HAJUSOM – History

In December 1998, three young refugees, Hatice, Jusef and Omid, initiated a theatre workshop in cooperation with the artists Ella Huck and Dorothea Reinicke. In summer of 1999, they joined forces with 20 other workshop participants and brought their skills on stage. The series of performances can best be described as glamourous. Shortly afterwards, they all jointly decided to found the group Hajusom. The name Ha-jus-om refers to the name of the three teenagers, who have been involved since the very beginning. They represent the heart of the art collective, which is built upon solidarity and has been beating continuously ever since.

What started as an ‘intercultural project’ has meanwhile become an independent association, and since 2010, also a centre for transnational arts. As an association Hajusom e.V provides funds for Freie Jugendhilfe and co-founded the nationwide network Postheimat. As a performing arts ensemble Hajusom has become nationally known and recognized and can proudly look back on a history of numerous performances that included more than 400 young people with and without a history of migration.

Behind the scenes, at Hajusom’s premises – Zentrum Hajusom – various newcomer groups work together and keep the spirit of this diverse and grown transnational collective alive. New members can always count on the guidance of long-standing ensemble members. Young people, ‘old hands’ from the first generation, instructors, musicians, scientists, artists, technicians, interns and volunteers: they all make the Hajusom family.


Countless performances, interventions and panel discussions at Zentrum Hajusom have help to maintain close ties to the society and advocate for diversity and tolerance. We are immensely grateful for the generous support of many foundations, donors and individuals who have made this development possible.

We would especially want to thank those who have been by our side for a long time and who have never ceased to inspire us with their creativity. The following people have contributed to strengthening our organizational structure, enhancing our network and shaping our aesthetic representation and political profile:

Zandile Darko,
2010-2018 member of the Hajusom ensemble, co-founder of the project TRANSFER
Claude Jansen, 2000-2009 co-artistic director of the Hajusom ensemble, 2010-12 junior group Ruff Monkeys
Katharina Oberlik, 2002 choreographer for the Hajusom ensemble, 2013-16 co-artistic director of the ensemble
Sofie Olbers, 2002-2011 project assistant and assistant director, 2016-17 co-founder of the project TRANSFER
Mable Preach, 2010-12 junior group Ruff Monkeys
Jochen Roller, 2000-2004 choreographer and co-artistic director of the ensemble Hajusom, 2015-2019 Choreographer for the Hajusom ensemble.


The following artists and companions have also supported us since 1999:

AK Hamburg Postkolonial • Dr. Patricia Alleyne-Dettmers, cultural anthropologist • Martin Ambara, director from the Republic of Cameroon • Carlos Andrés Rico, Musician • Barner 16, inclusive network of artists and culture creators with an without handicaps • Ariana Batou-To Van, translator and assistant • Sarah Bergh, Management of guest performances and coordination • Esther Brandt, project and stage assistant, support of social workers • Jeffrey Chock, photographer • Lea Connert, management of guest performances, production management, instructor of the junior ensemble • Yaya Coulibaly, puppet-maker and puppet-player from Mali • Crear vale la pena, arts centre in Buenos Aires • Sarai (programme) and Cybermohalla (project), arts and media centre in New Delhi • Margit Czenki, director, video editor, camera operator, installation artist • Satenik Danielyan, Federal Volunteers Service • Gotta Depri, choreographer • Tata Dindin, griot, singer and kora player from the Gambia • Nikola Duric, performer • John Eckardt, double bass player • Resonanz Ensemble, string players • Students of the École superieur de théatre Jean-Pierre-Guigané in the People’s Republic of Burkina Faso • Ania Faas, curator of the project TRANSFER, press and public relations • Silke Goes, Photographer • Cordula Grolle, cello player • Angela Guerreiro, dancer and choreographer • Saskia Gottstein, assistant stage manager • Can Gülec, dancer and choreographer • Heike Hallenga, costume designer • Manuel Horstmann, lighting and sound design • Patrick Kabré, musician, vocalist and founder of the eco-art project Silmandé in the People’s Republic of Burkina Faso • Kabu Kabu, afrobeat band • Franklyn Kakyire, dancer and choreographer • Friederike Lampert, dancer, choreographer and dance researcher • Marek Lamprecht, lighting designer • Michael Lentner, lighting designer • Johnny Lloyd, musician, dancer and choreographer • Earl Lovelace, author from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago • Niklas Lycke/The Helmi, puppet maker and player • Jana Lüthje, management of guest performances • Ruth May, visual artist • Carsten Mayer, musician • Anke Meyn, assistant camera • Bilijana Milkov, video installation art • Peter Minshall, visual artist and costume designer • Meine Damen und Herren, theatre project with people with disabilities • Julia Mihály, singer • Wolfgang Mitterer, composer • Maike Mohr, Choreographer and dancer • M.U.K.A. project, Arts & culture centre in Johannesburg • Marga Nagel, dancer • Carlos Ngugi, dancer • Ali K. Ouedraogo “Doueslik”, slammer from the People’s Republic of Burkina Faso • Pamberi Steel, orchestra from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago • Mable Preach, director • Knarf Rellöm, musician • Blandine von Ribbeck, participation in stage management • Inés Sanguinetti, dancer and choreographer from Argentina • Lutz Saure, web designer and computer programmer • Christoph Schäfer, visual artist • Ricarda Schnoor, lighting design • Ashraf Sharif Khan, musician • Adnan Softic, video designer • Joseph ‘Chocho’ Tapsoba, director from the People’s Republic of Burkina Faso • Latai Taumeopeau, performer and choreographer from Tonga • Eva Maria Stüting, dramaturg • Varsha Thakur, choreographer and dancer from India • Hana Tefrati, dance assistant and assistant choreographer • Jimi Tenor, musician and composer • Arne Thaysen, photographer and graphic designer • Sergio Vasquez Carillo, musician • Ute Walter, dancer • Anna Christin Wright, assistant at Hajusom • Blandine Yamaéogo, choreographer and dancer from the People’s Republic of Burkina Faso • Derya Yildirim, musician • Sue Ying Zabala, dancer and choreographer ...