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German Film

In Memoriam: Christoph Schlingensief

Christoph Schlingensief, Germany’s most provocative theater director of recent times, has died from cancer at age 49. Directing plays at the most prominent theaters in the German-speaking countries, Schlingensief always considered art to be linked with politics and never shied away from a controversy.

One of his most memorable performances occurred in Vienna in 2000: After the conservative government had announced a series of laws against foreigners in Austria, Schlingensief put up a container right next to the venerable Viennese Staatsoper, inhabited by a group of foreigners whose day-to-day activities were broadcast over the internet. In Big-Brother-style, at the end of each week, audiences had a chance to vote who would be removed from the container and be deported. Schlingensief managed to cast a light on the xenophobic politics of the Austrian government and incited a lively debate about how to better integrate immigrants and asylum seekers in Austria’s society. The NYT has a brief obituary. Below is the trailer for the “Ausländer raus!” show.

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About GG

Gundolf Graml is Associate Prof. and Dir. of German Studies at Agnes Scott College. He has a Ph.D. in German Studies from the University of Minnesota and has published articles on German and Austrian film and tourism. He is currently writing a book about tourism and Austrian national identity after 1945. Other research projects include critical whiteness studies and, most recently, investigations into the connection between memory and nature. At ASC, Gundolf Graml teaches courses on a broad range of topics, from German 101 to German and Austrian Cinema and Afro-German History and Culture.

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