First year Barton Peveril student Oakley Chamberlain attended a four day intercultural seminar in Berlin last weekend, between 1st and 3rd June, which was fully funded by the UK-German Connection. 25 English and 25 German students were chosen to take part, from the many who applied.
The event, called Finding Our Place in History, followed Thomas Harding’s story The House by the Lake; the book follows the Alexander family throughout Germany’s history and how life changed around their real home, the Alexander Haus, after the construction of the Berlin Wall.
German meets Musical Theatre
The former Swanmore College student visited the Alexander Haus as well as other German landmarks including the Brandenburg Gate, the German Democratic Republic Museum, the Holocaust Memorial and Hitler’s Bunker. In preparation for the seminar Oakley, who studies Performing Arts: Musical Theatre and German, asked his fellow Musical Theatre students to perform the song Wind of Change by Scorpions. This song became a staple when talking about the Berlin wall and helped Oakley understand more about the themes of history, identity, diversity and reconciliation in Germany.
Speaking on the event, Oakley said:
“The seminar was a brilliant chance to learn in depth about the history of Germany and to understand more about life in the German Democratic Republic and Federal Republic of Germany. It was also an amazing chance to speak to other Germans about how they feel about Germany today and whether or not they are proud of their history and what Germany has managed to achieve since reunification in 1989.”