The weekly Youtube series “Germania” paints a portrait of Germany today through the eyes of young people – often celebrities – all of whom have what Germans refer to as a “migration background” (Migrationshintergrund). The German public service network “funk,” which works across all digital platforms, commissions “Germania,” and the production company Hyperbole TV produces the videos. Because the production companies work for the public service, both are tied to the regulations of public TV in Germany; “funk” and its executive producers Florian Hager and Sophie Burkhardt strive to produce content that is relatable to as many of the 15 million 14- to 29-year-old Germans as possible. Choosing to address migration backgrounds and integration into German culture in a dedicated Youtube series, “Germania” brings the issue of multiculturalism to the young generations who will have grown up in an increasingly colorful Germany.
In his “Germania” video, Gangsta rapper Massiv shares the prejudices he experienced growing up as the only Muslim child and teenager in his hometown of Pirmasens, on the border with France. Massiv’s parents fled Lebanon and came to Germany as refugees to raise their family in a country that could offer stability, a health care system, and a future for their children. Calling his younger self an example of “failed integration,” Massiv admits that the isolation of being the only Muslim in his school – of being “different” – caused him to fight back. It definitely contributed, he says, to him bringing home forty-two criminal charges before the age of nineteen. Even though parts of his story illustrate the isolating experience of being a German with a migration background, Massiv chooses to focus on the possibility of individual achievements in his response to structural discrimination: “You can achieve anything in Germany. You have to get on and do it, but Germany is a good place for doing it.” He uses his own success as a rapper, claiming to have changed the shape of the genre and his popular breakthrough in 2005 as a prime example of the opportunities Germany has to offer if you are willing to work for them.
Source: funk, and Hyperbole TV. “Massiv | GERMANIA.” YouTube, YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ft8zDv3GkR0 (18 October 2017).
Multikulti Germania | Massiv by Julia Alcamo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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