Beyond new wave of mythologization of WWII
In the context of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, the CISR e.V. is implementing the project "Beyond new wave of mythologization of WWII". The participants - public intellectuals of the post-soviet generation- will have the opportunity to gather extensive experiences in the comparative analysis of memory politics, rituals, and discourses; furthermore, they will visit memory sites of the Second World War in four countries: Russia, Belarus, Poland, and Germany. The main goal of the project is to create terms and conditions for the sustainable development of a critical approach to the politics of heroization and mythologization of the events of the war.
Tv Program on Women Role Models with Gender Debate
Tv Program on Women Role Models with Gender Debate 2019.

The project created an innovative format for the educational TV show "Sən demə" ("Turns Out"). Furthermore, it initiated an open debate on gender, stereotypes, and clichés about women, which are perpetuated in public and private life, as well as through language. The project included various training, meetings, and an educational trip to Germany, in which the film team and the specialists participated in. Azerbaijani TV channels have been airing the TV show since 2020, and it is also available on social media platforms and the internet.

Tv Program on Women Role Models with Gender Debate 2020.

The project will be conducted by the Association of Women for Rational Development (WARD) in Azerbaijan, in cooperation with the CISR e.V. Berlin.
The project will further develop the Tv program "Sən demə" ("Turns out") for sex and gender education in Azerbaijan. Ten thematic TV programs introduce their viewers to alternative roles for women in society and engage in gender debates to promote gender equality and the anti-discrimination policy. The project will also develop a manual/guide to gender-sensitive journalism in the South Caucasus. Journalists and experts from Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Germany will be able to develop and evaluate this manual during their encounters, as well as during an educational trip to Germany.
Azerbaijani TV channels have been airing the TV show "Sən demə" ("Turns out") since 2020, and it is also available on social media platforms and the internet.
Ateliers d intégration and Transfer of Knowledge 2019
The project was implemented in France, Germany, and Russia.
The project created the conditions for the exchange of experiences about the integration of refugees and immigrants between employees of regional- and city-administration, museums, libraries, representatives of civil society, architects, and artists from France and Germany with their colleagues in Russia.
Many institutions that are apparent to be very far removed from engaging in finding solutions for the problems immigrants and refugees face (e.g. museums or libraries), turned out to be very effective actors in the process of integration and adaptation. Art initiatives that function on the level of civil society and with the support of the local administration can be just as effective.
This level of work with immigrants focused on the topics of inclusion, integration, and adaptation, allows for a shifting of focus from the political and statistical, to the discussion of the daily life problems that immigrants face.
The participants of the project, which took place in different formats (work meetings/Ateliers and summer schools) met in Paris and Berlin, St. Petersburg and Rostov-on-Don - in big city centers, in which a substantial amount of experiences in the regulation of migration processes were gathered. In general, the project was visited in different formats by around one hundred people, mainly specialists from Russia.
The project ended with a series of public discussions on different current topics. By taking part in this format, well-known specialists had the opportunity of sharing their experiences and knowledge from different studies with the broad public.
Peaceful Conflict Transformation
Memory Guides: Sources of Information for a Peaceful Conflict Transformation 2018-

The project was realized in Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia.
The most important goal of the project was to establish an international group of journalists and social
researchers (in the broader sense public intellectuals) and to prepare them for collaborative work and the comparative analysis of different conflicts, to be able to go beyond the dominating conflict discourse. The participants gathered such experiences through the comparison of two conflicts - the conflict in the east of Ukraine and in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Intensive training and dialogue, which are necessary for the formation of international working groups, special training of the participants, joint accumulation of materials, and their analysis, collaborative work of an international multi-media platform were consequently realized.

Conflicts in post-socialist states: research and contribution to a peaceful transformation 2017.

The key goals of the projects were to create an international network between NGOs, young civil rights activists, as well as experts and analysts, and to create a platform for collaborative peace work and better communication. In this context, meetings of the partner organizations in St. Petersburg were conducted, the summer school "Conflicts and politics of Remembrance: Perspective of a peaceful Transformation" took place, and 26 young participants took a thirteen-day research trip through Moldova, Transnistria, and East Ukraine.

Mass Media and Conflict Transformation 2016.

In the scope of this project, a dialogue took place and a transnational network of journalists - "Mass
Media and Conflict Transformation" - out of conflicting post-Soviet States (Russia and Ukraine,
Azerbaijan, and Armenia) was created. The project participants were co-writers of 11 publications, in
which they reflected on the causes and consequences of conflicts in the post-Soviet space. Different
events took place in the context of this project (seminars, summer school, dialogue, public presentations)
in three different countries: Ukraine, Russia, and Germany.
School of Urban Pioneers 2020/21
School of urban pioneers (SUP) is a platform for strengthening and educating urban initiatives and city residents in the field of urban change. It provides them with various opportunities for networking and joint reflection on the city and their role in its development.
Youth as Actors of Change
Youth as Actors of Change: Liveable Industrial CIties in Northwestern Russia 2017.

This project was a logical continuation of the project "Perspectives for Young People - Training of Multipliers in Monocities" (2016). The main goal of the project was to support young city activists and youth initiatives that aim for the development of public spaces in mono-cities. In this context, a number of educational activities were completed, and the participants were able to develop and implement multiple projects for the improvement of life quality and the environment in their cities. The most involved participants took part in an educational trip across Germany, to learn about innovative youth initiatives introduced in industrial and post-industrial cities there. The participants were amiliarized with the institutions and the infrastructure that support different youth projects in Germany. A final conference took place in Murmansk, which was attended by experts and graduates of the program.

