The next festival with the motto "response-ability" is going to take place from 26th May to 6th June 2010.
There will be fourteen workshops under four main themes "Society", "Policy impact", "Science and ethics" and "Global change" and in which you will be discussing and exchanging opinions and ideas about globally relevant topics with students from allover the world.
There will be many different cultural events where you get the chance to get to know each other better.
The city of Greifswald at the Baltic Sea hosts the International Students Festival for the fifth time.
Do you have any questions? Check the FAQs. If this doesn't help you, please write to help_me[at]gristuf.org.
Ms Bohley, how did you perceive Greifswald when you arrived here?
I haven't been here in a long time. The city has definitely changed. When I came here on Friday, everything appeared to be dead somehow. It lookeed pretty but there were no people on the streets. But maybe they were all having dinner..
..that's probably it! What was your motivation to become the patron of this festival?
I was touched that those young people asked me to become the patron. I must admit that I didn't expect anyone to even remember us. To me it was absolutely clear that I am doing it. I think it is great when young people from all over the world come together to start something like this. Unfortunately, I still do not speak English and I guess I will not manage to learn it anymore. Due to this I won't be able to get in contact with people the way I would like to.
Would you still call yourself a civil rights activist?
I am surely not an active activist anymore as I used to be 20 years ago. But I still think that people have to take responsibility as often as possible and wherever they can and always need to face up to it. I am going to do this as long as I live. And this ist actucaly one of the reasons why I came here - because the subject ?responsibility? is so interesting.
What does response-ability mean to you? What do people have to do to act responsible in your opinion?
They mainly have to interfere and be active. They have to risk to interfere and they also have to take the risk of not being praised for it, of not being understood. This intervention is what makes you a part of the society.
This leads to the next question: What would you tell a young person if he or she asked you how to be engaged politically?
It definitely does not always need to be a party. There are always people who do not want to be in a party because there is a different kind of discipline. Personally, I would not want to be in a party, but I still want to interfere. And I am actually better at doing that today than I was in the past. Via internet you can comment on everything and tell your opinion. I think this is just as wonderful as the possibility to be part of such a festival. Nowadays it is possible to communicate everywhere.
Do universities or students need to take a special role in a society?
Students are what it takes in a society. They really have to keep their eyes open, pay attention and interfere. And this is why I came here because I just like it.
You said before that you would not want to be in a party. Is there actually one party that you could imagine to join?
No, if there was one, I would have already done it in the past 20 years. Of course, it is much harder to interfere politically without being in a party. But you have to try it anyway. Sometimes I like ideas of the Green party, in other moments I like what the SPD (social democratic party) or even the CDU (christian democratic party) says. But I am not a person who excludes half of her feelings and thoughts just to fit in a party. I want to interfere.
So do you see more possibilities to change and develop things outside of parliaments?
Surely there are people who want to change things while being in a party and who also have the strong will to do so. And they should be doing it. But I am not such a person. I had my experiences, mostly in the GDR.
In the GDR you had to go to Hohenschönhausen and you were watched by the secret police. What made you keep up and continue?
It was the wish to do things like this, chatting with you at the microfone right here. And the wish that we are able to organize festivals like this one. It was the will to change the society. And we actually managed to do so! Even if it was not exactly the way we wanted it to be. But the society is more open and so many things are possible, things we thought to be impossible or even criminal in 1989.
Thank you for the interview!
The Infopoint will be at the IKuWo from May 26th to June 6th. It is the central spot for all participants and therefore the place to experience the whole festival. In the evenings, movie nights take place in the IKuWo where selected movies are shown and insights into the GrIStuF world are given.