With the introduction of a new national immigration law in 2005, the Federal Republic of Germany defined itself for the first time as a country of immigration, thus seeking to reform its immigration policy in line with the concept of “integration.” Since that time, so-called “integration courses” have been the core of the federal integration program. Immigration authorities and job centers can require those individuals with an “identified need for integration” to attend so-called “integration courses.”
Using various artistic approaches, the research project “Man schenkt keinen Hund” interrogates the identitarian discourses around the concept of “integration,” It looks at the pedagogic formulation and iconographic design of German textbooks for integration courses. For example, how the characters and individuals that appear in the photographs, illustrations, and texts are distinguished as either “immigrants” or “natives”? Which definitions of the “familiar” and the “other” are inscribed in the teaching materials? How are (national) identity and language positioned in relation to each other, and what concept of culture is deployed to produce cultural difference?