Build Bridges, Not Walls | 25th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall

Here is an arial shot tracing the former wall through the city of Berlin.

Berlin Wall Falling, falling of Berlin Wall, 25th anniversary falling of Berlin Wall

8,000 balloons in Berlin tracing the path of the former wall, which fell 25 years ago today, November 8, in 1989

I’m reposting this article in the Int’l Business Times, in which they’ve documented the 8,000 white balloons erected to trace the path of the former Berlin Wall from all different vantage points.

The light installation was developed by two artists, Christopher and Marc Bauder, set up along a 15 km (9.3 mi) stretch. The balloons were then released. One major states that they represent “Peace and Freedom”. This article has a video showing the celebration of the release of the balloons into the sky among crowd-packed streets in Berlin.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/berlin-wall-8000-white-balloons-mark-route-divisive-rampart-25th-anniversary-fall-1473693

Put into effect in 1961, the Wall was built by the German Democratic Republic – (GDR) East Germany, and remained until November 9th, 1989 – 25 years ago today. The Wall extended hundreds of miles outside of Berlin, including many towns which were part of the Eastern Bloc. One man with whom I got a ride hitchhiking while traveling through Germany, was a football coach, raised in the East. He was lucky, his profession was easily absorbed by the West. However, many of his friends who had professions and degrees, weren’t so lucky. He candidly stated that in fact the comfort and security that people of the East had – by having all of their major needs provided (education/housing/food) – lacked the incentive to keep reaching forward in their careers. For example, because of not having the push that goes along with the pressures of capitalism – to strive and succeed in competition with others – left a population somewhat resigned to complacency. [I, the author, do not condone capitalism either – as I think that it leans towards consumerism and away from a healthy cooperation between people and their environment and appreciation and respect for all living things.]

The falling of the Wall lead to Germany’s Unification Treaty that was signed on the 20th of September in 1990. I mentioned being among the celebrations of Berlin’s ‘Tag der Einheit/Unification Day’ while living in Berlin in this former blog. http://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/mid-october-berlin-whirlwind-review-unification-day-festival-of-lights/

This youtube video highlighting the former Wall through Berlin features the music that is sooooo typical of Berlin’s down tempo minimalist sound! The former Wall was constructed by the Soviet empire to keep the Eastern residents under Soviet rule, from entering the West. Ironically, when I first moved to Berlin in 1995, I soon recognized that residents of each side, still held this border within. I’d ask locals who lived on each side to join me to attend an event on the other side, and found that there was a reluctance. Young residents of the former East, had resistance to go to a happening in the West those in the West snubbed going to an event in the East. Naturally, as an Ausländer, I didn’t have this Wall in my head. I was surprised that it lingered in the hearts of even the youth.

I discovered this article in the New York Times by Michael Kimmelman since posting this blog, “Berlin After the Wall: A Microcosm of the World’s Chaotic Change”. It features video footage and interviews of how the light bridge was constructed. More importantly, the author talks about the expectations of how the city would change and about how the world has changed since the wall fell. He interviews a scientist and former civil rights leader of former East Germany, Jens Reich. “During those first years after the wall came down, the city was gloomy, industries were dying, communities dying,” Mr. Reich said. “Many Berliners fled to the suburbs. The elderly left. But then, unexpectedly, young people started moving into neighborhoods like mine, Prenzlauer Berg in the former East, and now children of those who left want to come back, except they can’t afford the rents because all the foreigners are driving prices up.”

The photo below is along the Spree, in a location which 15 years ago was still an empty lot with a bunch of cranes. All of this area had been bombed and flattened. The rubble since long gone, but still nothing remained. Since then, the array of government buildings were constructed, when the capital of Germany was relocated once again back to Berlin in 2000 from Bonn, Germany. This shot is fairly close to the Reichstag along the Spree river which runs through Berlin.

Balloons tracing path of former Berlin Wall along Spree river in Berlin.

among the 8,000 balloons tracing the former path of the Berlin Wall, which fell November 9th, 1989

Strangely, as this article in the LA Times points out, the far-right National Front party has gained ground in France.

