Frauke Frech

“My very private Germany”
I noticed that I barely knew Germany, my so-called homeland, around ten years ago when I was working as an au pair in Iceland. It was my first time in a foreign culture, and suddenly I was regularly shown picture books about Germany that depicted places, landscapes and people that I had never come in contact with. I began to feel a desire to get to know the people who live in Germany, their views and values, and to come to understand them too. This desire stayed with me and developed until I decided in 2013 to concentrate on the residents of various other locations in Germany for periods of three months – locations that interested me because of their history and changes, particularly in recent times. I would like to tell of the people who make these places what they are, and I ask myself the question: What do we have to share as outsiders and also as neighbours in this society?
It all started out in 2013 in Lichtenberg, Berlin.
Many people’s impressions of Lichtenberg centre around the Stasi, tower blocks and neo-Nazis. Between all this, there are lots of green spaces, and many pensioners and social-welfare recipients. I consciously decided to face up to my own prejudices and set out to get to know the residents of Lichtenberg and to persuade them to participate in my project. Over the course of half a year, I got to know many of them personally and, as part of a process of mutual exchange, got to look behind the scenes to a certain extent and to obtain an insight into their realities, and they into mine too.
I turned selected encounters into performances that address the audience directly, personally and on a one-to-one basis. These performances could be experienced in a room in Lichtenberg Museum that was fitted out with furniture borrowed from my Lichtenberg acquaintances.

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Phở – ein Kochabend mit zehn Gästen


February, 2014