German 233 Culture and Literature Class Final Art Projects (Fall 2015)

The final project for Ger 233 literature course during the Fall Quarter 2015 entitled "Unser Erstes Wortkunstwerk auf Deutsch" (literally “work of art in words in German”) required students to:

  1. Connect their own personal life experience with the knowledge they have gained in the course including the literary genres, movements and various cultural and historical forces which shape works of art
  2. Use this knowledge and experience to produce an original, creative work, your Wortkunstwerk auf Deutsch while working in a team.

I. Das Bärenritterlied (The Song of the Bear Knight)

An early medieval epic poem by Laura Borovilos

Project Description:

Inspired by Das Niebelungenlied (Brunhilde) and pagan beliefs, this epic poem tells a story of a female bear knight. It is a feministic twist on themes from pre-Christian Germany. The poem communicates: independence can be lonely, but love can be worse.

II. Die Geschichte von der Prinzessin und dem Drachen (The Story of the Princess and the Dragon)

A creative children's story of love and adventure with an unusual ending meant to inspire us all, by Lindsay Otto, Laura Tomlinson and Daniel Henry

III. Die Weite Reise von Assel und Elyas [The Journey of Elyas and Assel]

by Victoria Scherpel, Alina Schwenk-Mueller, Elina King and Tobias Bleisch

“Hexen, Magie, U-Boot Reise, tausende Kilometer und eine einzige Kette, das ist die Reise von Elyas und Assel“ [Witches, magic, traveling by boat for thousands of kilometers and a single chain – this is the journey of Elyas and Assel]

Project Description:

The poem tells a story of two Syrian children who lose their family and set out on their journey to Germany. The inspiration came from the first-hand accounts of Victoria’s father who has been working with Syrian refugees in Germany. We wanted our readers to think about the current situation in Europe and the hardships that refugees are going through. In addition, we wanted to communicate that the children’s perspective of the world is quite different from the adults’ perspective.

IV. Der Nachtfalter [The Peppered Moth]

A poem and a sculpture by Taylor Best, Alexander Esser and Colin Smith. A single case study that summarizes humanity’s interaction with the natural world over the past two hundred years.

The project is about the visible impact of humanity on nature.

It uses the case study of the peppered moth in Great Britain during the industrial revolution. It shows how the industrial revolution scale pollution affected the habitat and eventually the appearance of the peppered moth.

This project also shows how human action can both destroy nature and recover it to its former glory.

The inspiration for this project came from the technical background of the all three group members. We all wanted to build something physical, like a sculpture.

We decided that contrasting Naturalism and Industrialism through the study of the peppered moth would allow us to make something both meaningful and fun.

The poem became a written piece to support the sculpture.

The meaning of this work is to show the simultaneous fragility and resilience of nature in the face of human activity.

It also shows that even when humans damage their environment, they can, with care, return to its former glory.

We wish for our audience to develop an appreciation for the importance of protecting nature by showing how easily negative changes can occur.

We wish to highlight the balance of nature, even in the face of adversity using this well distinguished example.

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