East and west of river Oder, where Western Europe ends and Eastern Europe begins – there is a country called Nowa Amerika. A state, which can’t be found on the most maps, but which exists: with an own language, a constitution and laws.
Originally created as an art project, this rethought area is now lived by over 300 confessed Nowa Amerikans. There are artists, historians, educators, journalists, students, employees, retirees…most of them former polish or german.
With civil society work and art projects they shape their lives in an economically weak region and suggest with partly bizarre actions, to rethink of national boundaries. To live in a metropolis once, they declared the fringes from Germany and Poland to a new metropolitan area and dissolved the german-polish borders.
In the capital of Nowa Amerika, called Slubfurt (a consolidation of the german Frankfurt and the polish Slubfurt which were separated after World War II), they set-up their own White House were politics are made, mainly in co-operation with arabic refugees in a town which is traditionally hostile to foreigners. To attract tourists, they rededicated a military restricted area to a holiday paradise. To strengthen their national proud, they hold up own Olympic Games including the „cigarette packs long-throw“.
Dissatified with the political mood in his country, where right-wing parties are getting more and more supported and the fear of strangers choke curiosity and openness, the director goes on a journey. In Nowa Amerika he considers the question, how a society can be raised out of humor and creativity.
For that he accompanies the founder of the state, visits political and artistic activists, watches the parliamentary work and thinks of becoming a Nowa Amerikan.
For their actions the Nowa Amerikans have won several awards, inter alia from the Brandenburger government. Is Nowa Amerika a future model? Which possibilities arise from this utopia and how it could be destroyed?
A documentary by Kristof Kannegießer
Germany 2016, 60 min, HD
MFG regional fund Baden-Württemberg (Production)
SWR young documentary (Production)