Monday, May 11 at 23:59

Cause this is thrilleeeer, thriiiilleeeer night.

That means the docu team is drinking a lot of black coffee while preparing the newspaper for tomorrow morning.
And since we can't be out there partying with you (mothe&% $*#%%s), we've just made some total requests at the ISWI radio and waiting unpatient to hear our music on.
Lisa is doing the photos.
Klaus is doing the layout.
Katha is chatting on icq.
Friedrich and Tino are staring at my display.
Ravit is doing the interviews.
Mariana is doing some undefined stuff. On the net.
Storbeck is talking uncomprehensible german.
Lumi is doing the Antjas article.
And i am slightly spinning on my rolling chair. Read more

"Dancing Salsa"

The salsa rhythm was really contagious today evening. People from all over the world started to move their hips and feet in one of the Mensa´s rooms. Especially, the Latin-American people enjoy this reunion because it reminds them the music that is usually played in the discos of their countries. Peruvian, Argentinean and Brazilian were the firsts of being there.

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"Diary of a traveller" Part one

Knowing new people, learning a little bit more about their cultures and countries, exchanging experiences and discussing about human and world issues constitute the main reasons of the arrival of thousands of students from all over the planet.

The sports events were taking place… and, meanwhile, if you went closer, the phrases “what’s your name?” and “where are you from?” were heard like in a chorus.

Luis Schanks and Lourdes Wong are two students from Lima, Peru and, despite they come from the same city, they just have met. The journey for them was really long.

There are no direct flights from Peru, so they had to do one intermediate landing and, after that, took the train. However, according to their opinions, the trip was worth it.

German landscapes were the first thing that captured their attention because in Lima the outlooks are not as green as here. They have been only one day in Ilmenau but already made lots of friends.

One of those is Ksenia Naberezhneva. She comes from Russia and arrived on Friday night. She makes a philosophy’s PhD back home and remarks that, at the moment, she could not be in a better place because “Germany is the cradle of philosophers”.

The trip was a little bit long and her body was still tired but she was truly happy of being there. The sports event constituted her first impression of the ISWI and she was amazed of the capoeira group.

Like her, Branka Vukojevic and Mariza Menger were enjoying this sport-art and its particular rhythm. These girls come from Croatia and study law. They traveled by train but didn’t arrive directly. They stayed one day in Munich, where they had their first perspective of the german culture. “We only knew that we couldn’t miss drinking a ‘Maß’” they told.
“It is great here, I am so glad that we could be able to come” said Mariza. “We didn’t have the certitude of coming until last week” she added. They were also quite excited about the upcoming activities and pleased of the friendliness of everyone. “I like so much this kind of events because all the people are so open and nice” commented Branka.

Fabricio Ribeiro was with them too. He comes from Brazil and also had to make an intermediate landing. He went first to Paris and, then, to Berlin. This is his first time in Europe.

He studies environmental engineering and, three months before the trip, started with german lessons because he wanted to know, at least, the basic expressions. “If you know how to say ‘Prost’, everything is perfect” told Andy – from Germany – to him.

Fabricio is delighted with the weather in Germany. He heard that here was really cold and prepared himself… “These sunny days are like in my country” he happily said. “Let’s rest a while under the sun before the lecture starts” quickly added.

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“War situations in peace: The defense of Human Rights"

Geopolitical aspects of human rights: culture – borders – globalization

Dr. Angelika Köster-Lossack worked in the Bundestag (german parlament) as a politician of the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen coalition for eight years. During this time, she participated in different commissions of Human Rights, which made possible her broad knowledge about geopolitical aspects and world conflicts. She studied indology, anthropology and sociology in the Heidelberg University, where later started teaching. The University of Maryland and the College of Social Work in Mannheim had also received her lectures. She has been interested in India and its surrounded countries for the last 45 years, being a member of the German-Indian Society (Department of Heidelberg). With examples of her own experiences and life, she held a lecture where she developed a global and political view of the violations of Human Rights.

She started with a review of own-experienced cases of violation of Human Rights in political aspects, such as the Genocide in Rwanda, the conflict in former Yugoslavia, the conflict in Chechnya, the East Timor independence process, the Oslo process between Israel and Palestine, the negotiations in Sri Lanka, the Cambodia’s massacre, the internal problematic in Pakistan, the war in Afghanistan and the Tibetans autonomy vindications.

Although no issue was treated with a deep analysis on account of time reasons, it was possible to formulate a panoramic perspective of what has been going on around us and how it has been reflected in our society. For instance, the people in Cambodia, ten years after the massacre, still weren’t able to regain their happiness. Another example of this constitutes the blindness of the Pakistan government regarding basic needs of their population, which forced people to find their own solutions: the region of Pashtun was so poor that parents sent their children to madrassas, where some of them were taught in violent ways. With this, she wanted to point out that “also in peace, people can have war situations and Human Rights violations”.

