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 short videos, the young voices of “Germania” introduce themselves, recalling their origins and how and why they ended up in Germany. Often exclaiming that they “feel German,” they talk about their experiences of belonging and their love of the country, but also about their feelings of cultural isolation and exclusion.
The first-hand accounts touch on racism based on skin color and religion in schools and everyday life, the feeling of being categorized into a stereotype of “what a Turkish person” – for example – “might sound like,” and the feeling of always being a foreigner in your own country. Other accounts reveal the opposite end of the spectrum – positive experiences of integration and the strong feeling of having opportunities they would not have elsewhere. These views are often linked to a feeling of being able to do achieve what you want to achieve, irrelevant of your skin color, religion, and other forms of structural discrimination that you can experience in Germany. The focus on the individual and the individual’s work rings strong through the accounts from this group of young Germans with migration background.
The Youtube series Germania gives an insight into how Germany became the multicultural country it is today, with migrants moving in over several decades for reasons that range from political persecution to seeking better educational opportunities. Above all, it shows that Germany has a migration history of its own that extends well beyond the current migration crisis.
Source: funk, and Hyperbole TV. “GERMANIA.” YouTube, YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2f-NhLhAStGWrOpm7Us-2A.
Multikulti Germania by Julia Alcamo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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