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Talking Germany: The German Way of Life

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Society & Culture
Personal Journals
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"Talking Germany - The German Way of Life." The show takes an entertaining and informative look at what makes Germans tick, what they think and how they feel.

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"Talking Germany - The German Way of Life." The show takes an entertaining and informative look at what makes Germans tick, what they think and how they feel.

iTunes Ratings

2 Ratings
Average Ratings
2
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iTunes Ratings

2 Ratings
Average Ratings
2
0
0
0
0
Cover image of Talking Germany: The German Way of Life

Talking Germany: The German Way of Life

Latest release on Jun 15, 2015

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"Talking Germany - The German Way of Life." The show takes an entertaining and informative look at what makes Germans tick, what they think and how they feel.

Talking Germany - Claus Hipp, Entrepreneur

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Claus Hipp is a familiar face in Germany, not least because he personally appears in the commercials for his baby food company. On Talking Germany he'll be talking about jars of cereal, organic farming and good manners.
Claus Hipp took over the company founded by his father Georg in 1932 at a young age. His father died when he was 29 and he and his brothers Georg and Paulus took the helm. With a law degree under his belt as well as an apprenticeship with the painter Heinrich Kroop, Claus Hipp had to put his love of art and acting on the backburner.

Today, his five children have all joined the family business and he has more time to devote to his first loves. He's been teaching at the art school in Tbilisi, Georgia, since 2001, and also lends his talents as a set designer to the opera festival at the Gut Immling estate im Chiemgau. Now 75, he is a keen oboe player and lives in the family estate near Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm.

Jun 15 2015

33mins

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Talking Germany - Alexandra Kalle, Fragrance Developer

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Alexandra Kalle discovered her olfactory talent in her late twenties and gave up her career as a marketing expert. Today she works for a fragrance company that makes the world famous brand 4711 Original Eau de Cologne. On Talking Germany, Alexandra Kalle speaks about her sensory relationship to her work.
Alexandra Kalle was born in 1970 in Paderborn. After graduating from high school, she studied languages and business administration. At a job interview in the marketing department of a perfume company she took an olfactory test and achieved an outstanding score. She decided to begin anew and finished a two-and-a-half-year training course as a perfumer, a profession that only about 60 people carry out in Germany. She composes new fragrances in her mind and develops formulas not in the laboratory, but at her desk. Now 44, she has worked for six years for 4711, a brand with a long tradition, best known for itsOriginal Eau de Cologne, which is celebrating its 222nd anniversary this year. Alexandra Kalle has renewed and extended the brand, which is sold in 160 countries around the world, with her own series of fragrances. She likes to take walks to scent out the air in her adopted home town of Cologne.

Jun 08 2015

31mins

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Talking Germany - Amir Kabbani, Professional Mountain Biker

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Amir Kabbani is one of Germany's best dirt bikers. On hazardous circuits he jumps over earth mounds and other obstacles on his mountain bike, and catapults down steep slopes and ramps. Amir Kabbani is 24 and grew up in Boppard on the Rhine. He practices in the forests around the wine-growing town. On Talking Germany he talks about renown and risks in his extreme sport.
Amir Kabbani, whose mother is German and father Syrian, discovered mountain biking when he was 13. Just four years later he turned pro. He now lives on the prize money he wins at national and international competitions and support from sponsors. He earned his reputation in the mountain bike scene and beyond through spectacular web videos. Together with director and cinematographer Lukas Tielke he shot two short films titled "In the Woods with Amir Kabbani. " A third title is in preparation. In his home town of Boppard he's helped build a mounntain bike park which he looks after, together with a team. For a long time Amir Kabbani escaped any severe injuries, but in March 2014 he fractured his twelfth thoracic vertebra in an accident during practice. Fortunately the injury is healing well, and there has been no permanent damage.

Jun 01 2015

34mins

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Talking Germany - Constanze Kurz, Author and Hacker

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Constanze Kurz is spokesperson for the Chaos Computer Club. On Talking Germany, the IT expert discusses how robotics are changing our lives and why she encrypts all her digital communication.
Constanze Kurz was born in East Berlin in 1974. Her interest in technology was sparked by her father's work as an engineer and the education she acquired at vocational college. With relatives who worked in the church, her family was also of interest to the dreaded secret police.
After finishing school, she began studying economics because it seemed like a sensible option in the post-unification years. But then she switched to computing, with a special focus on surveillance technologies. She wrote her dissertation on electronic voting. She now works for the University of Applied Sciences in Berlin and as a volunteer spokesperson for the Chaos Computer Club. She also serves on a special Internet and Digital Society Commission convened by parliament. Constanze Kurz lives and works in Berlin.

