The Great Transformation in Germany of 1989/90 from the View of Local Television (1990-1995)
VIEW Journal , Volume 11 - Issue 21 p. 36- 48
From 1989/90 to 1995 there was a clash of cultures in Europe and in Germany, West vs. East, in which power was unequally distributed. The approximately 40 Saxon local television programmes from this time represent - with the “view from below,” from East German people in rural and metropolitan areas – unique historical sources for the cultural memory of one of the most important historical cuts in the 20th century. The examination of these nearly never seen programmes and their re-staging today contribute to the revision of established representations, positions and assessments of this period. This contribution deals with the results of our research projects since 2017 (ongoing). We conducted re-runs of local TV programme clips throughout East German federal states (Länder). In the viewers today they did re-actualise life experiences as well as buried, repressed or (only) learned, acquired contexts and feelings of the saddle period of 1990 to 1995. This way, explanations can be given for the roots of current social problems and political discourses. For the first time in history, this singular pool of local television programmes contains the records of an important German and European transformation process through moving images, in a bottom-up production process of self-professionalized citizens, and not in a state TV top-down process of power elites. To date, these historical television sources have not been given any major attention, neither by researchers nor by politicians, nor by archives (apart from us).