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Wo die Fremde beginnt -

Wo die Fremde beginnt

Where Foreignness Begins. On Identity in the Fragile Present

Elisabeth Wellershaus

© Juliette Moarbes



Foreign rights


About the book

Elisabeth Wellershaus has been familiar with the phenomenon of foreignness since she was a small child due to the attributes others ascribed to her. In her book, she traces how much more complex, omnipresent and enriching her own view of foreignness is – and why it connects us.

Jury evaluation

Nothing about the circumstances of Elisabeth Wellershaus’s childhood was clear cut. She grew up in an affluent neighbourhood in Hamburg, the daughter of a black father and white mother. Decades later, the author now reports on foreignness in Germany and on a future that cannot have fixed identity attributions if it is to be productive. The book is an attempt to move beyond the debates about racism and identity politics without ignoring them. The author’s subjective narrative employs calm, sensitive language to observe and describe with great precision. She does not find certainty in community and collectivism – only grey areas and the realisation that we can be at home in the in-between.

Elisabeth Wellershaus

Elisabeth Wellershaus works as an author and journalist. Among other things, she writes reports, essays and features dealing with the attribution of foreignness and the engagement with belonging. She is a member of the editorial term working on the feminist column ‘10nach8’ in ZEIT ONLINE, and works as an editor for the magazine Contemporary And, which focuses on contemporary art from Africa and the diaspora.


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