“Minorities and Socially Disadvantaged Groups in Ancient Times. And Today?” Meeting in Munich (30.11.2022 - 03.12.2022)


According to the initial plans, the Munich meeting on “Minorities and Socially Disadvantaged Groups in Ancient Times. And today?” should have been the starting point of our project, as the discussion of ancient texts on this topic was intended to form the basis for subsequent work. But, as it had not been possible to travel before Easter 2022 due to Covid measures, the beginning of the “live-meetings” was marked by the joint theatrical work realized during the Amsterdam meeting (which, in its turn, had also experienced some delay). After the meetings in Amsterdam, Bozen and Kronstadt, the meeting in Munich was indeed the fourth time for the project members to meet in person. Some of the students were already well known to each other, some of them were new to the project, especially the participants from Amsterdam. At the end of November, Munich was not yet covered in snow, but temperatures were already hibernal and Christmas Markets were open, so that the guests could get an impression of “Munich in Winter”. The teams arrived at Wittelsbacher Gymnasium on Wednesday, Nov 29, and were given a warm welcome by the organizing team (Ms Krichbaumer as the leader of the project, Mr Braml, Ms Kagerer and Ms Markoff, the former responsible person for advanced training of teachers of Ancient Languages at ALP Dillingen, being in close contact to Wittelsbacher Gymnasium and (as a former English teacher) kindly co-chairing the meeting). A few 9th grade students guided the teams through a poster exhibition on “Rebel Women Changing the World” (on lean from Evangelische Pressestelle); after lunch, participants in the former project “Democracy and its Endangerment” presented the documentation of texts and photos from that project. A first guided tour to town was under the headline “Jewish Life in Munich” (thus also covering Nazi topics), a subject matter which had received broad interest also in the Kronstadt meeting. Evening meal at “Hans im Glück” was taken in already relaxed mood enjoying lively conversation.The morning of the second day was dedicated to discussing “Minorities and Socially Disadvantaged Groups in Ancient Art”, with the students working together in international groups on various topics. Archaeologist Prof Freyberger, also a well-known guest at Wittelsbacher Gymnasium, gave a lecture on this subject matter, which was to be continued by a guided tour in the Museum für Abgüsse Klassischer Bildwerke on the following morning. In the afternoon, Mr Wagner from Museumspädagogisches Zentrum presented a guided tour in town on “Discovering Diversity: A Foreigner is only Foreign in Foreign Parts”, and convincingly showed which cultural streams from foreign regions and countries had had influence on cityscape and art of Munich. The evening of that day had – at least from the point of view of the German team – been hoped to be the joint watching of some World Cup football matches, but then the German football team had had to face its elimination from the competition.Friday morning saw a round of discussion with Deacon Ivica Viskovic on pastoral care for minorities in Munich (with emphasis on Sinti and Roma groups), followed by a continuation of the work in the teams. In the afternoon Mr Gebauer (a former teacher at Wittelsbacher Gymnasium who had also been involved in the former Erasmus project), guided the guests to some locations in town on their special demand, e.g. to Ludwigstraße; after that, the guests had the opportunity to do some sight-seeing on their own.All participants had much fun with the joint singing of carols in the evening, stimulated by Ms Kagerer, with piano accompaniment by Ms Scherbel. In addition to that, some Wittelsbacher students presented instrumental music; finally, with some considerations on “Women in Music”, focus was back to the first day – women as minorities in certain realms.On the next day, after a guided tour on “Etruscans and Etruscan Influence in Roman Society” in the Antikensammlungen, the guests were presented with a roundtable on „Refugees as a Minority in German Society” with Mr Refaat Al Ktifan, today in his early twenties, formerly an underage refugee from Syria, who finally had arrived in Germany where he had found a foster family. As this event met special interest, the social part of the afternoon was reduced to a minimum.On Sunday morning the mixed teams – chaired by Mr Haasen from Amsterdam – presented the results of their group sessions; then the first teams had already to say goodbye. These final presentations will become the foundation of the final textual documentation of the project. Without doubt, the teams are going to look forward towards the last international meeting to be held in spring in Thessaloniki, to which the organizing colleague finally invited at the end of the Munich meeting.