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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Xenophobia in Germany

I am excited to hear what my friends in Germany have to say about FEAR,PUBLIC SPACES and HIV in Deutschland.

1 Comments:

At 1:06 AM, Anonymous mm said...

I don’t know if this is connected with your post on 17.12 but where I live I believe that this “pandemic of fear” is present. From the side of the locals this xenophobia for example does exist- they are afraid that we the foreigners will take away what they have: money, jobs, social help privileges and scholarships, etc. There have been attacks on the foreigners both subtle and harsh. Last week for example a Canadian and an American, both students were physically attacked in a pub. I myself was pushed by an old man while walking which happened during my first year here. A black friend of mine was abused verbally. Because of this, we the “outsiders” do have this insecurity of being attacked. Although this seldom happens, we do not risk walking around the town late in the night. Unemployment rate is around 22% in this region and every 5th apartment in this town is reported to be uninhabited, the highest quote in Germany. I ask myself what is the real reason why 25,000 people are leaving this small town every year? Is it the earned image of the town as unfriendly, unsafe and harsh? Are people really afraid of what they have heard or what they know about the town? Or is it the infrastructure that scares people away from living here? If you see the buildings in this place it will remind you of the East German brick type buildings – plain, unattractive and unstylish. If you go to that area where those people living from “social help” are situated, you will see all sorts of graffiti on the wall, and these are places which cause you to sort of get a chill thinking you might get attacked any time.

What part can architecture play or can it help at all in restoring the image of this town and boost the confidence of its locals and other people in it?

 

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