"Migration Connects" is both the name and the motto of the International DZM Forum. Here, people with international roots can meet, work together with the Danube Swabian Museum (DZM), and help to shape it. In doing so, they also help to make Ulm a little more colorful.
The International DZM-Forum "Migration Connects" is a platform for exchange and discussion. People with international roots work together with the Danube Swabian Museum and create a living museum together.
Forum participants pick out exciting aspects of Danube Swabian history and culture and relate these to their own everyday life and current events. They examine museum exhibits and bring them to life by coaxing the hidden stories from their history. They also meet to discuss, recall and share their own experiences. In addition, they work on developing new educational and event formats, thus becoming involved with the work of the museum and with Ulm’s urban society.
The International DZM-Forum "Migration Connects" is open to everyone. Anyone who is enthusiastic about intercultural, cross-generational dialogue, and who likes to share stories and be creative has come to the right place.
Recent projects
  1. Exhibition of on-site activities "Corn, hemp, traditional costume on the road" ("Mais, Hanf, Tracht unterwegs") (2016/2017)
Three museum pieces were displayed for a few weeks in unusual places in Ulm. A traditional Danube Swabian costume appeared in the city library, a corn cob cutter was displayed in Alnatura and a hemp hackle in Café Hemperium. At all three locations, participatory activities and discussions were held.
  1. Theme day "Memento mori – Commemoration of the dead around the world" ("Totengedenken rund um die Welt") (2017)
Death – recognized across the world a serious matter, worthy of silence and reverence? How do we bury and mourn our dead? What are the similarities and differences around the globe? And what was it like for the Danube Swabians in their homeland and in their homes? The participants are invited to the museum for a one-day event looking at the topics of transience, death and commemoration of the dead around the world. 
  1. Writing workshop "Suitcase Stories" ("Koffer-Geschichten") (2018)
Using personal objects that played an important role for their owners as they left their old homelands or during the early days in Ulm, the participants wrote autobiographical texts that tell of their journey to Ulm and their arrival in a new environment. These "Suitcase Stories" formed a blog component for the website "On their Way to an International City. Migration to Ulm since 1945" ("Auf dem Weg zur internationalen Stadt. Migration nach Ulm seit 1945") – in cooperation with the cultural department of the city of Ulm. 
  1. Exhibition "Suitcase Stories. Migration Connects" ("Koffer-Geschichten. Migration verbindet") (2019/2020)
An intervention in the permanent exhibition: In the exhibition "Suitcase Stories. Migration Connects" the participants told their own migration stories: What brought them to Ulm? And how did they turn this city into their new, second, or perhaps only home? The so-called "suitcase stories" gave a voice to personal items from their luggage. With short comments on exhibits or entire rooms of the permanent exhibition, the group showed what connects them today with the Danube Swabians Danube Swabians . Three hundred years ago, thousands of people from different German regions emigrated to Southeastern Europe. Today, these emigrants and their descendants are called Danube Swabians. Their story is one of departures and encounters, of cultural exchange and peaceful coexistence, but also of war, expulsion and deportation. and the Danube Swabian Museum. Interactive stations invited visitors to become active participants themselves and to expand the exhibition.
  1. Open-air exhibition "What makes a festival a festival?" (2020/2021)
Based on their own experiences around the celebration of festivals, the participants posed the question: "What actually makes a festival a festival?". They searched for answers that were universally valid and relevant across cultures, and that connect the festivals and customs of the Danube Swabians with today's festival traditions in a wide variety of countries and also take into account how festivals have changed due to migration experiences. Together with the DZM, the participants designed an open-air exhibition to be set up in front of or inside the museum building.
  1. Film project "Greetings for the reopening" (2021/2022)
"Migration connects" ventures in front of the camera! Ten short videos were created for the social media channels and the website of the DZM, in which the participants became ambassadors for the organization: They reveal what the DZM means to them personally and what they would like to wish "their" museum on the event of its reopening.
About the origins of the forum
The International DZM-Forum "Migration Connects" emerged from a pilot project of the same name, which was conducted at the DZM from October 2015 to March 2017. This pilot project, supported by the Innnovationsfond Kunst (Art Innovation Fund) of the state of Baden-Württemberg, explored whether and how the historical migration of the Danube Swabians can be related to the current realities of immigrants’ lives.
Two sub-projects were carried out over an 18-month period:
  1. School project  "WHERE am I ME? Meetings with myself" (“WO BIN ich ICH? Treffen mit mir selbst”)
Students in the 8th grade of a community school spent a whole school year exploring the topics of identity, homeland and foreigners in a range of new ways. 
  1. Encounter-based project: "Migration Connects"
Can the history of the Danube Swabians serve as a treasury of experience and knowledge for today's immigrant society? Inspired by this question, contemporary witnesses with Danube Swabian roots joined with migrants living in Ulm to come up with new educational formats for the DZM. The pilot project "Migration Connects" is accompanied by the handbook "Migration Connects – progress report and practical modules for intercultural education work in museums" ("Migration verbindet – Erfahrungsbericht und Praxisbausteine für interkulturelle Vermittlungsarbeit im Museum”).