What comes to mind when you think about the 25th International Metropolis Conference in Berlin in September?
I was very excited when I was approached by the organisers because I really wanted to be part of it all. I think Germany is at a very interesting juncture insofar migration is concerned.
First of all, while the pandemic temporarily closed several existing migration pathways, it opened up new ones. We are all feeling the repercussions, opportunities and a shift in priorities, including on a personal level. One thing I have already observed through my current project is, despite the pandemic, the rate of immigration from India to Germany has not decreased, in fact, the pandemic has openend possibilities of new migration. Consequently, with the increasing popularity of the EU Blue Card scheme, I perceive that the visibility of Indians has increased quite a lot in the German public discourse.
The second remark I want to make regarding the why is the Russian war in Ukraine – and thus again, you can witness the resurfacing of migration as a subject of political debate in German everyday lives. I think this entire conference is happening at such an opportune time! Nobody knew that this would happen, but migration as a subject has become even more important and relevant for the public discourse in Germany. I think the conference couldn’t be happening at a better time actually.