Bremen Institute of Anthropology and Cultural Research (bik)

Cultural Research-based projects of contemporary social significance

Cultural Research is a praxis-oriented, multidisciplinary field that focuses on people’s day-to-day lives. It examines contemporary and historical forms of community life, societal problems / conflicts, and differentiation aimed at amassing power and excluding other humans, animals or the environment. 
Cultural researchers engage in ongoing dialogue and exchange with their surroundings and work with people and organizations from a wide variety of sectors / backgrounds. They aim to use specialist knowledge, work techniques and insights to gain a better understanding of constantly shifting living conditions in the complex world of Late Modernity.


Knowledge transfer and collaborative projects:

The Bremen Institute of Anthropology and Cultural Research (bik)was founded by Prof. Dr. Maya Nadig and her colleagues and collaborators in 2001 with the aim of strengthening ties between Bremen-based Cultural Research and associated vocational fields.
In 2018 we established theAssociation of the Bremen Institute of Anthropology and Cultural Research bik e. V as a charitable foundation within the Department so as to pursue this objective over the long-term, and in the spirit of a socially engaged Public Anthropology. The Association’s main goal is to promote networking and common projects for the benefit of   society as a whole.

bik e. V. – Charitable Association of the Bremen Institute of Anthropology and Cultural Research

Goals and Activities

The association aims to build on already existing projects involving individuals and organizations outside University that have been ongoing for many years. Individuals from a wide variety of professional and academic backgrounds can become members and network in order to pool energies for various charitable causes in the field of culture. Inter / transcultural communication, and cultural projects including public exhibitions, events and trainings are good examples. Current initiatives cover Bremen’s colonial past, training courses and projects aimed at tackling diversity and racism in specific neighbourhoods; and planning a Bremen-based exhibition on Images of Africa. We organize empowering and thought-provoking events for German Diversity Day in Bremen and carry out research / other activities on forced migration and asylum. 

Field of Action


Association membership and activities are coordinated by affiliate partners and / or their respective organizations, Cultural Research students and alumni, as well as staff at the Department of Anthropology and Cultural Research (IfEK).

Membership Application


As a registered charity the association is able to receive donations in order to provide support for ongoing activities and projects. 

Bank account for donations: bik e.V., Sparkasse Bremen, IBAN: DE31 2905 0101 0082 4351 24

Board of Directors

Dr. Margrit E. Kaufmann mkaufmprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de

Prof. Dr. Dorle Dracklé drackleprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de

Dr. Frank Müller (Treasurer) framuelprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de

Dr. Cordula Weißköppel cweisskoeppelprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de

Collaborative Research Project with the Bremen Police Service

Frank Müller, Thomas Müller, Robert Linke

The project has been running for a number of years and has contributed to changes to the police force’s advanced training courses. The aim is to explore the impact social diversification has on police work at the grassroots level and to develop new content for inclusion in the course with police executives, as well as support for on-the-ground police officers. Using observation and focused guided interview techniques, ethnographic descriptions of a typical ‘day-in-the-life’ of uniformed police officers have been produced that provide new insights into current problem areas from the perspective of the lower ranks – areas not normally brought to light via traditional police reporting mechanisms. Joint discussion then allows current problem areas to be identified and problem-solving strategies to be devised.


Collaborative Research Project on Decolonization

Margrit E. Kaufmann, Manfred Weule, Aissatou Bouba, Bianca Wambach, Joline Rosado and others

We (i.e. a group of affiliates, teachers and students) are currently focusing on the Colonial Dimension of Knowledge. The project is based on long-term collaboration with Arbeit und Leben Bremen e.V. that has included research, the event series and symposium “AfrikaBilder in deutschen Medien” (with corresponding publication), the event series „Nein danke, wir haben schon ein Buch über Afrika” and the teaching modules “Afrika gibt es nicht” ( The project focuses on awareness-building in relation to existing stereotypes, primarily in the education sector (schools, adult education and higher education). It also highlightsalternative images e.g. of the African continent, its history, narratives and current living conditions by promoting self-representations in line with decolonization processes. Workshops, an expert conference in partnership with the Landesinstitut für Schule Bremen and an exhibition are all in the pipeline.


Collaborative Research Projects in the Framework of Practical Diversity Seminars

Margrit E. Kaufmann, Ayla Satilmis, and students in collaboration with Diakonie Bremen, Partnerschaft für Demokratie, Werkstatt Antidiskriminierung and others.

Increased social pluralization has meant that the concept of diversity is now omnipresent in today’s world of work e.g. in private corporations and institutions of higher education. Correspondingly, an increased demand has arisen for diversity-related expertise,as seen in growing requests for partnerships from practitioners in a wide variety offields. In this project we tackle diversity as a societal phenomenon and treatit as both field of study and methodology, the aim being to provide students with a formal qualification in the field (i.e. the Diversity Module). Knowledge transfer, public outreach, social engagement, awareness-building and further training initiativesare key areas of inclusion in terms of a Third Mission.

The module incorporates three fundamental concepts: Research-based Learning, Diversity and Public Anthropology
1) Research-based learning is a didactic, methods-based andsocially definable teaching-learning process that allows students to explore current societal challenges in quasi real-world settings. They develop expertise in relation to these areas and then feed this expertise back into society (Huber 2009, Kaufmann 2015, Satilmis 2018).
2) Diversity isseen as a transfer of knowledge between academia and the world beyond, as both object of study, methodology, and a key to various fields of vocational practice. Both students and practitioners acquire diversity skills needed in their (subsequent) professional careers (Satilmis 2019, Kaufmann 2019).
3) Public Anthropology provides the conceptual framing for the teaching-learning activities. Years of experience in collaborative and socially engaged projects at the interface of academia and the world of work mean that knowledge transfer is firmly rooted in a critical school of Anthropology in subject-based terms(Besteman 2013, Beck 2011).

Diversity in Progress – An Overview of Diversity-related Activities and Teaching Practices at the Department of Cultural Research


Previous Projects:

See also

Public Anthropology

Transculturalization and Diversity

OPEN SPACE at the bik e.V. Creative ideas - Exchanges - Networking    

The OPEN SPACE forum allows bik members and those interested to meet for information, communication and networking purposes. Events kick off with a specific topic providing impetus for debate and opening the floor to personal exchanges amongst collaborating partners / affiliates, and a flow of ideas between various areas of professional expertise.

OPEN SPACE IV takes place on 23. February 2021. You can view the full programme here

Program OPEN SPACE III here

Program OPEN SPACE II here

Program OPEN SPACE I here

Ethnographic Film Festival

IfEK Theme-centered Semesters

Cultural Research as a Career

Welcome Ceremony MATS



Universität Bremen
Fachbereich 9 / SFG
Enrique-Schmidt-Str. 7
D-28359 Bremen

Dr. Margrit E. Kaufmann
SFG Room 4320
Tel.: ++49 (0)421 218 67631
Fax: ++49 (0)421 218 9867609
Email: mkaufm[at]uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de

Secretary's office:
Tanja Stehn
SFG Raum 4310
Tel.: + 49 (0)0421-218-67607
Email: stehn[at]

Alumni Contact:
Inessa Ulrich
Email: inessaulrich[at]

Public relations:
Dr. Cordula Weißköppel
SFG Room 4310
Tel.: ++49 (0)421 218 67632
Fax: ++49 (0)421 218 9867609
Email: cordula.weisskoeppel(at)