Migration is normal in a growing city and as much a part of Munich as is Marienplatz. Brickmakers from Italy’s Friuli region, who produced the construction materials for many typical Munich buildings, “displaced persons” who helped just as much with re-building the city after World War II as other groups, and “guest workers,” who made key contributions to industrial production and urban development have all left their marks on Munich’s culture and daily life. These people, their stories, and their memories are integral to “Typically Munich!”. This can clearly be seen in areas like the Westend, originally a working-class district and now a trendy neighborhood with one of Munich’s highest percentages of foreigners, andin the city’s lively religious diversity.
Munich was and is a city of immigrants. This is the perspective that the Münchner Stadtmuseum and the Munich City Archives have, since 2015, taken in researching the city’s past and present, starting with the end of World War II. Not only has the “Migration Moves the City” project successfully documented new perspectives on history, and forged close contacts with leading players in migration, it has also expanded the collections of both commemorative institutions adding innumerable important sources and significant objects.
The results of these endeavors now occupy a prominent place in the Münchner Stadtmuseum. In the “Typically Munich !” permanent exhibition, new exhibits now fill gaps in the city's history here and there providing clear evidence of the ways in which migration has left, and still leaves, its mark on Munich. The chronology of the permanent exhibition has been breached and now faces a questioning commentary on how it has been presented up until now. What changes must we make to our perspective to truly tell the story of an immigrant society? Which objects best serve our purpose? How can the history of migration become a shared narrative of the society of this city?
A total of 15 exhibition stations feature objects that represent the past and the present of migration in Munich and invite visitors to adopt a new perspective. In addition, each of these stops has a tablet so that visitors can interact with additional objects and digital content related to that particular station. The exhibition texts and the additional interactive material have been translated into English and Modern Standard Arabic with a view to reaching the widest possible audience. Visitors can also use two participative modules to help put together their own collections on Munich's history of migration and join the debate on how the city should now start to view itself.