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The art of narrating and the question of cultural acknowledgment: the case of Die Kinder von Golzow and a reunified Germany

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Abstract

Some twenty years since the reunification of Germany, the cultural and interpersonal communication between eastern and western Germans remains problematic – complicated by oversimplified media representations of the GDR-past that induce an attitude of mistrust towards eastern Germans as well as making them feel unacknowledged. This paper explores the question of German integration post-1989 through an analysis of the documentary series Die Kinder von Golzow (Winfried and Winfried, 1961–2005). The aim is to show how the series, even if marginal in the public memory, offers a cultural meeting ground by narrating the recent past from the perspective of everyday-life. The paper argues that the construction of a political community is not only the result of institutional politics, but also of everyday praxis. In other words, it is necessary to distinguish between two levels of integration in the case of the reunification of Germany: on the one hand the acceptance of institutions of the Federal Republic; and on the other the exchange of historical (collective and individual) experiences, since these form the basis of a cultural and mutual acknowledgment of identity and difference among eastern and western Germans.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Bologna

Publication date: 01 December 2010

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