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An Interview with Anja Jaenicke on Germany, Creativity, and Art for Art’s Sake (Part Three)


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2020/03/15


Anja Jaenicke is a German Poet and Actor. She discusses: German culture in the 1960s and 1970s; good, bad, great poetry; intelligence and productivity, and creativity; motivation to write; happiness and meaning; awards and honours; the personal meaning of the awards and honours; the real purpose of honours for art types; support for artists in Germany; some poignant artistic productions on the current artistic scene about the political and social dynamics in Germany; individual expression without political or social commentary; and the work of an artist.

Keywords: Anja Jaenicke, art, creativity, Germany, happiness, intelligence, meaning, productivity.

An Interview with Anja Jaenicke on Germany, Creativity, and Art for Art’s Sake (Part Three)[1],[2]*

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What was the culture of Germany in the 1960 and 1970s?

Anja Jaenicke: Well, I was a child at this time. As I mentioned before, I was born in the western part of the city of Berlin. After WW2, the city of Berlin was divided between the allied forces of the U.S., Great Britain, and France on one side, and the Russian sector on the other side of the Iron Curtain. The atmosphere in the city was dominated by the Cold War. The western part of Berlin was a free democratic island surrounded by the communistic dictatorship. West Berlin was connected to East Berlin by the famous Check Point Charlie and only had transit corridors to the rest of West Germany. Today, you can find many great books and films about this time. From John Le Carre’ to the film: “The Bridge of Spies” by Steven Spielberg. It was the great classical time of espionage and Berlin was in the center of it. Of course, as a small child, I had no clue about all this. At this time, I often went on the public bus with my granny. I saw the many sad and worn out faces, which made me very concerned. I decided to make people happy by singing songs to them. My cultural life at this time was mostly dominated by the newest Walt Disney movies. My mother worked for the Disney studios in Berlin. We got free tickets for the cinema. I loved the movies. A couple of years later, when the film “Cabaret” with Liza Minelli came out, I desperately wanted to go to it. Unfortunately, the film had an age rating of 18 years. So, my mother put some make up on my cheeks and dressed me up. She told the ticket seller that I was a 63-year-old dwarf and a bit challenged. She was my caretaker. It worked and I was in!

2. Jacobsen: What makes a bad poet, a good poet, and a rare great poet?

Jaenicke: His or her poetry.

3. Jacobsen: With your intelligence and level of productivity, what seems like the relationship between intelligence and productivity?

Jaenicke: Perhaps, we should distinguish between productivity and creativity. A productive hard working person does not necessarily need to have a very high intelligence. Farmers, toolmakers, and engineers, with an average intelligence can produce a multitude of great products by walking in the footsteps of others. A creative person has the urge to find new fertile lands by setting her/his own traces. Creativity is in the first place the ability to think outside the box and come up with new concepts and solutions, while high intelligence is the ability to process information. In some rare circumstances, both go hand in hand and can lead to a certain output.

4. Jacobsen: What motivates you? Why write, produce?

Jaenicke: As I said, it is an urge to do so.

5. Jacobsen: Everyone determines the happiness, or rather happinesses, for themselves. Those hills and valleys of potential, chosen and actualized to make meaning, significance, in life. What makes you happy? What gives you significance-meaning in life out of life?

Jaenicke: First of all, I can not remember when I was born into this life, that someone promised me to be happy, the deal was to be alive. I think every day, every hour of our life should have a meaning as you and me belong to the few lucky ones who have come into existence and actually have the possibility to live on this planet for a while. Many others aren’t so lucky and some of us even die after the first couple of hours. Since the dawn of time life has been associated with struggle, the first breath of a child is struggle. But life means also love, immense beauty, and the precious moments of happiness and contentment. If you look at nature, at birds fighting for survival in the long month of winter and bear mothers caring for their cubs, you might understand perfectly what the significance of life is. It is a learning curve. Homo sapiens has managed to take itself out of the direct impact of nature and now longs for some substitute for happiness. Those I love give meaning to my life and I try my best to give meaning to theirs. Concerning my own doubtful significance, I think you should not ask me, but those to whom I am in someway significant.

6. Jacobsen: You earned the Bavarian Film Award, Bambi Award, Deutscher Darstellerpreis, and the 2018 Distinguished Visionary of the Year Award from the VedIQ Guild Foundation. What was the reason for the honours – the production honoured – for you?

Jaenicke: The Bavarian Filmpreis has been awarded to me for the Film “The Swing” by Percy Adlon. The Bambi for the TV family series “Mensch Bachmann” where I played the youngest daughter called “Bunny”. The Deutsche Darstellerpreis was for a film with Franco Nero and the Distinguished Visionary of the Year Award has been awarded to me for the whole of my artistic work as a Visionary and Thinker cum Arte.

7. Jacobsen: What did the awards and honours mean to you?

Jaenicke: I see them as a conformation and feedback of my work but also as a major stimulus to go on and become better in what I do.

8. Jacobsen: What is the real purpose or positive purpose of awards for poets, people in the arts and humanities, especially when the pay for the vast majority stinks?

Jaenicke: It is an acknowledgment and a motivation for sure!

9. Jacobsen: How does Germany support artists? How does the European Union even in the current social and political climate?

Jaenicke: I think I mentioned before that Germany is a rather mediocre country with little free spaces for artists. Or as the Chinese painter Ai Wei Wei said: “Germany is not a good place for artists.” Filmmakers are almost entirely dependent on governmental subventions, which is a bit disturbing because a state where the government controls film and media is in danger of drifting away from democracy.

10. Jacobsen: What have been some poignant artistic productions on the current artistic scene about the political and social dynamics in Germany?

Jaenicke: After the fall of the Iron Curtain, there have been some internationally renowned films. For example, the Academy Award-winning film “Das Leben der Anderen” in 2006 by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. Unfortunately, such productions are rather rare because financing is too slow and complicated, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck was only able to make this movie because the actors were willing to work for only 20% of their costume salary. And the filmmakers were running more than ten years to get a budget of two million Euros. Later, this film became the flagship of the German film industry. Germany has become very technocratic and ridged in some way. But the cars are still very good!

11. Jacobsen: What ones have been more art for art’s sake as individual expression without some political or social commentary implied to it.

Jaenicke: While the U.S. has a commercial studio film industry, the film market in Germany is crucially dependent of governmental funding and television co-productions. This kind of funding implies that filmmakers produce what pleases the media boards or is in a certain degree political and socially correct. The result is mainly a very unoriginal output, which is brought into line with the current social and political demands. Also, I think there are a lot of very talented young film makers and artists around. Every year, many people graduate from German Film Academies, but only a handful of them finds work. The rare group of dedicated filmmakers who make film to express themselves need years to get a decent free funding or have to pledge grandma’s heritage. They often make only one film or are financially ruined after their first work. It is a rather sad development.

12. Jacobsen: How do you see the world as a producer of original work, as an artist does? Most others either recreate some work in a technical manner, e.g., engineers, find something new once and then hand off to the recreators, e.g. scientists, or work a life of drudgery, e.g., most of human beings in history and now at an ordinary job?

Jaenicke: In my opinion you can only be good at what you love and if you love what you do, there is nothing ordinary about it. Whatever it is.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] German Poet and Actress; CEO, HIQ-MEDIA-POOL INC.; Member, Poetic Genius Society.

[2] Individual Publication Date: March 15, 2020:; Full Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2020:

*High range testing (HRT) should be taken with honest skepticism grounded in the limited empirical development of the field at present, even in spite of honest and sincere efforts. If a higher general intelligence score, then the greater the variability in, and margin of error in, the general intelligence scores because of the greater rarity in the population.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


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