As promised, here are the more uplifting views of the Berlin Wall from my trip. I loved how individual each section was, with its own idiosyncrasies. Every time I put my camera down I’d come across another photo opportunity two seconds later, as more of the Wall emerged. I did feel like a brazen tourist, but it was impossible not to get snap-happy.
This section was opposite the Holocaust Memorial and just along from the deliberately unmarked spot where Hitler’s bunker stood.
You can see how some sections are full of colour whilst others are stark and blank.
This sign tells you that you’re in East Germany, alluding to the Capitalist attitude of the West in comparison.
Here you get a sense of the layers of graffiti, with the blue and red graphic paint only going some way to hide the messages underneath.
These paintings depict today’s most prominent dictators – showing that there are still regimes that need to be overthrown and people living with diminished rights.
After grabbing some dinner, I explored Potsdamer Platz at night, coming across different sections of the wall. These clashing colours jumped out at me.
One of the most personal pieces was this – urgently-scrawled messages overlapping. It’s probably still a work in progress.
My favourite section was entirely covered with pieces of chewing gum. I think this goes some way to conveying the amount of people affected by the Wall and it’s really symbolic.
I’m pretty chuffed with how this photo turned out – I wanted to get a sense of how dominant the wall was, and how the chewing gum was slowly covering it.
Some people had added bottletops at random over the chewing gum, giving it a sort of weird armour.
If you haven’t ever been to Berlin then I hope this post gets across how the Wall really is the focal point of the city, in a lot of positive ways as well as the obvious negative ones. It’s now full of things to photograph and you come away feeling like you’ve learned something from each piece (even if you just like the colours or the way they’ve transformed the space). There’s also something brilliant about seeing public art that really has a point. I think the city can be proud of it, rather than fear it as they used to.
P.S. Closer to home, a great way to see a chunk of the Wall is to visit the Imperial War Museum in London – there’s a small part of it on the walk up to the main entrance. You can’t miss it.