Berlin is quite identical to The Wall. Constructed in 1961 The 155 km wall divided the city separated families and friends in East and West Berlin. After the Wende (the fall of communism in 1989) The Wall was destroyed, only 3 km of it has stayed intact. East Side Gallery is 1.3 km long remnants of Berlin Wall stretched along the banks of Spree river between Ostbahnhof and Oberbaumbrücke.
After the Wall came down in 1989, 121 artists from all over the world gathered and transformed the eastside of the Wall that had been untouchable up to now, with their paintings, giving the Wall a new face in a new time. The attractive paintings/graffiti in the theme of Freedom makes East Side Gallery the largest outdoor gallery in the world.
There are plans to dismantle 20 meter of East Side Gallery in order to provide space for yet to build new apartments. This has caused strong protests, online and offline. The developer started the preparation of the removal begin March but was forced to stop it. Involved parties will resume talks about the removal on 18 March 2013. I am in Berlin for a long week-end now. Today I went to East Side Gallery to take some pictures.
Talking about The Wall would not be complete without thinking of Pink Flloyd’s song & movie: The Wall. I was 10 years old when I first heard The Wall and saw the clip. For some strange reason, knowing I didn’t understand English at that time, the song stirred an awkward feeling to me. I then asked my dad who later explained to me the story of The Berlin Wall. Take a minute to listen carefully to the lyrics of the song: just another brick in the wall. I found The Wall stupid then. As a grown up, I find The Wall unbelievable and still stupid now. Learning more about this part of world history, one thing comes to my mind: Never again. Ironically, children of those who prefered to destroy The Wall at that time, now fight for preserving it which I understand. In order to commemorate history one must preserve its ruins. So don’t break it!
Written on a cold, windy, snowy night in Prenzlauer Berg, East Berlin.