May 25 2015

36mins

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Talking Germany - Walter Möbius, Doctor and Author

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Walter Möbius spent decades as head doctor at the Johanniter Hospital in Bonn. One of his patients was former Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who became a good friend. Now 77, he's retired but still a keen photographer. On Talking Germany, he talks about the lessons he learned from his years in the medical profession.
Born in Bonn in 1937, Walter Möbius studied medicine and traveled the world as an ameteur photographer and rock climber. From 1978 to 2002, during most of which time Bonn served as the seat of the German government, he was head doctor at the Johanniter Hospital in Bonn, where many politicans were treated. One of them was Helmut Kohl, who became a close friend. Although Möbius retired 12 years ago, he still visits his former workplace on a regular basis and his artwork is exhibited in one of the hospital wards. He believes that hospitals should be pleasant environments, and that if they are comfortable and well cared for, their chances of recovery are greater. He also works on behalf of the Salesians of Don Boscos youth services.

May 18 2015

32mins

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Talking Germany - Johannes Kneifel, Former neo-Nazi - Present Day Pastor

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Johannes Kneifel was a neo-Nazi who was convicted of assault and battery resulting in death. Now, 32 Kneifel says he found God when he was in prison. Today, he has become a pastor and say that everyone deserves a second chance. Join "Talking Germany," for when Kneifel relates the events that caused his conversion from a batterer to a Baptist Minister.
Johannes Kneifel was born on July 6, 1982 in the central German town of Celle and grew up in Eschede in Lower Saxony. His father was nearly blind and his mother suffered from multiple sclerosis. Both lost their jobs and had difficulty caring for their three small children. They had little time for the kids. As a teenager, Johannes fell in with a group of militant, anti-foreign rightist extremist neo-Nazis. He landed in jail after being convicted of taking part in the fatal beating of a man in August 1999. While in prison, he completed a training program and says he found his faith with the help of the prison chaplain. Gradually, he came to renounce neo-Nazism. Later, he went on to study theology. Today he is the pastor at a small Baptist church in the Erzgebirge in southeastern Germany. He has also written a book about his experiences.

May 11 2015

31mins

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Talking Germany - Carolin Emcke, War Correspondent and Philosopher

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As a journalist Carolin Emcke pushes things to the limit. She often trades in her usual blazer for a bullet-proof vest to report from war zones and crisis areas the world over. She also writes about existential questions in her reports, books and essays. On Talking Germany, we speak to Carolin Emcke about life and death, tolerance and teamwork.
Carolin Emcke likes being a witness, observing with out fear and an analytical mind. For 14 years now, she has been travelling to parts of the world stricken by crisis and strife together with photographer Sebastian Bolesch. Emcke goes to places people flee from – Afghanistan, Kosovo, Iraq and Gaza. She says she goes to be a witness and give victims their voice. She is also on a quest to discover how violence affects people.

Born in Mülheim an der Ruhr to a German father and Argentinean mother in 1967, Carolin Emcke studied philosophy, history and political science in Frankfurt and London. She wrote a doctoral thesis in philosophy entitled "Collective Identities." Then Emcke went on to work for eight years in Hamburg for the German weekly news magazine, Der Spiegel.She has been a freelance publicist since 2007. Emcke came into the public eye as an author when in 2012 she published a book about discovering her own sexuality – in German – Wie wir begehren The publicist lives in Berlin, where she is deeply involved in the city's cultural life. She moderates podium discussions, organizes events and works as a curator for exhibitions. Emcke believes it is a journalist's job to get involved – intellectually and politically.

May 04 2015

38mins

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Talking Germany - Jens Weidner, Aggression Researcher and Author

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Jens Weidner is familiar with aggressive behavior. As a criminologist, he was a therapist to violent adolescents; as a career coach, he advises people who are too nice at work. On “Talking Germany,” Jens Weidner talks about rage, recidivists and rambling on mud flats.
Jens Weidner is Professor for Educational Science and Criminology at the Hamburg School for Applied Sciences, where he has lived and worked since 1995. He's occupied himself with the question of how to harness aggression for more than 30 years. Weidner gained fundamental insights into the power of aggression while working with violent adolescents at the Glen Mills School in Philadelphia. He later co-founded the German Institute for Confrontative Pedagogy. He's convinced that our aggressive instincts can be a positive force and has a second job as a career coach, where he advises people who are too nice at work. Jens Weidner also likes to enjoy life and besides his penchant for fine food he's also a member of The Optimists' Club in Hamburg.

