Branding the new Germany: The Brandenburg Gate and a new kind of German historical Amnesia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Research on reimagining national past increases, so does research on the imagineering of national identity in cities. In regard to Germany, Berlin justly stars this research. However, so far, concepts of societal negotiation processes (Jennifer Jordan, for instance) tend to dominate the analysis, suggesting that national identity is a matter of public discourse and a response to social needs. Slightly challenging these approaches, this chapter on the Brandenburg Gate ventures to point to easily ignored agents, which undercut the societal negotiations. In Berlin, this agent can be identified in the city marketing, which aims for branding the city in order to attract tourism, industry and business. In order to show how this affects communicative strategies and reception modes referring the Brandenburg Gate, the essay applies a hermeneutic concept that differentiates between sign, symbol and icon. In doing so, this chapter also heads to the realization, how well branding efforts of city marketing suit a longing for a positive German identity, a longing that is becoming more and more predominant in the political discourse.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCultural Topographies of the New Berlin
EditorsKarin Bauer, Jennifer Hosek
PublisherBerghahn Books
ISBN (Print)9781785337208
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017
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