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Anecdotes from an unfamiliar Land

2019-2022
The photo-essay “Anecdotes from an unfamiliar land“ is a journey through rural areas of Germany, in search for an unusual, alternative and tragicomic view on my home country. How do we interpret our history? How do we identify with it? What speaks for or against the idea of a collective identity?

For me, parts of Germany seem 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.

I want to rediscover this country, examine the unnoticed and the overseen, let myself be surprised—to find my own Germany. 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, 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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Washington Post