Apr 27 2015

37mins

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Talking Germany - Guest: Publisher Angelika Taschen

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Angelika Taschen and her former husband produced books for millions at Taschen art books publishers. In fact, originally she wanted to become a ballerina. On Talking Germany, the art historian talks about why she felt the need to found a new publishing company after separating from her husband, despite a crisis in publishing. She also tells us what makes Berlin style distinctive.
According to her own information, Angelika Taschen was conceived in a book shop. She was born in 1959 in the small town of Homberg in the state of Hessen. After finishing secondary school in 1978 she first trained as a classical ballet dancer. But at a height of 1.76, she was too tall for a careeer as a prima ballerina. That was another reason why, in 1979, she started to study German language and literature and art history at university in Heidelberg. That same year she married art historian Stefan Muthesius. She has a daughter from that marriage. After writing her dissertation on Futurism she applied for a job at Taschen Books, where she soon rose to be managing editor. There she got to know her second husband, Benedikt Taschen. Together with him she made Taschen Books the world's largest illustrated book publishing company. The Indian Times dubbed her "queen of the coffee table books" because of the often heavy art and design tomes she published. After separating from her second husband, she moved to Berlin in 2004 and founded her own small publishing company there.

Apr 20 2015

30mins

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Talking Germany - Martin Hoffmann, Berlin Philharmonic

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Martin Hoffmann has been general manager of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra since 2010. Before that, the fifty-four-year-old was managing director at the commercial broadcaster Sat.1 and CEO of a television production company.
On "Talking Germany,” we chat with former lawyer Martin Hoffmann about the watersheds in his life; why classical music isn’t right for commercial television; and how he’s getting young audiences interested in the Philharmonic.

Martin Hoffmann was born in 1959 in Nussloch, near Heidelberg. After graduating from high school in Heidelberg, we studied law in Saarbrücken, Lausanne and Hamburg. He came to the attention of Leo Kirch when he prepared an expert legal opinion for the media mogul. Kirch hired him in 1994 to work for his Sat. 1 television station, and Hoffmann quickly rose to become managing director. He left the company in 2003, following its takeover by investor Haim Saban and became the CEO of the MME television production company. When the Berlin Philharmonic was looking for a new general manager, Hoffmann - a passionate lover of classical music - applied successfully for the position. The orchestra considers it an advantage that Hoffmann doesn’t come from a typical classical music background. It expects the experienced and well-connected businessman to ensure a greater public profile while interfering less with artistic decisions than his predecessors had. Martin Hoffmann is married and lives in Berlin.

Apr 14 2015

35mins

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Talking Germany - Katja de Bragança, Human Biologist

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16 years ago, Katja de Bragança founded "Ohrenkuss," a magazine made entirely by people with Down's syndrome. For that, the 55-year-old biologist was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. On Talking Germany, Katja de Bragança speaks about her German-Indian roots, her youth in Goa, and the writing styles of people with Down's syndrome.
The idea for the magazine "Ohrenkuss," which translates literally as "Ear Kiss," came to Katja de Bragança at a conference. There a speaker read a text written by a boy with Down's syndrome that delighted her. She decided to make this unorthodox and original style of writing known to a larger public. By now the magazine, which publishes two issues a year, has about 3000 subscribers. Issues in other languages are planned. The biologist says, not without an element of pride, that, because of her initiative, the way many publications in this sector present themselves has changed radically. She criticises the fact that publications about people with Down's syndrome used to be very unaesthetic and based too much on pity. She wanted to change that, using a high-gloss format and professional photographers.

Katja de Bragança was born in Neumünster in 1959. She spent the first 12 years of her life in the Indian state of Goa, formerly a Portuguese colony. After her parents separated, her mother returned with her and her brother to Germany in the early1970s. She went to a boarding school and after graduating studied human biology in Bonn. Early on, she became interested in the way groups of people present themselves. Katja de Bragança lives with her husband and their family of eight children and six grandchildren in Bonn.

