Poetry slammer, performing artist, news reporter—the job list for Michel Abdollahi goes on and on. Today he’s fronting the cover for Men’s Health Best Style Germany Spring/Summer 2021.
After his “active career” as a poetry slammer, he founded poetry slam series “Kampf der Künste” (engl. Battle of the Arts) in 2005, which is now the largest such series in the world, and has received high praise throughout German media.
In addition to his cultural engagement, he is a regular contributor to German broadcaster NDR. At OMR, he’ll be on the Expo Big Picture Stage as host.
Ein Eleganter Entlarver
Journalist Michel Abdollahi was born in Tehran in 1981 and moved to Hamburg in 1986. His big breakthrough came with his television documentaries on social issues such as integration, racism and right-wing populism. He spoke to Qantara.de about his book “Deutschland schafft mich!”
I mean, what is a “super model migrant”? Does that mean I eat traditional Bavarian sausages and sing along to Schlager music? Does that make me integrated? I am integrated when I believe in the system here in Germany. And even if I don’t believe in the system, it should be enough that I abide by Germany’s laws. It should make absolutely no difference what language I speak, what food I eat, what music I listen to and to whom I pray, as long as I enjoy working here, pay my taxes, and am part of society. But no, people with dark hair always have to go the extra mile. We have to be western. But what is “being western” anyway, and why is it worth aspiring to? Why isn’t it worth aspiring to be “eastern”?Michel
“The Gentleman Journalist” – Anja Reschke, Panorama “Abdollahi sums up the hustle and bustle that many Germans experience advised when trying to understand that the country they live in has changed and will and must continue to change.
“I am very happy to be Iranian, very happy to be a Muslim, very happy to be German. I am very happy to be all these things and it enriches my life”
Photographer: Martthias Ziegler
Stylist: Yilmaz Aktepe
Hair & Makeup: Trini Sager
Cast: Michel Abdollahi @bisomratte