The collapse of the wall did not just mark the reuniting of a nation, but it brought back together friends and families and a world of opportunities. It represented freedom for the people of Berlin, which they hadn’t had a glimpse of since the construction of the wall 28 years previous.
The Border of Light project, which in German is The Lichtgrenze, will follow the same path as the original 96-mile barrier, cutting off pathways and roads like the original structure. It will truly re-separate the city but this time with beauty. The 24-inch glowing balloons will be released into the sky later today each containing an individual message.
It makes sense that this anniversary is being commemorated in such a creative way since the symbiotic relationship between art and the Berlin Wall has existed for almost as long as the wall did; well that was definitely the case for West Berlin.
When those East Berliners crossed over to the West, for most it was their first time, an explosion of colour greeted them. The East side of the wall was a blank canvas, as most of the time people couldn’t get close enough to the structure to create such artwork that West Berlin had become so famous for. These East Berliners got to see politically challenging bubble writing scrawled across a 3.6-meter tall canvas. They saw pictures that celebrated, questioned and expressed what was going on within the world.
After the news that the segregation was void, West Berlin artist’s crossed the border and threw themselves into working in their new playground, they were joined by artists from the East who’s art expressed how it truly felt to now be free.
Today, very little of the wall remains, which means a lot of the artwork disappeared with it. The segments that are still standing have become one of the world’s greatest street art exhibitions. Creating hopeful and positive connotations to a Wall of Shame that represented evil for nearly 30 years. This 25-year anniversary celebration will be a reflective time for those Berliners who were around on the evening of November 9th 1989. Those Berliners who saw the city change yet again, but this time for the better.
Words: Eliza Frost