Apr 06 2015

32mins

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Talking Germany

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Dieter Overath founded the non-profit organization TransFair in 1992. The organization supports fair trade with developing counties and awards the Fair Trade seal in Germany. The organization's founder says Germany is still a developing country when it comes to fair trade. On Talking Germany, Dieter Overath talks about his ideas on how to get Germans to abandon their "greed is good" mentalility.
Dieter Overath was born in Cologne in 1954. His father was a postman. After leaving school he joined the army for four years. But his anger over NATO’s decision deploy medium-range missiles led him to nail his military ID to the door of Cologne Cathedral. He went to night school and later studied business administration. Even then he knew he did not want a classical career in the business sector. Instead, he went to Latin America. After returning to Germany he founded a vocational school for unemployed youths in Gummersbach where he worked as an instructor for seven years. In his free time he managed theater groups and organized festivals, as well as being active in Amnesty International. Then Overath saw a want ad from an association of small farmers looking for a managing director. At the time he already had two job offers, one of them a well-paying post at the EU commission in Brussels. However he chose to take the job with the shakiest future and joined the consortium of small coffee farmers. That developed into the famous fair trade insignia that is now familiar to around 70 percent of Germans. TransFair neither buys nor sells, but awards its certification. Today fair trade products are on offer in 36,000 stores and 18,000 restaurants in Germany. Vendors pay a small license fee for the right to use the logo. When he goes shopping, Dieter Overath often moves the fair trade products to the front of the supermarket shelves. The avid jogger and fan of 1. FC Köln soccer club lives in Cologne. He has two daughters.

Mar 30 2015

31mins

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Talking Germany

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Nico Hofmann ranks among Germany’s most successful film producers, and is known for his obsession with German history. His production company, teamworx, has produced more than 300 films to date.
Born in the southwestern city of Heidelberg, Hofman’s elaborate television series have been broadcast in countries all over the world. In Talking Germany, Nico Hofmann speaks with us about his fascination with German history.

Mar 23 2015

32mins

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Talking Germany - Antje von Dewitz, Managing director, Vaude

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Antje von Dewitz has been at the helm of the Vaude company since 2009. She’s on a mission to make it Europe's most sustainable outdoor equipment brand. On Talking Germany the cultural/business studies graduate and mother-of-four explains why profits and sustainability to not have to me mutually exclusive, and how she manages to get home early twice a week despite her busy schedule.
Antje von Dewitz was born in 1972, the second of third daughters to company founder Albrecht von Dewitz. She planned to do something completely different, having majored in culture and business studies. After working as an intern at the family firm, however, she liked the idea of becoming a manager because of the options it meant in terms of bringing about social change. In 2001, for example, she introduced an in-house child care center for working parents. She also took an active role in support of a female staff quota and made it possible for 55% of the workforce to work part-time. In her own home, by the way, it’s her husband who takes care of the kids. The birthrate at her company is 30% above the average for Germany. If any of her initiatives may compromise profit-making, it’s of little bother to the boss; she’s accountable only to her father the owner, and not some outside investors. Albrecht von Dewitz tolerates her commitments on the social and ecological fronts - provided the financial figures add up. His daughter also sees marketing potential in her strategy: a way of standing out from the tough competition in the outdoor equipment sector. Antje von Dewitz lives with her husband and four children in Tettnang, near Lake Constance.

Mar 09 2015

33mins

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Talking Germany

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Sascha Lobo is a kind of classroom spokesman for the German blogosphere.
Sascha Lobo was born in Berlin to a German mother and Argentian father. He is now 37, and is still studying social and business communications at the Berlin University of the Arts. In 2000 he founded an advertising agency specializing in web-based firms. His company was, however, among those to go broke after the dot.com bubble burst. Since then he has re-emerged as a freelance journalist and copywriter. He is also co-founder of the Zentrale Intelligenz Agentur, anetwork of like-minded individuals that publishes a variety of books on the subject of the Internet. Lobo also co-founded the award-winning blog Riesenmaschine, and has one of the biggest Twitter followings in Germany. His activities also include online consulting services for the Social Democratic party.

Mar 02 2015

37mins

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Talking Germany

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Johannes Ebert has served as secretary general of the Goethe Institute since March, 2011. He first started with the Goethe Institute in 1991 after completing his studies of political science and Islamic studies. He's been called a "pragmatic visionary", and on Talking Germany, he tells us about his plans for keeping interest in the German language alive and growing worldwide.
Johannes Ebert was born in Ulm in 1963. His parents ran a chain of three drug stores. He grew up the eldest of three children in Vöhringen/Iller south of Ulm and passed his school-leaving exams in Weissenhorn in 1982.
Johannes Ebert went on to study political science and Islamic studies in Freiburg and Damascus and did his alternative service at the Goethe Institute. He underwent practical training at a newspaper in Heilbronn, but in 1991, he returned to the Goethe Institute with postings in Abidjan, Riga and Kiev, among others. Starting in 2002, Ebert served as regional director, first in Cairo, then in Moscow. He took over as secretary general on March 1st, 2012, also functioning as spokesman for the board of directors. But the daily routine of conferences and meetings often leaves too little time for work on substantive issues and overall strategy. Johannes Ebert has an American wife and three children.

