The international association NamaStay – Social Justice Lab e.V., based in Offenbach am Main, was founded in 2019 by students of the social work department focusing on culture and media from the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences. The Organisation functions as a network for sociocultural project development. It initiates from various encounters within the scope of the Erasmus+ program and the resulting desire to jointly develop and realize further projects, work together long term and locally implement different sociocultural approaches from other countries in the RheinMain region.
The term NamaStay reflects the quintessence of their work. Based on the yogic term “Namasté,” which implies a fundamental attitude of unconditional mutual respect, acceptance, and appreciation, “NamaStay” symbolically stands for the question of social justice and how social spaces can become places where one would like to stay.
Meeting the standards of professional Social Work, the network creates sociocultural projects with the vision “to learn from the past with the innovation of the future, exploring the world and our own culture for a brighter today.” In addition to the common practice, a laboratory of innovative approaches opens up through interdisciplinary aspects and action research throughout the practical application that reveals the various interrelations between art, culture, and social realities.
The projects aim to give people affected by disadvantages access to art, culture, and aesthetics in the broadest sense as a tool to enable self-empowerment and provoke collective change processes.
According to bottom-up principles, the association serves as a microcosm to implement ideas and enable direct personal experiences. The goal is to jointly develop visions of a “better world,” bringing them onto the stage and thus becoming the mouthpiece of marginalization, shifting perspective towards the added value of a diverse society, and promoting a concept of inclusion that is worth striving for.