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Berlin Art Week | ABC Art Berlin Contemporary party | 19th September

One of Berlin Art Week’s events was the opening reception on September 19th at ABC Art Berlin Contemporary Gallery.

ABC  art berlin contemporary show Berlin Art Week

ABC
art berlin contemporary show
Berlin Art Week

ABC's addition with a touch of class cocktails in a glass

ABC’s addition with a touch of class
cocktails in a glass

ABC art contemporary Berlin Berlin Art Week

ABC art contemporary Berlin
Berlin Art Week

The crowds surged.

ABC art contemporary Berlin Berlin Art Week

ABC art contemporary Berlin
Berlin Art Week

ABC art contemporary Berlin Berlin Art Week

ABC art contemporary Berlin
Berlin Art Week

ABC art contemporary Berlin Berlin Art Week

ABC art contemporary Berlin
Berlin Art Week the wall…

ABC art contemporary Berlin Berlin Art Week

ABC art contemporary Berlin
Berlin Art Week

ABC art contemporary Berlin Cocktail bar

ABC art contemporary Berlin
Cocktail bar

ABC art contemporary Berlin Cocktail bar

ABC art contemporary Berlin
Cocktail bar The little cocktail booth, with movers and shakers

ABC art contemporary Berlin Berlin Art Week

ABC art contemporary Berlin
Berlin Art Week

ABC building from outside


ABC building from outside

Prince Charles intricate  ceiling of light bulbs

Prince Charles intricate ceiling of light bulbs

Prince Charles back asswards

I topped off the evening by stopping at Prince Charles on Prinzenstr. 85F by Moritzplatz, which hosted a party on the same evening. Live musical acts performed adjacent to the main bar, where a glowing melange of dangling lightbulbs shifted frequencies like a repository of stars.

tweaked ceiling to expose the crowd

tweaked ceiling to expose the crowd

Event visits all happening through bike transport, naturally!

Carol the blogger, with her bicycle

Carol the blogger, with her bicycle

Berlin Art Week | Grand Opening 9/17/13 on August Straße | 6 days, 21 venues

Berlin art fans had the fortune of faire weather for Berlin Art Week’s outdoor Grand Opening on August Straße. Here’s the Berlin Tourist information guide to Berlin Art Week 2013 in English as well.

Berlin Art Week opening on August Straße in Mitte  September 17, 2013


Berlin Art Week opening on August Straße in Mitte
September 17, 2013

Berlin Art Week September 17th - 6 days, 21 venues

Berlin Art Week September 17th – 6 days, 21 venues

Hundreds compacted the street, snaked up stairs and brushed past one another in and out of galleries along the chic Mitte street in the center of Berlin.

August Straße glowing stage

August Straße glowing stage

The KW (Kunst-Werk/Art Work) Institute for Contemporary Art on Auguststraße 69 was as well naturally clogged with people.

KW Institute for Contemporary Art on Auguststraße 69

KW Institute for Contemporary Art on Auguststraße 69

I was captivated with Astrid Köppe’s work ‘Pareidolia’ in Galerie Weißer Elefant on August Strasse 21, up the rear stairs to the 1st floor.

She featured eloquent prints, in which she constructed with hair-thin lines and bubbles, glaringly simple and elegant forms. Many of them emulating nature, in my interpretation.

Artist Astrid Köppe's Pareidolia series

Artist Astrid Köppe’s Pareidolia series

artist_Astrid Köppe_Pareidolia_series_octopus_like

artist_Astrid Köppe_Pareidolia_series_2

artist_Astrid Köppe_Pareidolia_series_1

Her exhibition also consisted of physically interactive installations

Astrid Köppe's bubbling wall installation

Astrid Köppe’s bubbling wall installation

among bold paintings

along with some humorous twists, featuring glamorous portraits of the artist herself in her eyelash fingernail series.

Astrid Köppe's eyelash fingernail self portraits.

