By Ali Spechler | Grantee Experience (US Student Program)
My research centers on the German remembrance culture, Erinnerungskultur, through the framework of the Thingspiele movement (1933-38) and former Thingstätte stages. With archives closed for the first 3 months of my grant, I shifted my focus from the bibliothek to building artistic and academic networks, site visits and performances. Covid has definitely introduced some obstacles to making friends and creating interactive collaborative performances in a new country.
Despite these challenges, I am grateful to my hosts at HfG and KIT Archives who have helped me find ways to connect with my Karlsruhe community. I've participated in bi-weekly online sessions with IBZ to practice my German, KIT's monthly "come together" gatherings for international professionals and have had the opportunity to perform throughout Karlsruhe and within the former Thingspiele stages. Since the archives opened a few months ago, my research has taken a more traditional shape though I continue to build installations, props, costumes and masks that will be utilized towards the end of my grant in collaborative performances.