MindLinks is an academic network in Munich made up of local students and refugees with a shared interest in intellectual and academic discussions. Our aim is to create a space of exchange on a fully equal level, in which the individual with his knowledge, ideas and skills stands in the foreground rather than his membership to a particular social group. We do this through our Discussion Seminars, Peer Partnerships and Projects.
Our weekly open seminars are meant to challenge our own pre-set perspectives that shape the way we see theworld. We do this by listening to a short presentation from a group member and participating in active discussions with people from diverse backgrounds.
Previous topics have centered around politics, anthropology, physics, psychology, medicine, art, language, international law and more. Our seminars are always held in English, however we have a Deutschstunde before each seminar for those who want to practice their german in an open social hour.
The purpose of our Peer Partner program is to create more direct, personal links between the people in our group, with the fundamental idea that we meet as equals. This means that it is not a mentoring program or mere language tandem. Instead, the primary aim is that both sides will equally profit from the partnership, through mutual exchange of cultures, languages, academic backgrounds, beliefs and life experiences etc.
Our projects are meant to provide a bridge between refugees who bring skills, motivation and innovative ideas, and students who have access to local resources. We believe that together, we can create something bigger than any one of us can on our own.
Our first project is a Photo Blog called Occlusions. The idea of this blog is to challenge some of the occlusions that block or obscure our view of the world. The first series of the blog is created by the refugees in our group – their texts and photos center on the effects of war and flight on their lives.
We also come together regularly for social events!
Photos: Vanja Bojanic & Teresa Bertram