Competence oriented open learning for disadvantaged learners


Exile (Exil) is a hybrid programme consisting of stories (as poems) based on experiences, impressions, moods and thoughts of Dorothe Römer in connection with her work as a managing person of several homes for refugees in a small spa town in the rural area of Northern Hesse.

The stories and poems are being set to music by Aaron Nagel and Fee Marie Römer and performed in a Talk-to-Music dialogue.

Exile is a filter for the stories of the refugees, a means to make us understand the pains at their origin, their passages and their challenges and culture clashes in new surroundings, environments, contexts and communities.

Exile aims to create understanding and consciousness from the perspective of a “professional” working in integration in Germany – played out in a change of text and music to listen and reflect.

Dorothe Römer manages 4 refugee shelters in a small spa town in northern Hesse. She is also a hiking guide and storyteller in the Bad Karlshafen region. At the moment there are 3 collective shelters and flats with about 400 refugees. As the manager of the shared accommodation, she has to deal with almost everything “from pregnancy to death”, so to speak.

She listens to their stories and processes them into poems.

The stories are about daily conflicts, culture shocks of the people who have recently arrived from war areas and also about how the people from the region deal with it.

Her Exile programme is about the stories of the refugees without dragging them onto the stage.
It tells the stories through a filter, so to speak, and thus becomes an advocate for the refugees, who react very positively to the programme.

Exile is about people who have lost touch with their homeland and their experiences of war, misunderstanding, racism and problems with a new societal system in which they don’t fit automatically.

Exile processes concrete stories in lyrical texts and combines them with music.

The programme was first performed publicly in 2020 in Bad Karlshafen.

It is aimed at all of us, including of course the refugees themselves. It is probably especially interesting for people who work in this “integration” field, whether as professionals or volunteers.

Exile is part of a larger cycle called Nando’s Bazaar, which is a kind of journal of several chapters, in which Dorothe processes the experiences and adventures of the last turbulent years and catastrophes:

  • The first wave of refugees (exile)
  • Corona and the isolation in the province
  • War and power and finally
  • “Sonnenkind” (sun-child) surreal texts for a world gone completely mad.

The programme is presented in a musical dialogue between poems and music. The music is written by Aaron Nagel and Fee Marie Römer.

For Dorothe, the musical conversion is a “purifying process”, triggering ruptures through change of atmosphere, rhythm and colour of the narratives”.

Exile is an invitation to listen and reflect!


Dorothe Römer