What professional non-recognition and rap culture have in common

This short portrait of Fatih Akin broadcast on ZDF is interesting from several points of view. Of course, the reason for this is his new film Rheingold, which we will not go into here.

But what is interesting about this linked documentary is the description of his life journey and the German unwelcoming culture regarding the professional recognition of fleeing immigrants. How difficult it is for many with respectable professional backgrounds to arrive here and have to start all over again at the bottom. Either they are not allowed to work at all or they are parked in low-paying jobs at the bottom of the social ladder.

Young people grow up in this mixed situation, and they also have a need for recognition and process their experiences in niches. This gives rise to a lively parallel culture that is completely at odds with mainstream culture. However, the latter hardly wants to set an example for such developments. This can be seen, for example, in the difficult access to cultural funding, etc., etc.

Equal opportunities for all in Germany? Not really given.

This conversation with Fatih Akin points to a future of work that is unfortunately not perceived at all in the bourgeois ductus: The emergence of its own economic cosmos in a large niche, which certainly also has many problematic facets, but can no longer be explained away. The hip-hop and rap scene has established its value chains and provides a home for many younger people in Germany. It is an active part of German culture, whether you want to admit it or not. (In the U.S., they are already further along in some areas – I reported on this here).

If we want to welcome these people, but also the children of future immigrants, as a democratic society and integrate their competence into the working world, we must open up further. The skilled labor policy is currently being adapted so that qualified specialists will be allowed to work in the future while they are simultaneously earning their degrees here. But even this further focus on the required certificates is probably too unwieldy and not forward-looking enough. We need more agile practices and less arrogance to give less credit to professional experience and training in other countries.

In a nutshell: A thought-provoking documentary.


Article published on piqd on October 29, 2022 as a reference to the ZDF Germania documentary director Fatih Akin: “The Xatar film was totally important for me”.

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