About us

The ENCOUNTERS media workshops

The Encounter network is exploring new and exciting paths: together with the public library Tempelhof-Schöneberg and the Mauerpark Institut e.V. we are launching the Encounters media workshops.

In this multi-media community project the encounter still makes up the centerpiece of our work. We will host numerous workshops and events at the different library locations of the public library Tempelhof-Schöneberg in order to bring people together to collaborate in media productions such as texts, illustrations, photo-, music- and video-projects, soundscapes, podcasts, graphic novels, and much more.

Stay tuned! Everyone who is interested can become a media professional with us!

As a civil society initiative of social anthropologists and students of Freie Universität Berlin, artists, activists and media professionals from many different countries, we share a common goal with our project partners: we want to promote the public library as a space of encounters and of creative, collaborative media work in the sense of our encounter network.

Random encounters between the book shelves, between people of various social, cultural, religious and political backgrounds, between generations, between newcomers and the old-established – we want to offer an opportunity in Tempelhof-Schöneberg to establish these and thus to help shape an active, well-informed and media-savvy community.

Our approach is based on team work: we exchange different perspectives, creative techniques and languages (currently German, English, Arabic, Farsi). We work experimentally, self-reflectively and critically.

Contributions from our workshops and events are continously posted on our blog, and published in our print magazine, presented in exhibitions and other formats. Some of them focus on the subject of the encounter, others reflect on encounters within the process of their development. Some contributions combine both approaches.

We are convinced, that encounters allow us to better understand and comprehend diversity and also to endure and negotiate differences of opinions in a better way. Every encounter starts with yourself, with another person, with a new idea, or with something strange at first; it contains the unusual, the exciting, unlocks potential and creates pleasure.

Join us and follow the Encounters media workshops on our new paths through Tempelhof-Schöneberg! We are looking forward to meeting you!

Our Team

Because the internet is a public space and not always safe, some of our team members don´t want to appear with a picture and a short CV.   

Judith Albrecht: Project Mastermind            


Judith Albrecht works as a social anthropologist and documentary filmmaker in Germany and abroad. For her fieldwork and film projects she spent long periods of time in Iran, Tanzania and Malawi. After the Libyan revolution she started to work with the Libyan women’s’ movement in Benghazi. The thematic focus of her work is gender and religion, social movements, conflict, violence and memory. The co-founder of the project group “Deutsch im Asyl” and “Memos e.V.” employs diverse approaches in the investigation of social and political upheavals and the impact it has on the life stories and biographies of the people involved. Her recent research project focuses on “Grief, trauma and social justice in Germany”.

Sarah Fichtner: Project coordinator

Sarah Fichtner was born in Berlin, where she works as a social and cultural anthropologist doing text- and film-based ethnographic research, evaluations and consultancies in the fields of education (especially teacher trainings in learner-centred pedagogies in West-, Central Africa and Germany) and flight and migration (particularly focusing on young children in refugee homes in Germany, and LGBTIQ* refugees). She is also the project coordinator of the Medienwerkstatt Encounters.

Victoria Sakti

Victoria Sakti is a social and cultural anthropologist whose work draws on her multidisciplinary and intercultural background. She wrote her Ph.D. thesis at the Freie Universität Berlin on the ways communities in Timor-Leste remember and deal with legacies of the Indonesian occupation. Having spent her formative years in Indonesia, in the USA, and in Europe, she is keen in exploring the lingkages of transnational migration, memory and their related emotions in her collaboration with the Encounter-blog. She is co-founder and board member of Mauerpark Institute and is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Göttingen, Germany. Her current research focuses on ‘ageing across borders’ and in the context of forced displacement.

Thomas Stodulka    

Thomas Stodulka’s work focuses on studying childhood and youth, stigma, marginality, and the interplay between culture, emotion, mental health, and illness. He conducted long-term fieldwork with street-related young men in Yogyakarta, Indonesia between 2001 and 2015 and he has directed various interdisciplinary research projects on the role of emotions and affects in ethnographic knowledge production. Beyond academia, he is a founding member of the Mauerpark Institut Berlin e.V, an independent cinema-café in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, a shelter for chronically ill youth and he is a proud associate of the Milas Vegetarian Restaurant and Workroom Yogyakarta (since 2001).

Alvaro Martinez: Art Director

Alvaro Martínez, is a Berlin base illustrator and anthropologist from Bolivia. Born in 1985 he studied anthropology at the Bolivian Catholic University and focused his research on ritualistic and healing through symbols between Aymara people in the city of La Paz. As an illustrator his experience is focused in book illustration, graphic novel and character design. His illustrations were published in the Major University San Andrés of La Paz, where he published the graphic novel “La Chaskañawi” in 2012 and designed the image for the international colloquium “Roland Barthes Amateur”. He is the co-creator of the illustrated world of Rokooko and worked for the Spanish Editorial Santillana. He was graduated at the Pictoplasma Academy of Berlin and his work has been exhibited at the Urban Spree gallery and White Concepts Gallery in Berlin. His illustrations were showed at the Maxim Gorki Theater of Berlin.

