Photographers, artists, poets: show us IDENTITY.
Berlin is quiet frankly a bitter-sweet city. History is still so present; there are still first generation victims of the war and thereafter you’ll easily find someone who’s the second or third generation of someone who was there during the World War. There are vigils and memorials with candles still burning in obvious places. It’s fascinating and terrifying when you come to the realisation just how recent it all is.
Understandably products of the Wars is probably the city’s main catchment for tourism – rightly or wrongly they are making money out of it. It’s exploitation in favour of acceptance, Germany still has to accept the atrocities that have happened. They certainly can’t escape it like other European countries have been allowed to escape the horrors they inflicted on the world that (with effects that are still arguably apparent) they never talk about in history class.
The subject of identity came up a lot when we visited various museums, galleries and tours. Being Jewish, homosexual, wealthy, being poor, being a different colour…
Bits of the Berlin Wall are dotted all over the city, not like a badge of honour but just to serve as a reminder at how the country was divided and more defiantly how it was torn down and reclaimed as a space to express and document modern Berliner’s new-found political freedom.
Look at all the faces in-between, they are all one. Are they the ghosts of the thousands of victims who fought the regime or perhaps those who died trying to get to the other-side?
Maybe they’re representative of those who came together to break the wall down? To me it’s emblematic of everyone who refused to allow the wall to confine them – maybe not physically but mentally and verbally. It’s a powerful thing identity – and refusing for anyone or anything like a wall to define who you are must’ve meant a great deal to a lot of people.
Berlin strikes me as a city of strong, artistically motivated people. Perhaps this is born out of years of oppression?