January Pörksen, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Family and Integration officially opened the photo exhibition “role models” in the hall of Hamburg’s city hall. On display until 21 August, the touring exhibition initiated by the Federal Ministry of the Interior shows prominent people from politics and sports, who stand up together for respect, tolerance and human dignity.
Cosmopolitan City with Welcoming Culture
State Council in January Pörksen: “Hamburg is a cosmopolitan city whose welcoming culture is reflected by the impressive volunteer work for refugees in these days. When we talk about role models, this also includes the 2,000 volunteers that help the displaced people today living in Hamburg. Sports and politics must join forces in their fight against racism – in everyday life – and contribute to securing a discrimination-free coexistence.”
Marie-Luise Würtenberger: “Strengthened our team, we need you” is the message sent out by the German President Gauck with the exhibition. We want to encourage people to stand up against all forms of discrimination and to defend the dignity of all people, anytime and everywhere. It’s not only right-wing attacks, but any form of everyday racism that violates the dignity of refugees and migrants. Furthermore, it is also an attack on our democratic values. It is therefore our common task to fight racism and to support victims. The more people join in, the more successful we will be. “
Angelika Kohl Meier, photographer, Studio Kohl Meier Berlin: “In Germany, people are being discriminated because of their ethnicity, religion, sexuality every day. Our photographs show people who are actively positioning themselves against right-wing extremism, racism and intolerance. All of us should stand up against racism, prove courage, actively fight for our democracy and oppose right-wing extremism.”
Role Models from Hamburg
Role models include Hamburg’s First Mayor Olaf Scholz and HSV goalkeeper René Adler. They set an example against right and discrimination through sports and politics out and stand up for respect, human dignity and fair play. The picture of the two Hamburg locals can be seen in the exhibition. In total, 22 of such “couples”, a testimonial each from sports and politics, formulate a joint statement and initiate discussion. The photographers Bernd and Angelika Kohl Meier have documented the discussions in black and white photographs. The aim of the exhibition project is to encourage as many citizens to stand up for human dignity, show racism the “red card” and to oppose the spread of right-wing sentiments. However, right-wing extremism and exclusion should not only be fought in the field of sport and by the means of sports, but in everyday life. However, the exhibition is particularly addressing young people to protect them from the influence of right-wing groups.
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