Mirka Slowik: Editor English/German

Mirka holds a Licentiate in Literature from Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, La Paz, Bolivia, where she specialised in Latin American and Andean Literatures. At the moment she studies a Masters in Romance Literature at Freie Universität Berlin. Since a few years she teaches German as a Foreign Language at Goethe-Institut in Berlin and abroad. She has a passion for languages, translation and literature, and perceives the world through the written word. She is convinced that writing itself is a vivid dialoguebetween writer and reader as for us literally an encounter.

Mina Aghalouie: Editor Farsi

Mina comes from Iran,Tehran. Currently studying Master of communication design at HMKW Berlin. She joined the workshop picturing Encounter2017 as an Illustrator and now is working as a part of Encounter editorial team for Farsi language. She likes also to draw, illustrate and animate.

Khaled Atrash: Editor Arabic

Khaled Atrash is a social scientist, literature scientist and a linguist. He was born in Syria, lived in Turkey and moved to Germany in 2014. He graduated from Humboldt university in the field of social sciences. His sense of language and words is rooted very deep. Beside his interests in politics and cultures, Khaled has a passion for theater. He worked as a director for different political projects, as a community manager by different intercultural organizations and as an Arabic teacher in different contexts.

Franziska Knierim: Editorial Team

Franziska Knierim was born in Berlin and grew up on the Countryside. She is a student of Social and Cultural Anthropology and Political Science at Freie Universität Berlin. She joined the Encounter team via the Workshop “Picturing Encounter”. She is rather interested in the common grounds than the differences that come to light throughout encounters between people from all over the world. She speaks German, English, some Turkish and just started to learn Farsi.

Zeynep Disbudak

Zeynep is a fellow creature who was born and raised in Istanbul and ended up in Berlin in 2015. Enjoyed being involved in various interdisciplinary projects, she currently works for international film festivals and cultural institutes. She holds bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Sociology from Bogazici University and she has recently finished up her master’s thesis in Social and Cultural Anthropology at Free University of Berlin. She is fluent in Turkish, German and English and has basic conversational skills in Arabic and Italian.

Irina Savu-Cristea: Event Coordinator

Irina is a PhD candidate in anthropology at Free University Berlin, focusing on emotions and self-making practices among girls in a school in Bali. She discovered anthropology “at home”, in Romania. Since then, she became interested in developing collaborative research methods and conducted ethnographic fieldwork in 2 high-schools (Bucharest & Berlin). She is also a team coach certified in the Action Reflection Learning® methodology and was involved in several educational projects facilitating synergic teacher-student-parent teams in Romanian high-schools. She is passionate about teams and enjoys organizing public encounters associated to our blog and magazine.

Palina Sarokina: Event Organization

Palina comes from Belarus and moved to Berlin in 2016 to study Cultural Anthropology at the Free University of Berlin. She speaks Russian, Belarusian, English, German and Spanish, has a bunch of volunteering experience in international organisations and leading a team. In encounter Palina is involved in event organisation.

Lilas Al Loulou: Editor Arabic

Lilas Al Loulou is from Syria, where she studied English. She is also trained as a psycho-social worker and counselor. She has been working with refugees since 2014 in Egypt and continues her work in Germany being engaged in many different projects. She speaks Arabic, English and she is learning German. 2017 is her third year in Germany and she is trying to make the best of it.

Sadaf Farahani: Editor Farsi/Persian    


Sadaf Farahani is a filmmaker, cultural activist and translator based in Berlin. She worked as staff photographer for several newspapers and magazines in Iran and as a freelance photojournalist/author with various international media before she moved to Germany in 2011. She is involved and very interested in immigration and integration related issues.

Ina Schebler

Ina Schebler films, writes, takes photos and studies Visual and Media Anthropology in Berlin. In her work, she focuses on political topics. Since 2015, she has been involved in several projects concerned with various topics related to forced migration. These include for instance work with rejected asylum seekers in Amsterdam, people who fled to Germany after World War II, and asylum seekers as well as volunteers in refugee camps on the Greek island Chios.

Clara Kaiser                                                                          


Clara Kaiser is from Munich and studies Social and Cultural Anthropology in Berlin. She is very interested in language and its potential to evoke understanding, connection and transformation. The issues of gender as a spectrum, sustainability and intersectional discrimination are other fields of particular interest for her. Currently, she is learning Hebrew and Arabic and wants to gain experience in ethnographic filming in the future.

Sadek Bouzinou: Editorial Team 

Sadek Bouzinou is an engaged artist from Algeria. As an urban sociologist, he is used to observe the social phenomena of his country. Thanks to his music, the leader of the Algerian Reggae band Democratoz became a spokesperson of the Algerian youth. Through images, sound and text, he speaks up for the cause of migrants, education, and the environment. Recently, Sadek has attracted attention as a film-maker, giving a voice to the most vulnerable in his clips and short films.

Lotte Knote

Lotte Knote is an anthropologist who was born in Berlin and who recently joined the encounter-project. She studied African studies, Swahili and social and cultural anthropology in Berlin, London, Zanzibar and Lamu. Her research interests focus on social and political processes of the Kenyan and Tanzanian Swahili coast. Her passion for ethnographic and poetic filmmaking is rooted deeply in the potential she sees in communicating social and political issues through visually engaging images to a global audience. She is currently mainly engaging in topics
such as postcolonialism, intersectional feminism and social justice and has worked as volunteer and freelance researcher, editor and translator.