Wibke Bramesfeld

Department: Information Design


What: A video installation that questions the meaning and life span of national symbols, like the oak tree for Germany.

Why: The oak is an archetype of strength, survival and loyalty, and its leaves have been used as symbols since ancient times. Many Germans consider it their national tree, the expression of German unity. But it was also used as an emblem during the Nazi regime. Is it still the right symbol to represent contemporary Germany?

How: ‘Roots’ shows glimpses of the huge digital archive on the oak tree that Wibke Bramesfeld compiled. It also presents the conversation she had with an oak, challenging the need for national symbolism in a society that is made up of so many different identities.

“We need to rethink the concept of national identity”

Copyright Design Academy Eindhoven

Copyright: Design Academy Eindhoven
Photographs: Ronald Smits