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Arne Piepke Project I


Anecdotes from an unfamiliar land




A journey through rural areas of Germany, in search for an unusual, alternative and tragicomic view on my home country. For me, Germany seems unfamiliar. After my youth in the province, I moved to Germany’s largest metropolitan region. In my previous home area, the Sauerland, many people identify strongly through traditions and history; something that I could not find in the milieus of the larger cities and which was rather met with aversion there. These differences gave me a feeling of being in between. I became aware that I could not define my home country and that much is unknown to me. This leads me to question „being German“ and to enable a comprehensive, alternative and personal view of Germany. Places and events where collective identities could be found form the framework of my project. What speaks for or against the idea of a collective identity? Can there be a common link between different collective identities? I want to rediscover this country, examine the unnoticed and the overseen, let myself be surprised—track down Germany and find out what it has to tell. I look for occasions where people escape from their everyday life, identify with traditions and history and thus take on roles, dress up or stage themselves. Moments that we, as outsiders to these communities, hardly notice, combined with associative images of decay and decline, are lined up to form a tragicomic narrative of Germany. The provocative question remains: What does it mean to be „German“?

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