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“Being free means singing freely” – political songs in Poland and Germany


Cologne, 24-26 September 2019


The international workshop for polish and german students was based on a cooperation between the Department of German Language and Literature I at the University of Cologne and the Institute of Germanic Philology of the Silesian University in Katowice. It had been awarded the Richeza-Prize 2018/19 of NRW for the deepening of German-Polish understanding by the Minister for Federal and European Affairs and is supported by the Competence Area IV.

The conference took place in Cologne between September 24th and 26th 2019. We brought together Polish and German students to discuss tradition and function of recent political songs. In particular we picked out different examples of both countries. We worked in special slots for mixed groups to analyze historical and social contexts and reflect differing terms in the meaning of freedom. Political songs were a perfect way to create open perspectives considering more than singular views within national borders. They offered one starting point to show differences and similarities in between cultures in a comparative way. As a historical interface of cultural encounter, the border region of Silesia is a perfect place of contrasting German and Polish perspectives. The workshop aimed to develop scientific texts. Results are being documented and published in the journal “Wortfolge”.



apl. Prof. Dr. Matthias Bickenbach