Anecdotes from an unfamiliar Land

by Arne Piepke
Over the course of three years, I travel through rural areas of Germany, in search for an unusual, alternative and tragicomic view on my home country. Based on my own search for belonging, I examine how people find their identity in traditions and history.

How do we interpret our history? How do we find stability in traditions and community?

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 work aims to provide an approach to the complexity and vagueness of collective identity and to question this concept. The provocative question remains: What does it mean to be “German“?