpress.com 04

We have a thick skin, Africans have a thick skin because we’ve been discriminated for a long time. We’ve become almost immune to racism. Others would hang themselves if they had to go through what we go through, but we have a thick skin.”

quotes from refugee and migrant women in Germany iwspace.wordpress.com 05

They go to Kenya to see the slums and those are the pictures they bring back. As if they are not in Kenya until they see a slum. The slum became a tourist attraction. They arrive in the airport and they ask ‘where is the slum and the animals?’ They see Africa as slum and animals”

quotes from refugee and migrant women in Germany iwspace.wordpress.com 06

When you come here you start to realize that they feel good about themselves, when they give you a torn sock…”

quotes from refugee and migrant women in Germany iwspace.wordpress.com 08

“Here my color plays the biggest role.”


Photo credit: background images by D Sharon Pruitt of Pink Sherbet Photography

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