Perspectives for Youth 2016.
The activities "Perspectives for young people - Training of Multipliers in Monocities", held in the context of this project, took place in 2016 in the regions of Murmansk and Leningrad. The main goal of the project was to contribute to the development of the Northwestern region, by supporting youth initiatives and the interregional exchange of experiences. As a part of this project, different educational activities for young activists were offered. The participants had the opportunity to discuss their ideas with specialists, and to refine their own projects.
Central fields of activity and formats of the CISR are:
  1. Development and execution of research projects in the following areas of study: migration and urbanity, social movements, conflicts, and memory politics.
  2. Creating analyses about social, cultural, and political processes in Eastern Europe and post- socialist states, through experts in said fields.
  3. Applied educational work and development of transnational civil-society networks, associations, and organizations.
  4. Action in the scope of peaceful conflict transformations and the creation of space for dialogue.
  5. The creation of educational programs oriented towards public welfare, professional development for youth and young experts in the fields of social sciences, history, and mass media.
  6. Conduction and publication of analytical studies, research reports, and teaching material.

The Center for Independent Social Research (CISR) e.V. is a non-profit organization, which was founded by social scientists, experts, and civil-society actors in Berlin in 2015. Its main focuses are to support and conduct sociological research projects, as well as to promote civil-society developments in post-socialist states. The CISR e.V. members implement civil-society projects professionally and define challenges, which post-socialist societies are confronted with. Their scientific analyses pave the way for effective concepts in dealing with these challenges.
what we do
Dr. Elena Stein
Sociologist and political scientist, has been heading the CISR e.V. since its creation as the CEO of the organization. She is involved in the development and realization of numerous projects. Elena specializes in the organizational structure of NGOs and is a coach and trainer in the area of team development, social startups, analysis, and consultation of internal organizational processes as well as presentation and moderating skills.

Elena studied sociology at the St. Petersburg State University for Marine Technology and finished her doctorate in political science at the University of Mannheim, regarding „Conscription and Citizenship Crises within Russia: Strategies of drafting and of refusal". Up until March 2017, she was the project manager for various projects and programs at the DRA e.V. Her first sociological experiences were gathered at the Centre for Independent Social Research in St. Petersburg.
Dr. Sergey Rumyansev
Sergey Rumyansev studied sociology at the State University of Baku. 2003-2014 researcher and scientist at the Institute for Philosophy, Sociology, and Law at the Academy of Science in Azerbaijan. 2010- 2012 postdoctoral fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation at the Institute of European Ethnology HU Berlin. He has been a Member of the Imagine Center for Conflict Transformation (Washington/Tbilisi) since 2012. 2014-2015 visiting professor at the Georg-Eckert-Institute for International Teaching and Learning Media (Braunschweig). His scientific interests concentrate on conflicts, nationalism, politics of history and remembrance, urban anthropology, migration, and diasporas. He has written over 50 scientific publications. As a publicist and editor, he works with a diverse array of media platforms, as well as analytical publishing houses. He has been a permanent editor of since 2015. Furthermore, he has been a board member of the CISR e.V. Berlin since 2015, managing the project „Mass media and Conflict Transformations."
Dr. Sevil Huseynova
Sevil Huseynova studied law at the State University of Baku. She has been active in diverse sociological projects in the post-Soviet space, as well as in Germany, since 2007. 2007-2010 representative of the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation in Azerbaijan. Ph.D. in the area of Ethnology at the Humboldt University to Berlin. She is the author of over 50 scientific publications. She has been a member of the CISR e.V. since 2015 and manages numerous projects for the organization. Her scientific interests are urban anthropology, conflicts, and migration.
Dr. Marit Cremer
Marit studied sociology, political science, and eastern European studies in Rostock, St. Petersburg, Potsdam and Berlin. She has been managing projects at MEMORIAL Germany in the name of memory politics in the post-Soviet space and Germany since 2015. In her doctorate "Arrived and integrated? Coping strategies during the process of migration" (2017) she examined strategies and courses of action for Chechen refugees in Germany. She worked as a translator at the Treatment Center for Torture Victims from 2003-2011. Until 2014, she managed a model project in the area of prenatal diagnostics (EKFUL), and thereafter headed the scientific accompanying research for a project centering around vocational orientation for students in Neukölln (AWO). She participated in the international monitoring of human rights in Eastern Ukraine in the years 2015 and 2016. She is currently conducting research on the identity of the second generation of deported Russian-Germans, as well as to the memories of children of german Gulag prisoners. She has been a member of the CISR Berlin since 2018.
Vlad Mikhel
Born and raised in the North Ural in a Russia Germans family. Artist, curator, contemporary art researcher. Studied philology at South Ural State University and theatre arts at Chelyabinsk Academy of Culture and Art. Attended a course at the Institute of Contemporary Art Baza in Moscow. Founder and curator of the educational platform Kultzavod at the OkNo Contemporary Art Gallery in Chelyabinsk. Author of a course of lectures on twentieth-century art. One of the first residents of the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art Studios. Participant in exhibitions in Chelyabinsk, Yekaterinburg, Moscow, New York.
Research and art interests:
performative practices, gender and queer studies, intercultural communication, Russia Germans in Russia and abroad.

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