“Human Rights will not play a role if there are economical interests, geopolitical interests or political closeness” she affirmed and added that, unfortunately, no implementation of Human Rights can be possible until people overcome their own prejudices. Entire ideologies like racism and apartheid were created from prejudices, so how can be Human Rights guaranteed in these contexts? What happen with the whole concept where Human Rights come (each person’s respect and well-being)? As she mentioned, is everyone’s duty to analyze and contemplate what’s going on, being able to unblock our minds.

Other important topics were borders and globalization. The first one constitutes control lines, which serve as planned inequality among one population over another. USA and Mexico, Israel and Jordanian, Gaza and Egypt constitute cleared examples. Human Rights cannot be limited with unfair reasons such as a passport’s nationality. The second issue, globalization – as she explained – is nothing new. The only adjustment and advance is its technological way. She said that people still carry with them their “postcolonial baggage”, where the thoughts of colonized and colonizers persist.

The lecture ended with the gratitude of all the participants and an interesting round of questions. Figures such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King were mentioned as examples of fighters for Human Rights and models of equality. With their final mention, Dr. Köster-Lossack gave the audience a tangible pattern to follow. §

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movie night in bc club

Yesterday BC club pleased their visitors with the movie night. A delightful comedy “L‘auberge espagnol” was on. “L'auberge espagnole" literally translates as the Spanish inn, but it's also a French expression for a place where cultures are mixed together like a mess. So, both translations fit the film by writer-director Cédric Klapisch's greatly. The film depicts the adventures of a young boy called Xavier(Romain Duris), who has applied for international programme “Erasmus” and went to Barcelona in order to learn Spanish. He rents apartments together with multinational company of students: the English Wendy (Kelly Reilly), the Spanish Soledad (Cristina Brondo), the Italian Alessandro (Fédérico D'anna), the Danish Lars (Christian Pagh) and the German Tobias (Barnaby Metschurat), the Belgium Isabelle (Cécile de France) and Wendy's brother William (Kevin Bishop) join the group. The actors create true-to-life image of the European youth, who spend a year abroad, finding their love, friendship and having fun, of course, not forgetting about their studies. The atmosphere of passion, romance and friendship bring to life on the screen. The film is full of funny scenes and comedic episodes. It appealed much to the audience, as the constant laughing was heard all the time in the club and the mood of watchers was very positive. Although it is not natural for comedies, the end is quite sad. But, nevertheless, this entertaining and captivating film give a deep and lasting expression to everybody and, I think, can’t leave anybody cold! Astapova Polina Read more

Is health a Human Right?

What is health and is it a part of Human Rights? How many children reach the age of 5 years old in poor countries? What did the Helsinki declaration include? These were just a few questions on the introductory lecture for the Medical Care group.
The lecturer of this work group was dr. med. Peter Tinnemann. Participants discussed about Globalization and Human Rights in both poor and rich countries. The lecturer spoke also about tipical medicinal problems, the vital needs of poor patients or death rates. It was also the oportunity to speak about doctors' work and responsabilities. Students exchanged their experiences and spoke about the situations in their countries.
„I'm for the first time on ISWI“ – declared Peter Tinnemann, doctor at the Berliner Charity and member of Medecines Sans Frontieres. - And it is great that we speak about Human Rights, problems which touch all th people and also to have feedback from students all over the world. Festivals like this one are really important. Not just for the students, but also for us, lectures, because like this we have the
chance to share our points of view.
By Marta

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Photojournalism: Behind brown eyes

Olivia Heussler, a freelance photo-journalist, independent artist living in Zurich and the co-founder of Swiss Agency lookat photos has presented today, Monday, the 11th of May her last project. ´The Dream of Solentiname´Nicaragua 1984-2007, a photo book, 280 pages, telling the history of the establishment of Nicaragua.
‘We are what we see. We show what we want to show..’ stated Heussler when interviewed to an article, ‘The Lens as a Witness: Photography as Advocacy in the Struggle for Human Rights ‘ 2008, by Rikki Gunton. Presenting with the student the Human Rights spiral, she was more interested in fact whether they had actually heard about it before, taking an active part in asking them questions.

Living in Nicaragua for several years with no electricity nor radio at first, part of an organized brigade aiming to help the people, working in agricultural fields, Hussler is telling the story behind the pictures. Arranged in a chronological order, showing a large number of black and white photos in order to control the development of her work, ‘photography’ she sais ‘ is my language , my autonomy’.

Heussler, graduated in Photography at the Zurich Art School, is performing a workshop during this whole week as part of the photography group. An exhibition of her work will be held at the Humboldtbau building. More of her work you can see at

By Ravit Benaim Read more

No, earlier things were ok, it's now that they're going really mad.

we're still waiting for those songs and home baked cakes, you know? Read more

Education is Empowerment

An introductory lecture for the „Human Rights and Education“ group was held by Mona Motakef, a german sociologist from the University of Duisburg/Essen. After briefly presenting her understanding of human rights, Motakef went on to talk about the special importance of the right to an education, described in Article 28 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. There, education is understood as a right in itself, as a part of human dignity and as an empowerment right, as a means of achieving other rights.

