What makes our world diverse, innovative and colorful

On the occasion of the 11th German Diversity Day, scientists at the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg (BTU) discuss the question of how diverse the East is, taking the city of Cottbus as an example.

Diversity is variety. Recognition, appreciation, acceptance and tolerance are its companions. Individuality, regardless of ethnic origin, gender, religion, ideology, age, disability and sexual identity, offers a wealth of opportunities for the individual. It is a driving force for our society.

But how diverse is our society? How diverse is eastern Germany? Is a discussion about diversity, tolerance and anti-discrimination in the East even necessary? Is it a kind of import from the West? Or the other way around: Is the East a center of diversity in its own right?

These and similar questions will be addressed by scholars together with BTU President Prof. Gesine Grande at the

Panel discussion "The East - All a Construction of the West?" on Tuesday, May 30, 2023, at 7 p.m. , BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg, Central Lecture Hall Building (ZHG), Lecture Hall A, Central Campus Cottbus.

Interested parties are cordially invited to the public event. Admission is free. Registration is not required.

It discusses:

Prof. Dr. Gesine Grande, president of BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg. She is the first president of a university with an East German biography.

Prof. Dr. Patrice Poutrus, historian and visiting professor at the Technical University of Berlin, researches and teaches, among other things, on racism and memory culture in the GDR.

Ulrike Kremeier, art historian and director of the Brandenburg State Museum of Modern Art (BLMK) in Cottbus, enthusiastically curates and researches art from the GDR.

The moderation will be taken over by

Prof. Dr. Heike Radvan - educationalist at the BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg, researches and teaches, among other things, on the extreme right and anti-Semitism in the GDR and the present.

She criticizes a structural discrimination of East Germans in the transformation process since 1989 as well as a stigmatization and devaluation of "the East" in public discourse until today. The questions under discussion are: Is the image of the "brown East" problematic attribution or bitter reality? Who is considered East German and who West German?

Diversity Day at the BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg Every spring the Germany-wide Diversity Day takes place, in which the BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg has participated for years. As a signatory of the "Diversity Charter", the university sets an example for tolerance and diversity together with its university management, students and employees. On Diversity Day, annual activities take place around the various dimensions of diversity. This year, the focus is on the controversial debate about similarities and differences between eastern and western Germany. In doing so, the scientists* will take a closer look at the university's immediate surroundings and ask the question, "How diverse is the East? The example of Cottbus."


Simone Ruhwald
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