We are there for you

Creating closeness through culture in difficult times

At New Patrons we are always close. In many places, we accompany the direct dialogue between citizens and artists who shape the future of villages, quarters and communities in joint projects. During the Corona crisis, however, this civic work is slowing down. Meetings are cancelled. Our mediators cannot travel to the projects. Artists stay at home for the time being. The virus forces us to avoid our most important workplace at the moment: The public space. But our work continues.

We are not losing our enthusiasm. Now new solutions, formats and ways are needed and we are working on many steps at once. We advertise for the financing of the projects. We plan with architects and structural engineers. We discuss the projects of citizens with administration and politics. And there is now more room for in-depth research, which is an important part of our method.

Above all, however, we see our responsibility in the coming weeks and months as being in places where culture is particularly important. While cinemas, museums or theatres have to remain closed, we will connect our projects even more closely – also with digital tools. We want to strengthen the exchange between civic groups. We are making our contribution to promoting cohesion in villages and towns. When public life is slowing down, the discussion of cultural concerns and projects is particularly important in order to keep an eye on future perspectives. Now more than ever, we need a sense of community and responsibility for our society. Our clients are shining examples of this. We will actively support them in the coming period.

We will remain in regular contact. You will hear from us! Write to us or give us a call if something is close to your heart.

Your New Patrons Team


New Patrons


The New Patrons
of Berlin Tempelhof

Sartep Namiq

Photo: Alexander Koch

The New Patrons of Tempelhof

Auftraggeber: Sartep Namiq, Refugee from Iraq,

Auftrag: I would like to see a comic book that positively changes the perception of refugees.

Mediatoren: Alexander Koch,

Künstler: Felix Mertikat, Bruce Sterling,

Kooperationspartner und Förderer: Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations, Federal Foreign Office, Berlin, Fondation de France,

Duration: 2016 – ongoing

In the fall of 2015, the terminal building of the decommissioned Tempelhof Airport—one of the biggest infrastructure projects of the Nazi regime—became an emergency refugee shelter. Meetings between residents of the shelter and New Patrons mediators began in the spring of 2016, and the conversation turned to the needs of these new Berliners hoping to receive official refugee status. One of them, a young Iraqi Kurd named Sartep Namiq, took the initiative and commissioned an art project that would help foster a more positive public perception of refugees. He wanted a comic book, a popular and widely accessible format, that would represent them not as supplicants but as creative and progressive individuals ready to contribute to a better community for everyone.

The mediators put Namiq in touch with the American writer Bruce Sterling, a pioneer of cyberpunk literature. He was commissioned to develop a speculative vision of the future based on the reality of the refugee shelter in Tempelhof. Sterling wrote an initial script for a comic book without words that would speak to people all over the world, drafting a future in which a new city is built with breathtaking speed, a community embodying the desires, dreams, and abilities of everyone involved. The plot stars Namiq as its hero.

Namiq then commissioned the German visual artist Felix Mertikat to realize the comic book. Under Mertikat’s guidance and in consultation with the mediators, additional authors helped flesh out the book’s story; so did other refugees, who contributed their individual perspectives. The project incorporated fresh insights and evolved. The comic book is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2019. Thanks to cooperation agreements with publishers, media in the refugees’ countries of origin, and refugee aid organizations, the book will be distributed to broad audiences.

The plot: in this science fiction story, Tempelhof Airport emerges as the center of the world, a place of refuge for all those who no longer have a place anywhere else—and for the many who unexpectedly join them to be part of what is happening. In the course of a single day, from dawn until sunset, the airfield is transformed into a place full of imagination, magic, and creative energy. Thanks to Sartep, the book’s young hero, who devises a way to make the desires and dreams of Tempelhof’s denizens a reality, a new city rises out of nowhere, a polity that promises a better life for everyone. Thousands of people stream toward the airfield from all directions to witness the extraordinary event and help weave a new urban fabric.

The comic book is the remarkable story of a refugee and newly minted Berliner. It bridges the gulf between natives and new arrivals, between “us” and “the others,” and shows that with a little imagination we can see the world from a very different angle: we can envision a world in which everyone is seen and heard, in which we find support and empowerment, a community of individuals who develop their particular abilities for the common good.

Im nächsten Schritt beauftragte Namiq den deutschen Künstler Felix Mertikat, den Comic umzusetzen. Unter Mertikats Anleitung und im Austausch mit den Mediatoren wirkten in der ersten Phase Christoph Tauber und in der zweiten Matthias Zuber als Autoren an der Entstehung der Geschichte des Buches mit. Daneben haben auch Geflüchtete ihre eigene Perspektive eingebracht. Das Projekt lernte und entwickelte sich. Im Herbst 2019 soll das Comicbuch fertig sein. Durch Kooperationen mit Verlagen, Medien in Herkunftsländern und Flüchtlingshilfsorganisationen soll das Buch eine breite Zielgruppe erreichen.

Zum Inhalt: In der Science-Fiction-Geschichte wird der Flughafen Tempelhof zum Zentrum der Welt. Ein Ort der Zuflucht für alle, die keinen anderen Ort mehr haben – und für die Vielen, die unversehens zu ihnen stoßen, um Teil des Geschehens zu sein. Denn während nur eines Tages, vom Morgengrauen bis zum Sonnenuntergang, verwandelt sich der Flughafen Tempelhof in einen Ort voller Imagination, Magie und Schaffenskraft. Dank des jungen Sartep, der eine Möglichkeit findet, die Wünsche und Träume der Einwohner von Tempelhof Wirklichkeit werden zu lassen, entsteht urplötzlich eine neue Stadt, eine neue Gemeinschaft, ein besseres Leben für alle. Tausende Menschen strömen von überall her auf das Flughafengelände um bei dem außerordentlichen Ereignis dabei zu sein und die neue urbane Welt mit zu erschaffen.

Dieses Comic-Buch ist die außergewöhnliche Geschichte eines geflüchteten Neu-Berliners. Es überwindet die Trennung zwischen Einheimischen und Neuankömmlingen, „uns“ und „den anderen“, und öffnet das Vorstellungsvermögen aller für einen anderen Blick auf die Welt. Eine Welt, in der wir gesehen werden, in der man uns zuhört, in der wir unterstützt und ermächtigt werden, ein Gemeinwesen von Menschen zu sein, die all ihre Fähigkeiten zusammenbringen.

Felix Mertikat

"If only one person reads this story, it's worth it."

  • Sartep Namiq

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