Lifeswap: Animation about Sharing Culture
Lifeswap is an animated series about Germany and New-ZealandJuly 13th, 2017
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Lifeswap is an animated series chronicling the lives of a New-Zealander and a German swapping their lives for a year. The series started in 2013 and was made by New Zealander William Connor and German Steffen Kreft.
The series, which contains 8 episodes at the moment and can be found on YouTube, was started with funding of the Goethe Institute in Wellington. The episodes show cultural differences between the two states in humorous ways. The misunderstandings and cultural differences in the series are all based on the creators’ real-life experiences.
The two met in New-Zealand. William Connor was a German teacher and the two were introduced at a party. They talked about film and theatre as storytelling devices. Steffen Kreft currently works in New-Zealand for his own company National Park. Meanwhile William Connor is giving German classes for expats in Berlin.
Steffen Kreft commented this about the series: “Basically, our bi-cultural dialogue is not only within our four walls anymore, but through Lifeswap, we are sharing our experience with so many people who can relate to it all over the world, and the opportunities that lie ahead for us and Lifeswap are really exciting.”
This is an interesting case of cultural diplomacy by individuals, with help of institutions such as the Goethe Institute. It shows how the internet can be used to easily distribute materials concerning cultural diplomacy. It also shows how important and influential people that life abroad can be for a countries cultural diplomacy.