Feb 23 2015

37mins

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Talking Germany - Dergin Tokmak, Dancer and Acrobat

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Dergin Tokmak caught polio as a very young boy. The disease could not slow him down forever, though. His crutches are an integral part of his acrobatic performances. Joining the Cirque du Soleil propelled him to global stardom. As he says himself: "I may not be able to walk, but I have at least learned to fly a bit".
Dergin Tokmak hopes to inspire people and to show them that anyone can be creative - regardless of their physical limitations. Dergin was just 8 months old when his parents took him back to visit their home village in Turkey. While he was there he contracted polio and lost the use of his legs. He spent most of his childhood and youth going to clinics, physiotherapy and schools for the disabled. When he was 12, his life changed after seeing a dancer on crutches in a breakdance film. He began to hang out with the hip-hop crowd in his home town of Augsburg and began to train for his first dance roles. His 6-year stint as the Lame Angel in Cirque du Soleil's show "Varekai" remains a unique achievement.

Feb 16 2015

31mins

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Talking Germany - Utz Claassen, Writer and former executive

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Writer Utz Claassen has a reputation for being a tough corporate reformer, but also an eloquent speaker and lateral thinker who defies categorization. On Talking Germany the former executive discusses his new book about uncomfortable truths in the business world, and explains why it’s good to swim against the current. We also talk to him about his political ambitions and the soccer industry.
Utz Claassen was born in 1963 in Hanover. After skipping two grades and getting top marks in high school, he went on to university, studied at Oxford, and later obtained a doctorate in political science from Hanover. Afterwards he catapulted to the elite realms of the corporate world to become one of Germany’s youngest top executives. He worked mainly in the automotive and energy industries and soon a name for himself as a tough operator who could turn around an ailing company. Even threats and an attempt on his life left him undeterred. But Claassen has also been the subject of some controversy, including a lawsuit against the Solar Millennium company, in which he demanded the full compensation fee after resigning from his post as CEO after only a few weeks. Meanwhile he’s founded his own start-up and become an investor in the Spanish soccer club RCD Mallorca. Utz Claassen is married and has one daughter.

Feb 09 2015

30mins

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Talking Germany - Matthias Politycki, Writer

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Matthias Politycki is often called the "world traveler” among German literati. Whether as a low-budget backpacker or as the on-board author of a luxury cruise line, his journeys have taken him far and wide.
And they’ve brought him many unusual experiences, which he’s drawn upon in his works. His latest novel takes place in the Uzbek city of Samarkand. On this edition of Talking Germany, he speaks with us about faith, fanaticism and the finer things in life.

Matthias Politycki recalls his earliest steps as a writer, back when he was an angst-ridden teen, as a compulsion rather than a choice. Born in Karlsruhe in 1955, he studied literature, philosophy and theater at university and went on to write a dissertation about the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Soon, though, he decided to leave academia behind and devote himself to writing. In 1997, he published his first best-seller, "Weiberroman,” which tells the story of a would-be womanizer and of the generation who came of age a decade after the tumultuous 1960s. Matthias Politycki is married and divides his time between Hamburg and Munich.

Jan 26 2015

31mins

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Talking Germany - Artist and Designer Rolf Sachs

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In his work and in his private life, Rolf Sachs moves between the provincial and the cosmopolitan with ease. As the son of legendary bon vivant Gunter Sachs, he's always felt at home on the wider stage. More recently, though, he embarked on an artistic exploration of German mentality and culture. On this edition of Talking Germany, he speaks with us about identity, ideals and idyllic fantasies.
Artist and designer Rolf Sachs is the son of a German father and a French mother. He grew up in Switzerland and now lives in London with his Iranian-born wife Maryam and their three children. And he’s the creator of an exhibition at the Cologne Museum of Applied Art (MAKK) called "Typical German?" His artist search for a "typically German" mentality is a work "with German roots," as the 58-year-old says, yet it's still shaped by the distance provided by his multiculturally-influenced perspective.

Jan 19 2015

35mins

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