Not German? Get a German childhood online
TWIG - A New Zealand artist with strong ties to Germany has put together a website where non-German visitors can have a German childhood created for them, or where German visitors can donate their own childhood.
That might seem like a load of poppycock in an era when national identity and immigration are hot topics, but what the website actually does is pose intriguing questions about how immigrants integrate into society.
The project by artist Joann Moar, who holds an art degree from the University of Cologne, consists of a databank where visitors to the website becoming-german.de can store memories from their childhood.
With questions such as "When were you born," "What is your favorite color," or "What was your favorite book as a child?" the site focuses less on the experiences of childhood than on childhood identity.
Moar’s project is a personal one, since she herself immigrated to Germany in 1995. But no matter how long Moar lived in the country, she frequently found herself confused by references to characters and products that were popular in Germany decades ago. The website, she says, is the way she found to remedy her "lack of German childhood."
For the past few years, she has been traveling around Germany with her laptop and a portable stand adding German memories to her database.
Since starting the project, Moar has collected over 5,000 German childhoods - to be dispensed to whomever needs one.
For her ongoing project, which Moar calls a "work in
progress," the 34-year-old artist will be awarded the Digital Sparks Award
for media arts at a ceremony on May 12 at the Center for Art and Media
Technology in Karlsruhe.
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