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Archive Books

Echoes of the Brother Countries Reader (EN) Reader

Echoes of the Brother Countries Reader (EN) Reader

The Echoes of the Brother Countries Reader embarks on a rigorous reappraisal of the historical exchanges between the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and its so-called Bruderländer (brother countries). Published on the occasion of the eponymous research and exhibition project at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), this reader considers the echo as a fulcrum to examine the resonant aesthetic, social, and political implications of an era from the perspectives of those who were deeply affected by the GDR’s state and labour policies, yet gravely overlooked in its histories. Scrutinizing mainstreamed discourses about ‘unification’, ‘contract workers’, and ‘East Germany’, the contributions offer a critical assessment of the GDR’s interactions with other socialist countries, as well as the implications for the people who lived there. Conversations and essays from witnesses, scholars, and artists make a case for a more discerning perspective on the connections of solidarity that linked the GDR to countries such as Angola, Cuba, Ghana, Mozambique, and Vietnam, among others. The GDR is conceived as an interface where ideologies, visions, and illusions converged, and through which states and individuals forged connections, however performative, against the backdrop of transformative historical currents.


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