Patron: Sartep Namiq
Commission: I would like to see a comic book that positively changes the perception of refugees.
Mediator: Alexander Koch
Artists: Felix Mertikat, Bruce Sterling
Duration: 2016 – 2021
Partners: Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations, Federal Foreign Office Berlin, Fondation de France
The diversity of peoples' different backgrounds is what makes a society - and enriches it. The young Iraqi Kurd Sartep Namiq wants to strengthen the positive perception of a diverse, jointly developing society. He commissions a comic book that shows in a popular and generally understandable way the creative and progressive influences of refugees on their new place of life.
In autumn 2015, temporary accommodation for refugees was built at the closed down Berlin Tempelhof Airport - one of the largest infrastructure projects of the Nazi regime. Between residents of the accommodation, including Sartep Namiq, and Natasha Aruri and Soran Ahmet, co-mediators* of the New Patrons, an exchange about the needs of the new Berliners hoping for recognition began in spring 2016.
In the course of the conversations, Sartep Namiq develops the idea for a comic book that can reach people all over the world without words. He commissions the American author Bruce Sterling, a pioneer of cyberpunk literature, to develop a script based on the real place of accommodation in Tempelhof. Sterling invents the vision of a future in which a new city is created in the blink of an eye, embodying the desires, dreams and skills of all, with Sartep Namiq as the hero.
In the next step Namiq commissions the German artist Felix Mertikat to create the comic. Under Mertikat's guidance and in exchange with the mediator Alexander Koch, Christoph Tauber and Matthias Zuber contribute as authors to the creation of the story. Fugitives also bring their perspectives. The project learns and develops.
In the history of science fiction, Tempelhof Airport becomes the centre of the world. A place of refuge for all those who have no other place to go - and for the many who suddenly join them to be part of the action. Because during just one day, from dawn to dusk, Tempelhof Airport is transformed into a place full of imagination, magic and creativity. Thanks to the young Sartep, who finds a way to make the wishes and dreams of the inhabitants of Tempelhof come true, a new city, a new community, a better life for all is suddenly born. Thousands of people from all over the world are flocking to the airport site to attend this extraordinary event and help create the new urban world.
In spring 2021 the comic book is published by the renowned Egmont Comic Collection. It should open the imagination to the view of a world in which everyone is seen and where people listen to each other. It shows a reality in which we are supported and empowered to be a community of people where the abilities of each individual are valuable for living together. Through cooperation with the media and refugee aid organisations in Germany and in the countries of origin, the book is intended to reach a broad target group. All profits from the sale of the comic books will be donated to the aid organization Sea-Watch e.V., which rescues refugees in distress at sea.