WIR - HIER

By Haug / Guschas

To celebrate China's 70th anniversary, 15,000 soldiers marched across Tiananmen Square, nuclear intercontinental missiles were driven through the streets, while military helicopters and fighter planes thundered across the city. On 3.10.2020, Germany will celebrate the 30th anniversary of reunification and for the 30th time people are more likely to face this day with helplessness and shrugging of shoulders. 
Who actually decides which day will be a holiday? Who decides what and how should be celebrated? Who belongs to it? And how does one idea become a tradition for many? As seldom as flags are waved in Germany, as reluctant as people are to sing, it seems exciting to take a closer look and ask elsewhere: How do people in Ecuador, Nigeria, New Zealand, Pakistan or Israel celebrate their country? How can a nation be imagined? Which rituals could be invented to fill, mark or expand the void?

The psychologist Ronja Bücher, who was born in Leipzig in 1990 as the first reunited-German child, and the historian Jan Plamper, who proposes a "new us", ask themselves: How and what can WE celebrate HERE?

Together they set out on a search. They write 194 messages and want to know How does your country celebrate? They contact stateless people, island sellers and hymn writers, rummage through archives and their own photo albums and always end up with the question: WHO ARE WE HERE?
And yet every WE and every HERE is constructed in this radio play. The voices and positions are interwoven and move forward, but an actual encounter never took place.

A radio play in 4 parts with Ronja Büchner, Jan Plamper, Kefei Cao, Benedict Anderson, Thomas Braune, Katrin Büchner, Mike Gogulski, Valentin Groebner, Christoph Heuermann, Sota Omoigui as well as ambassadors, consuls and representatives of the following countries:
Estonia, Finland, Pakistan, Ecuador, Kosovo, Canada, Denmark, Philippines, Indonesia, New Zealand, USA, Israel, Palestinian Territories, Mexico, South Korea, Malaysia, Seychelles, Great Britain and Taiwan.

Idea and text: Helgard Haug and Thilo Guschas
Director: Helgard Haug
Composition: Frank Böhle
Dramaturgy: Martina Müller-Wallraf
Sound and mixing: Werner Jäger and Jeanette Wirtz-Fabian

A production of the Westdeutscher Rundfunk 2020