Guest Post…Germany

This is my younger brother, Brandon. He has been living in Germany for a couple of months now, doing research for a prestigious internship (I’m very proud of him). Every time I talk to him on the phone, he mentions all the cool things that he has seen through his travels. So, I asked him if he would want to write something for Paper N Stitch about his experience, and he said yes. Thanks Bo! Without further ado….

By Brandon Wood

While I have lived in the southern United States most of my life, I have mostly known I live in a cultural wasteland. Most natives find themselves daydreaming of the good old days of yore while I do the same. I have studied the era of my parents–the art, the culture, the music–I know it all too well. Lest we forget, nostalgia can be wild and wily.

I have just spent my summer in the green pastures of western Germany. I have found here a people that decry their checkered past; there is no nostalgia, only history. Despite this, some can find a semblance of pride from what art has left to them. They can appreciate music, sculptures, architecture, art and everything
that makes life more colorful: and it shows.

Even my relatively small city boasts quite an elaborate concert hall and opera house. Flowers line the streets and bus stops. Sculpted fountains with strange themes of alcoholism and misspent youth are sprinkled throughout the town. It is culture, it is art, it is the greener grass.

From where Allies had leveled buildings and destroyed entire cities, they have rebuilt anew with modern and post-modern architecture. They have rebuilt historical buildings untied by history to the world wars. Incredible gothic churches tower most cities, offering to God the best they could do.

Office buildings are something more than a place for ones workers to work. They are modern, efficient, and appeal as much as utilitarian beehives can. City after city, I saw only this design or the exemplary Germanic architecture. I saw only very modern art and sculptures.

From what is my own conjecture, these buildings stand so artful and streets lined with color in order to usher in the future–to declare that nostalgia has no purpose. It is to ensure that no one daydreams of the good old days of yore and the passed remains past.

I now wonder if this is what it takes for art to penetrate the minds and hearts of the natives of the south. Is it only when faced with inexplicable horror and default of identity that one can appreciate art and culture? Or is it only when one wants to make anew–to brush off their issues, capture them in a moment and
leave it to those who might need it thereafter?

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Comments
5 Responses to “Guest Post…Germany”
  1. eva says:

    Hello Brittni and Brandon

    I came across your Impressions of my country when checkin out this blog because of Brittnis invitation on DaWanda to submit our work.

    And now I got stuck with your klein aber fein report (hope you picked up some german?!).
    I’m happy that you had the sensitivity and alertnes to discover one of the many effects of our past. You put it in very thoughtful words: no nostalgia, only history. You know what – default of nostalgia is a relief and so is the lack of national pride.

    I just would like to know one thing. I checked the pictures over and over again: where ist that little town you staid? Was it Trier or Koblenz or some place like that?

    Have a nice day!
    Eva

  2. papernstitch says:

    Hi Eva! Thanks for your comment. I can’t remember off the bat where exactly my brother was staying, but I will ask him an let you know.

  3. Brandon says:

    Hallo Eva,

    I worked at Universität Karlsruhe (TH) in Baden-Württemberg. However, most of the photos here are from Ulm, Heidelberg and Hamburg.

    Meinen Besuch hat viel spaß gemacht. Ich bin jetzt wieder in den USA und hoffe daß Sie haben mein akkurat gefunden.

    Mit freundlichen grüßen,
    Brandon

  4. Eva says:

    Hi Brandon

    Thanx or your Infos. Quiet embarrising – Ulm I should have recognized, since it’s my hometown. That’s the first pictures with all those colorful people arround you, right? Und Dein Deutsch ist fast ganz akkurat. Hoffentlich kannst Du es weiterhin in den USA sprechen.

    Viele Grüsse
    Eva

  5. Jeff says:

    Great post Brandon. I wish I would’ve been there to see the Rothko exhibit. He’s one of my favorites. I trust you went?

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