The Art of Being a German


General Photography

“What are German virtues? What do I have in common with other Germans? What does the word home mean to me? What do other nations think of us? What is typically German? When is one a German?” (link)

Needless to say, it is very German to ponder that question. But I think there’s quite a bit more to it than this, for a large variety of reasons - some of which are actually potentially of interest for Americans. Because, believe it or not, many of the identity problems faced by Germans are equally shared by Americans, with the difference being that America (or I should say the US) has chosen to solve the problems by creating a narrative that better not be questioned (but that’s partly falling apart now anyway).

In any case, The Art of Being a German features works done by young photographers, with many very interesting and exciting results. My personal favourites are the work of Lisa Ajtay, Oliver Döbler (who actually realized a project that I was thinking about), Daria Fleige, Nadja Gölzenleuchter (excellent!), Rico Hofmann, and Sevilay Kirmaz (excellent!).

Note how the whole project also neatly shows many different facets of German (and not only German) contemporary photography (incl. the usual Becherian suspects)!