At the latest since the Enlightenment in Europe, the concept of freedom has been of enormous importance to European identity. But the promise that this term held for a long time has apparently lost its charisma. How shall we deal with this state of affairs? How shall we reconcile awareness of tradition and self-determination? How can permeable borders be reconciled with secure coexistence? Is peace freedom enough when one has emerged from war? Is capitalism freedom if one has previously undergone socialism? Eight European authors endeavour to provide narrative answers to these questions.
A Good European #08: Counter-Attack
Oliver Rohe has a solicitor tell the story of his client, a German of Lebanese origin. It is an equally familiar and shocking tale of innocence, biased police work, discrimination and radicalisation. Islamist terror appears as a distorted mirror image of interaction with the other.
A Good European #07: Paranoia
Adrian Leka casts an elliptical spotlight on everyday life in Albania, a candidate for EU membership. Whether young people or senior citizens, journalists or café-goers: everyone senses conspiracy and surveillance, everything seems to be on the verge of disaster, nowhere are there signs of hope and power to act. A life paralysed under the perceived diktat of adaptation.
A Good European #06: On the run
Wilfried N’Sondé has written an impromptu about an overnight bus ride from Berlin to Paris. In his story, the narrator witnesses an incident on the periphery, a small drama that makes it clear that freedom of movement no longer applies to everyone, man or woman, in the Schengen area either.
A Good European #05: A Good European
In her story, Zinaida Lindén addresses Europe’s arrogant elevation of its values to the measure of all things - thus rendering those who do not master its codes un-free. Correct, stylish and good enough? Almost impossible for a female Russian academic. Lindén looks at the subtle distinctions that core Europe (still) allows itself to make.
A Good European #04: Simple, little Things
Vladimir Asenijević has written a parable about how Europeans deal with their own privileges. In this work, an insect becomes a symbol of the unknown, the other, the underprivileged. The narrator's reactions - disgust, empathy, compassion, complacency and self-loathing - form a condensation of European arrogance and ineptitude.
A Good European #03: Dad will join us later
Nasrin Siege narrates from the perspective of a little girl who fled Aleppo with her mother. The traumatisation caused by the war in Syria is conveyed very simply through the childlike words. And yet: arrival in Germany brings with it the hope of healing.