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Bringing Back The Berlin Wall

 

Imam Malik once said that, “It is not the knowledge which should come to you, it is you who should come to the knowledge.” It is super important to seek knowledge; learn new things, read as many books of knowledge as you can, travel to places; because in knowledge there is power. We all want to be powerful right? How about we get that power by reminding ourselves or rather just getting to know a few historical facts?

We have heard about the Cold war, please note that it was totally different from the World War I and II. The Cold War started in 1947 and it was the geopolitical, ideological and economic struggle between powers in the Eastern bloc (the Soviet Union and its Satellite States) and powers in the Western bloc (the United States). It lasted until the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991.

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During those times, West Berlin (Berlin is the capital city of Germany) was a geographical loophole through which thousands of East Germans fled to the democratic West. This prompted the Communist East German authorities to build a wall that totally encircled West Berlin, preventing its citizens from fleeing to the west. The construction of the Berlin wall began in August 13th 1961. The wall was under constant surveillance of armed East German border guards who were authorized to shoot anyone attempting to escape into the West Berlin.

Twenty eight years later, the wall came down; on November 9 1989 the spokesman for East Berlin’s Communist party announced a change in his city’s relations with West Berlin and so citizens were free to cross to the other side.

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Now, it looks like the wall is coming back up again. Yes, it is. A group of artists, DAU, are planning to rebuild the Berlin Wall. The group intends to build a fake replica of the wall in mid-October. This is going to be part of an art project of the cultural event Berliner Festspiele. The Berliner Festspiele organizes many performing arts events in the capital. But why would these artists want to bring back the wall? Their intention is more focused on creating an experience of travelling to a “foreign country” and losing the sense of freedom.

Visitors of the art installation will be required to buy “visas” online starting from $17.50. The group hopes to be able to distribute between 1,500-3,000 “visas” per day. This means that many people will be able to access the wall which is basically going to be a city within a city. When entering the walled area, visitors will be required to exchange their cellphones for a smartphone which will provide individual instructions for a tour including documentaries, exhibits or concerts. It will be a small city of art. Interesting right? The wall will also somehow erase the “superpower memories” that were there when it was initially constructed.

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Visitors will also be able to peer outside into Berlin in contrast to the cold war where it was under surveillance and anyone who attempted to even cross over to the other side risked losing their lives.

The district that will be walled in lies on the city’s downtown Unter den Linden Boulevard and will include the famous State Opera, the Kurfuerstenpalais palace and other historical buildings.

The wall of Berlin will be a new beginning to its residents and most importantly to art lovers.

Photo Courtesy of internet

 

About Esther Wambui

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