German Supermarket Removes All Foreign Products For A Day

Practitioner: 

Date: 

Aug 19 2017

Location: 

Hamburg Germany

"A German Supermarket Removed All Foreign Products for a Day to Make a Point About Diversity"

"To emphasize the importance of global diversity in a context everyone can understand, German supermarket Edeka made a surprising decision: It emptied its Hamburg location of all foreign-made products. For shoppers wandering around confused, signs featured messages like, “So empty is a shelf without foreigners,” “This shelf is quite boring without variety,” “Our range now knows borders,” and, “We will be poorer without diversity.”

People mostly believe what their range of experience permits. Protectionist policy thrives on such blind spots: It’s easy to be racist when the groups you’re demonizing are abstractions. That’s what gives this work its oomph—nothing is more personal than access to and preferences for food, which guarantee a visceral emotional reaction. Hamburg is the second most populous city in Germany, behind Berlin, with resident aliens composing nearly 15 percent of the population. But German opinion’s become pretty tense since Chancellor Angela Merkel announced an open-door immigration policy for refugees two years ago. The decision led to the arrival of 890,000 asylum seekers in 2015 alone … and early this year, Germany announced plans to roll the policy back. (The stance did, however, boost Germany’s prominence on the global stage.)" - Adweek

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