In this paper I will to draw on extensive research done for my book entitled Soundtracking Germany: Popular Music and National Identity (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018), in which I investigate the mutually constitutive relationship of post-war German national identity and popular music. In order to illustrate how collective listening to popular music was fundamental for forging a new German identity after WWII, this paper will focus on early post-war Schlager and the widely popular carnival song “Wir sind die Eingeborenen von Trizonesien”(1948) in particular. The song, which became so popular that it was at times used as a substitute national anthem, addresses the occupying forces as “colonizers” while disclaiming guilt as “innocent natives” (Eingeborene) of (West)-Germany. Drawing on Bhabha’s concept of “nation as narration” (1990) and Anderson’s “imagined community” (1991), as well as Balibar’s notion of national identity as “the people producing themselves” (1991), this paper will analyze the construction, negotiation and performance of early post-war national identity in Germany through music. Finally, I will argue that through collectively listening and singing in the streets of cologne, in the interstice of the cultural landscape at its time, and availing themselves of the carnivalesque potential inversion of hierarchies (Bakhtin 1965), popular music enables the people to performatively (re)narrate “their” nation.
|Publication status||Published - 2019|
|Event||German Studies Association 2019 : Forty-Third Annual Conference - Portland, OR, United States|
Duration: 3-Oct-2019 → 6-Oct-2019
|Conference||German Studies Association 2019|
|Period||03/10/2019 → 06/10/2019|
- Popular Music
- National Identity