Scottish essayist, poet and composer, Bréon Rydell and the Heidelberg Center for American Studies (HCA), Germany.
Bréon was invited to the University as a Visiting Fellow where he helped to develop with Professor Dietmar Schloss, Head of American Literature, a new,interdisciplinary course: The American Dream in the 21st Century – Where Are We Now?
The HCA wanted to create a bold concept that taps into the iconic stature of “The American Dream” while also raising questions around its relevance to the modern world and how it could -or should- evolve
Strategy and planning
The HCA wanted to create a bold concept that taps into the iconic stature of “The American Dream” while also raising questions around its relevance to the modern world and how it could -or should- evolve.
“Helps us develop a brand that will hook the audience from the outset”
A videographer documented the course and its findings over the semester. From that footage, a 30 minute documentary film was cut. We worked online remotely with Bréon in France and his editor in London to craft the visual brand and graphics for the film, title sequences, graphics, online assets and a press pack.
The title, “The American Dream in the 21st Century — Where Are We Now?” had become eerily prescient. As we progressed through the semester, it became clear that the concept of ‘the American dream’ to Generation Z raised a crucial question: “Yes, the American Dream — a great romantic vision, but at what cost?”
We drilled deep into the history and achievements of the United States and its simultaneous negative impact on Native Americans, African Americans, poorer white people and other minorities. The outcome was that we started a conversation at the HCA that needs to be shared and opened up to a much broader audience — we certainly didn’t have all the answers, but the students found their voices and it was refreshing to record their open and frank opinions. It is clear that we need to build, brick by brick, a more inclusive universal dream and this dynamic semester at the HCA has taught us that our wide ranging discussions were just the beginning of a dialogue that needs to continue.
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