Transnationality

Unfortunately, I didn’t watch the movie “Transationalmannschaft” about immigrants that celebrate the German football team – sometimes even more intensively than Germans that were born and raised here. Since I find this movie pretty interesting (filmed in Mannheim) I watched the trailers. They made it even to the ZDF heutejournal (national public TV channel) who picked up the controverse in this movie which gives some insights on immigrants in Germany (Mannheim).

Immigrants in Mannheim are mostly Turkish and the documentary-style movie has an interesting scene:  an interview with a young German-Turkish boy. The boy is asked for which national team (football) he would be playing and his answer is pretty astonishing. At first he claims to have “Turkish blood in his veins” so he must be playing for Turkey. But then he changed his mind and says: “If there was a Mannheim national team I would be playing for Mannheim”. I found this statement very interesting. He further stated that he as a Turkish-German feels as Mannheim-ian and Turkish, but not as German. But what does it mean? Mannheim is not inside Turkey, its quite a distance. Belonging to Mannheim and to Turkey but not to Germany. That’s a controversial concept to me and I tried to picture that:

In my opinion this idea becomes more wide-spread with growing mobility, people become more transnational. Everyone feels connected to multiple places he has visited or is related to somehow, instead of a single place which is the center of one’s live.

However, people mostly feel home in one country and place and have connections to other places around the world, be it a country or a particular city. Of course, there are differences in connections depending on the people that are related with a certain connection. In the example of Turkish-Germans the older generations, typically someone’s parents, create a connection to the country of origin. This causes the opposite, someone that feels connected to a country which is not his home (and that he might never have visited).

I would love to see a mashup which shows weighted connections of people (derived from facebook, google+) on a map, someone’s transnationality. There’s a lot of ideas I have to support the algorithm: for weighting connections, what aggregated views are of interest (to me) or what data to use.

A facebook intern created a graphic which shows the connections of 10 million facebook users:

Facebook Connections Visualization

Facebook Connections Visualization

That’s a good point to start from. I hope some mash-up-er draws some ideas and we can see something like this soon – or is there something like this already?

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