As a benchmark for the implementation of education as a human right, Motakef named four major aspects: availability, access, acceptability and adaptability. In this 4A-scheme, availablity is the demand for free, government-funded fundamental education, access requires that education must be non-discriminatory and accessible even to minorities. Education becomes acceptable when it is relevant and has a high quality (for example, it includes up-to-date textbooks and content). Adaptability, as a final property, describes the education system’s ability to change with the needs of the students.

Motakef’s two examples of pregnant teerns dropping out of school in Tanzania and low literacy among some of the indigenous peoples of Guatemala were added to by the audience, who used the subsequent Q&A to describe many of their’ nations local problems and to ask Motakef’s opinion on such diverse issues as child labour and education, the influence of education on the spread of HIV in South Africa and the situation of Gypsies in Bulgaria and Romania.

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Lecture on Human Rights and Justice held by Richard Crowe

Room 325 in the Curie Bau held today mr. Richard Crowe's lecture on Human Rights and legal boundaries.
The lecture started with Mr. Crowe giving a brief description of himself and his work, followed by a lively short interaction with the students, who presented themselves as well.
The main questions that the lecture tried to answer were "What role does Law play in Human Rights?" and "How do we really inforce the rights we have?". The discussion went on about the sources of Human Rights, the levels of jurisdiction, about conventions, codes and instituions that grant the respect of Human Rights.
There were also discussions based on case-studies of Human Rights abuse and the trial that followed. A big minus of the legislation in this field is that the procedural matters can sometimes take up to several years. In addition to that, it is hard to obey the laws like when dealing with merchandise. Human Rights require more subjectivism and flexibility when judging a case. The plus would be that when the law doesn't have clear intstructions for a certain matter, it will always be more on the "client's" side. That is, the person and not the institution.
The participants asked relevant questions and focused more on the applied function of the information given. On how students can actually help to stop Human Rights abuse and raise awareness on this subject.

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Docu office going mad

Rain, please stop and go away.
We blame this crazy water pourring out from the sky for the following things that don't work here anymore:
- the wireless connection in the up-right corner of our office;
- internet on my laptop (anne)
- the audio device on my laptop (still me)
- martin's interrupted online radio station
- missing plug-ins
- a first mac problem (did you ever hear of anything like this?)
- groupleaders who want to die
- EAZ people telling us to leave the office
- oh. and my laptop just crashing down for good.

If an of you feels that he could help by singing a comforting song or baking a cake, you can find us in room 1314, EAZ. Read more

Inductory lectures: Speakers

Today at 10:30 AM the following speakers are going to hold an introductory lecture:
  • Dr. Arnd Pollmann for group 1 (Philosophy group)
  • Katja Ganzke in cooperation with the Buchenwald memorial for group 2 (The Human Rights Charter: past – present – future)
  • Dr. Hans Rudolf Herren for group 3.1 (Food and nutrition)
  • Mona Motakef for group 3.2 (Education)
  • Dr. Peter Tinnemann (Charié Berlin) for group 3.3 (Medical care)
  • Andreas Rister (terre des hommes) for group 4.1 (Human rights and children)
  • Prof. Dr. Godula Kosack for group 4.3 (Equal rights)
  • Dr. Dr. Jörg Tremmel for group 4.4 (Generation contracts and conflicts)
  • Verena Maria Tobler Linder and Dr. Angelika Köster-Lossack for group 5.2 (Human rights and the economy)
  • Prof. Dr. Udo Schuklenk for group 5.3 (Human rights and science)
  • Dr. Angelika Löster-Kossak for group 5.5 (Geopolitical aspects of human rights: culture – borders – globalization)
  • Richard Crowe for group 5.6 (Human rights and justice)
  • Ricardo Cristof Remmert-Fontes for group 5.7 (Freedom and security)
  • Reporters without Borders for group 5.8 (Human rights and media)
  • Gabriele Fecher for group 7.4 (Design)
  • Olivia Heussler for group 7.5 (Photography)
Finishing lectures will be held on Friday the 15th:
  • Dr. Anja Mihr for group 4.2 (Poverty and social justice)
  • Julia Scherf for group 5.1 (Human rights and politics)
  • Tilman Santarius for group 5.4 (Human rights and the environment)
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What you could do today

Good morning, Ilmenau!
Our fourth day starts with your participation:

09:00 - groupwork
10:30 - inductory lectures (for locations please ask your groupleader)
13:00 - groupwork
17:00 - art on the street (campus) Read more

Retrospective ... the third day

The day was started by the International Brunch in the town centre, where ISWI participants from all parts of the world presented their countries' traditional food, drinks and costumes. On-stage performances by many of the groups soon had the attending ISWIs, students and Ilmenau residents dancing. Hilarity ensued. (The author couldn't make this a single sentence, check out twitter for the really short version).

World-wide food supplies were also the topic of Hans Herren's afternoon lecture on "global thinking and local acting" for food security.

The opening ceremony in the festhalle ended the day's events with short speeches by the organisers and honorary guests, breakdance performances, klezmer and jazz music and a pantomime actress. Read more