Astrid Köppe’s eyelash fingernail self portraits.


Astrid Köppe's eyelash fingernail self portraits.

Astrid Köppe’s eyelash fingernail self portraits.

The Alfred Ehrhardt Stiftung (Foundation) on Augustrstr. 75 featured Ute Behrend’s works with pairs; Conifer Club/Second Glance.

Ute_Behrend's series of photographs in pairs at th Alfred Ehrhardt Stiftung

Ute_Behrend’s series of photographs in pairs at th Alfred Ehrhardt Stiftung

The festivities included live music on a stage and several dj’s spinning as people congregated to dance before their turntables. A highlight before the street was closed down, was when a Policeman came to shut down a dj’s music, to which the crowd in unison boomed a dropping-tone reactive plea to the Police officer when he arrived…and without a skip in the beat, responded with a crescendoing cheer when the music promptly started again. Animated to get in that last song, the crowd (including myself) danced emphatically as the dj played his last song; a very appropriate hiphop tune that started with words announcing ‘the last song’. The jumpn’ beats pitched to a crashing, noise violating climax, during which time you could detect the officer’s increased agitation. Then the beats picked up for a last danceable stretch before the turntables came to a stop.

dj gesticulating and dancing as agitated policeman waits

dj gesticulating and dancing as agitated policeman waits

As the turntables spun out that last song, it gave the dj freedom to move away from them – climb onto a speaker for a bit – and fully interact with the crowd as he mouthed the words, danced and gestured > true hiphop style. Those last minutes seemed grueling for the police officer, as he patiently waited at the decks for the song to come to an end.
glowing turntables on Auguststrasse

glowing turntables on Auguststrasse

It was fantastic.

Berlin Mitte | Fashion Week| Graffiti | Stencils

Hugo Boss store Mitte bamboo reflection

Oct. 24th | Global Day of Climate Action | 350.org

Flashback!

image.of.image

Silent Climate Parade

Oct. 24th | Global Day of Climate Action | 350.org

October 24th is the ‘Global Day of Climate Action’ organized by Bill McKibben, who’s behind 350.org.  350 ppm are the top level of particulates – carbon dioxide particles in parts per million – that can be tolerated in our atmosphere in order to reach a sustainable level, to make a dent along the global warming axis towards disaster.  We need to cap at this amount, to reverse the process, or attempt to slow it down.

Here’s an excellent 6 min. video of 350 dot org’s Berlin, Germany Silent Climate Parade 2013 (different year, but captures the essence)

excellent 6 min. video of 350 dot org, Silent Climate zparade,Berlin, Germany 2013, captures the essencr

excellent 6 min. video of 350 dot org silent climate parade Berlin, Germany 2013 (different year, but captures the essence)

The impetus of the voices around the world calling attention to this is to put forth to the attendees of the Copenhagen Climate Conference glaring ahead, the need to acknowledge the importance of making a coordinated worldwide effort to reduce the number of particles contaminating the environment to a sustainable level of 350ppm.

This will be the most widespread day of political global action in world history.  4,500 events have been planned in 177 countries.  McKibben mentioned in an interview with Amy Goodman of “Democracy Now”that the people of the United States “are the most addicted, and therefore most in denial” about the issue.

I’ll be attending among others the Berlin, Germany, Silent Climate Parade. Here are pics from 350 dot org Climate movements worldwide. https://www.flickr.com/photos/350org/4046302796
350.org Ravers on the Boulevard Unter den Linden in Berlin, credit: Lars Borges

And by the way, this is an interesting graphic chart to wrap your thoughts around and digest:

information is beautiful.net/visualizations/the-billion-dollar-gram.

By the way, here in Berlin is the last evening of the Festival of Lights, so catch it while you can.

city-stiftung-berlin.

aloha  |  Be present and share the breath | essence of life.

Aloha in the Hawaiian language means affection, love, peace, compassion and mercy.     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aloha

Carol

http://www.myspace.com/nomadbeatz