Last autumn, our cultural production SO GLÜCKLICH DASS DU ANGST BEKOMMST (So Happy You’re Getting Scared) premiered, a cooperatively developed puppet theatre piece as a collaboration between the Puppet Theatre at Theater Chemnitz and new undiscovered narratives. Vietnamese women are on stage and perform scenes and stories from their own lives.

As part of the accompanying programme “Wir sind auch das Volk!” to the puppet theatre play, the interactive comic app Glasfäden has now been published, which provides very personal insights into the history of contract labour. The app tells about the life of the contract workers from the perspective of two women. The mother came to the GDR from Hanoi via the “socialist brotherly aid” and stayed after the peaceful revolution in a country that was changing radically. Her daughters were born into a family that was denied integration into society on many levels. Her personal experiences are representative of the large Vietnamese community in Chemnitz. But they also speak for all former contract workers living in Germany today: “The app is great to be able to tell our story, so that more people know about the influence we had on Germany,” said a young woman whose parents came to the GDR as contract workers during a test run of the app.

Interested parties can use the app in Vietnamese, German and English; the run-through takes 35 minutes, making it ideal for use in an educational context for a teaching unit in schools. Glasfäden is available for download online via the Apple Store or Google Play. In addition to the app, an accompanying booklet for pupils can be downloaded from the website. This material, created by political scientist scholar Ngoc Bich Tran, provides further background, a glossary and additional materials.

The project is a collaboration with the Foundation Haus der Geschichte der BRD/Zeitgeschichtliches Forum Leipzig, Causa Creations, Courage-Werkstatt für demokratische Bildungsarbeit e.V. – Netzstelle Chemnitz (NDC Saxony – Network for Democracy and Courage in Saxony), University of Technology Chemnitz, DOMiD in Cologne and the Theatre Chemnitz.

The project is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media in the federal programme Jugend erinnert with the support of the  Bundesstiftung zur Aufarbeitung der SED-Diktatur (Federal Foundation for the Reappraisal of the SED Dictatorship) and  Fonds Soziokultur from the programme of the  Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und MedienBKM (Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media) NEUSTART KULTUR.