Crossing Frontiers. International programme exchange as a form of intercultural communication between Western and Eastern Europe at the example of GDR television
Completed research project
Funded for three years by the German Research Foundation (DFG) (starting date of the project: May 2011; under the direction of Dr Thomas Beutelschmidt)
From a media-historical perspective, the cultural communication between Eastern and Western Europe within the system of the Cold War from the mid-1950s via the phase of peaceful coexistence to the breakup of the two power blocs in 1990 will be examined, using the example of the international exchange of GDR television programmes. A strong focus on the East German television sector appears especially necessary for the study with regard to its umbrella organisations INTERVISION and EUROVISION, since a cross-border exchange transcending system boundaries and being fed by national (TV) cultures from both systems can be observed at this interface of global political confrontation.
On the basis of programme inventories and documents as well as interviews with contemporary witnesses, focal points and volumes, strategies and structures of the import and export activities of GDR television will be reconstructed and assessed. As a result, analyses and case studies with an intercultural perspective will take into consideration the cross-border and cross-cultural relations and forms of communication of the different TV stations. They will also explore the multifaceted influences and effects of the inclusion of foreign communication on national programme suppliers and the development of long-lasting cultural traditions all over Europe. In cooperation with partners from selected countries, these case studies will not only focus on the quality, momentum and instrumentalisation of the programme transfer, but also enquire into its character, either as a dialogic process of exchange or an acculturation.