Ways across the Country – Democracy in Transforming Landscapes

The idea underlying the project is simple: to send – in the wake of upcoming elections threatened by the likely success of right-wing parties and a democratic backlash – three “cross-country writers” (Überlandschreiberinnen) to three federal states (Brandenburg, Saxony and Thuringia) for several months at the time. In being close to the population and entertaining close contacts with civil society partners in small towns and rural regions of eastern Germany, they explore the local mood, concerns, dilemmas as well as the transformation of social and political landscapes. They report on it in local and national newspapers. They are backed by a team of social scientists and civil society members. The cross-country writers’ challenge is to find a new way, a perspective, away from the usual media treatment to break the usual narratives and have a fresh look on the situation. Their goal is to help local actors, a national and political audience to reflect on the prevailing situation – to see what they have before their eyes, but don’t necessarily see. This is possible, this is the idea underlying the project, through the treatment of the everyday and the local and in writing in an ethnographic-literary fashion, both attractive and accessible as well as challenging.

Dr. Alexander Leistner
Prof. Dr. Barbara Thériault
Dr. Judith Enders
Tina Pruschmann
Manja Präkels