Cluster of Excellence awarded "Thank You-Sculpture”

Honoured by Faraj Remmo for commitment to social participation and peace

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Following the celebrations in Münster to mark the 375th anniversary of the Peace of Westphalia, the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” at the University of Münster has been awarded the “Thank You Sculpture”. With this award, Bielefeld social scientist Dr. Faraj Remmo honours institutions and individuals “who have rendered outstanding services to our global society with their work”. The Cluster of Excellence was awarded the “Thank You Sculpture” for its social engagement with the issue of “peace” and its commitment to social participation – as recently demonstrated again at the Westphalian Peace Summit, which was attended by international guests such as Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Roberta Gbowee from Liberia.

On receiving the award, the Cluster of Excellence speaker, Prof. Dr. Michael Seewald, said: “We are delighted to receive this award. For us, research on socially relevant issues demands participation: everyone should have the opportunity to take part. Our transfer work is geared towards this. With the summit, we were once again able to promote dialogue between science, international politics and civil society – on an equal footing with representatives of the global South, who are indispensable when it comes to peace and justice”. As the Cluster’s academic manager Dr. Angela Marciniak explained, the Cluster of Excellence has long been investigating past and present conflicts, questions of social belonging, and dimensions of social inequality such as age, gender, income, status, education, ethnicity and religion.

The Westphalian Peace Summit marked the end of the anniversary year “375 Years of the Peace of Westphalia”, which saw the Cluster of Excellence being involved in five events on peace issues past and present. Also organizing the summit alongside the Cluster of Excellence was the City of Münster (which was also honoured by Faraj Remmo), the Westphalia Initiative for Personal Responsibility and the Common Good, and the North Westphalia Chamber of Industry and Commerce. These cooperative networks in the Year of Peace are anchored in the “Alliance for Science” working group “1648 Dialogues for Peace”. The alliance comprises figures from the city, science and politics who are interested in developing means to communicate research. The Cluster of Excellence is represented in the alliance by the Head of the Centre for Research Communication, Viola van Melis.

The awarding of the “Thank You Sculpture” is a personal initiative by Faraj Remmo, who wishes to send a “message of solidarity and support to people who have little to no resources”. Remmo defines solidarity as acting against all forms of discrimination. The “Thank You Sculpture” has been awarded since 2017. (pie/vvm)