What are genes? Can my experiences change my DNA - for example, an environmental disaster, a war or a refugee experience? What might I have inherited from my ancestors? What role does food play in my own personal history? The special exhibition "Components of Identity" directs the focus to the biochemical and physiological bases of human identity. What do we have in common? What separates us from each other? And how can we impact this?
A group of 12 young people between the ages of 14 and 24, who were born in Munich, moved here or came as refugees to Munich, spent six months examining these questions - coached by YouthNet and scientists from the cooperation partners BIOTOPIA Lab and the Institute for Human Genetics of the TUM at Klinikum rechts der Isar. In charts and artworks, they processed what they have learned, their experiences and thoughts. The exhibition opens from March 31 to April 23, 2023 in the BIOTOPIA Lab.
Eating habits change over the course of a lifetime. What we eat often depends on the place where we currently live - but at the same time on the culture or the family we come from. Together with a nutritionist, the young people discussed the link between food and identity.
Where do such familiar foods as bananas, peanuts, vanilla or cocoa actually come from? A guided tour through the greenhouses in the Botanical Garden of Munich provided some aha moments among the young people.
The modern approach to identity is a fan of many aspects that each person undertakes for him or herself. Aware that the term identity is often misused, the two-year program focused on the individual young people with their thoughts, approaches and feelings. The idea was to identify the things that divide us and make the things we have in common visible, in order to create the basis for a sustainable society. Accompanied by YouthNet, young people from a wide range of backgrounds and religions - including Munich schoolchildren as well as refugees - intensively dealt with questions relating to their identity.
The first six-month part of the program, in cooperation with the Pinakothek der Moderne, focused on psycho-social aspects. The exhibition "Living in one land, dreaming in another" by artist Shirin Neshat served as an inspiring basis.
The second part of the YouthNet program focused on a scientific approach to the topic of identity and took place in cooperation with BIOTOPIA Lab and the Institute for Human Genetics of the TUM, Klinikum rechts der Isar.
YouthNet is an interreligious and intercultural network for young people in the city of Munich and has been organizing programs and workshops for young people over a period of six months each year since 2017. Here, young people with Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Yezidi and other backgrounds meet. They were either born in Munich, moved here or came as refugees to Munich. Accompanied by professional trainers, the organizers and mentors, they exchange ideas in an open and culturally mixed community and work creatively on a topic. This strengthens the participants' teamwork skills and, not least, trains them in the tools of intercultural communication. For more information, visit www.youthnet-muenchen.com.
Menzinger Str. 67
80638 München, Germany
Phone: +49 (0)89 178 61-411
Phone: +49 (0)89 178 61-422
© Naturkundemuseum Bayern