Let’s connect and celebrate together the opening of the BonnLab  on Saturday from 2 to 10 p.m. The Bonnections group now meets regularly at the new City Lab in Bonn-Beuel to brainstorm and develop creative projects and story ideas with refugees, new and old Bonners.

Throughout the day, there will be lots of fun activities for all ages, food, dance and music. At the launch party, we are organizing a session with storytelling, poetry reading, short film screening and Dabke dancing starting at 6 pm. Later there will be live and DJ music with Bonn’Up (HipHop, Arabic/world music fusion). You are also welcome to bring your own music or instrument and favorite poems to share and read.

After our arts and culture sharing session, we will turn the BonnLab into a culturally and culinary diverse makeshift restaurant. There’s no better way to connect with people, engage in intercultural dialogue and get a taste of a country than through food.

It would be wonderful, if you could bring your favorite dish and home-made food to our potluck-style dinner party. This could be a small traditional dish or comfort food that brings back good memories and interesting stories to share, dishes that connect you to a special place and put a smile on your face.

A potluck is a communal meal where everyone brings a course or dish. It’s a popular concept among my friends in the States and Alaska. The original meaning in English was “food provided for an unexpected guest, the luck of the pot”.

Potlatch, which means “to give away” in the Chinook language, is a traditional gift-giving feast practiced by indigenous peoples in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Potlatches can last for days or weeks. They are social gatherings with people from neighboring villages to strengthen the spiritual, social and cultural aspects of community.

If you like, you can also swing by earlier and add something to our international buffet and culinary journey across the world. We’re also happy if you just bring yourself and your family and friends. Delicious delights are waiting for you all day at the City Lab.

  • At 3 p.m. there will be coffee & cake for a “town chit-chat”.
  • At 5 p.m. you’re invited to a tasty “food camp” (sponsored by local restaurants).
  • At 7 p.m. the “cultinary” story telling restaurant will open its doors.

After the end of the music and dance session at 10 p.m., we can walk together to the river bank to watch the Rhine in Flames fireworks that will start around 11 p.m.

Our first Bonnections Meet-Up at BonnLab took place on March 31 (Photo: Johanna Schäfer)
First Bonnections Meet-Up at BonnLab  on March 31. Photo: Johanna Schäfer

BonnLab is the brain child of Johanna Schäfer, a young city planner and recent college graduate, who believes that cities need a bottom-up approach to sustainable urban development. The new city lab aims to raise the quality of life in Bonn by fostering citizen-driven innovation, dialogue and cooperation. It offers grassroots initiatives and volunteer groups, like Bonnections or Code for Bonn, a space to meet, work, network and connect.

In this General-Anzeiger article (“Room for experiments”), Johanna explains what the BonnLab is all about.



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