Your vision in the skies above Berlin

30,000 messages will float at the Straße des 17. Juni in Berlin from 4 until  10 November 2019. You can be a part of this!

What are your messages, wishes and hopes, that concern you today? You can find our promotion stands all over Berlin and at certain special events, where you can write your visions, wishes and ideas on your personal message ribbon.

Here’s where you can find us next:

Thu, 19 September 2019
Alexanderplatz, 12pm–8pm
East Side Gallery, 12pm–8pm
Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer, Bernauer Straße, 10am–6pm

Fri, 20 September 2019
Alexanderplatz, 12pm–8pm
East Side Gallery, 12pm–8pm
Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer, Bernauer Straße, 10am–6pm

4 — 10

30th Anniversary of the Peaceful Revolution — Fall of the Wall

A week of festivities in Berlin to mark the 30th anniversary of the Peaceful Revolution and the fall of the Wall from 4 – 10 November 2019

The Berlin Festival Week from 4 – 10 November marks the 30th anniversary of the Peaceful Revolution and the fall of the Berlin Wall: the capital city will be transformed into a large open-air exhibition and event location. In over one hundred events at seven original sites of the Peaceful Revolution, visitors are invited to learn, remember, debate and celebrate.

At these seven locations, which to this day remain inseparably linked to the Peaceful Revolution and the fall of the Wall, Berlin will be transformed into an open-air stage:

7 Days – 7 Locations

For seven days over the course of the festival week, the story of the Peaceful Revolution and the fall of the Wall will be brought to life at the places where it unfolded: These sites commemorate key events in the overthrow of the SED regime, the courage of those who opposed the dictatorship, and the dawn of a new and democratic era.

From the processes that led to the formation of the GDR opposition – explored in depth at Gethsemane Church – to the largest protest demonstration on 4 November 1989 on Alexanderplatz, to the scenes of joy at the Brandenburg Gate following the opening of the Wall. On Kurfürstendamm the festival will celebrate the first encounters between West and East Berliners. Elsewhere, we will commemorate the occupation of the Stasi headquarters in Lichtenberg on 15 January 1990, which finally deprived the SED of its most important instrument of power, and – in what was probably the greatest success of the Peaceful Revolution – the first free elections and the subsequent establishment of the first freely-elected parliament in GDR history, which will be examined on Schlossplatz, now the site of the Humboldt Forum. At the iconic East Side Gallery, the festival explores the symbolic act of cultural appropriation.

Large-scale 3D video projections bring the past to life

These locations and their distinctive buildings will be illuminated in a very special manner during the festival week. Large-scale 3D video projections composed of historical pictures, animations and sound effects will reproduce the atmosphere of each site and the mood of the people at the time, inviting viewers to engage with past by recounting the stories that unfolded at each location. On each day of the festival week, six of the seven historical locations will be illuminated and brought to life in a multimedia show from dusk until late into the night. On Alexanderplatz, for example, the wishes, hopes and demands of the hundreds of thousands of demonstrators who boldly defied the SED leadership there on 4 November 1989 can be experienced anew. At the Humboldt Forum, the historical façade of the former parliamentary building – the Palast der Republik – will be visible again, and the important stages and events on the road to a democratic GDR will be illuminated.

The Festival Programme

The festival week welcomes visitors with a diverse programme of over one hundred events across all seven locations and seven days. The programme includes numerous concerts in different genres, such as Mauern werden einstürzen by Patti Smith and Tony Shanahan in the Gethsemane Church. Both will perform the programme Erinnerung one day before in  the Pierre Boulez Saal. Other highlights include performances by Die Seilschaft and the Bolschewistische Kurkapelle Schwarz-Rot. Plays such as Krokodil im Nacken, a staging of the Klaus Kordon book for young people and adults, and Die Schwäne vom Schlachthof at the Maxim Gorki Theatre also feature in the festival’s wide-ranging theatre programme.

And on top of all this: a host of exciting workshops, film screenings, readings, talks with contemporary witnesses and panel discussions with journalists, historians and politicians, as well as tours of the city’s history – a programme for a story that is as varied and diverse as the voices telling it. The full programme will soon be available in a calendar of events on this website.

The Exhibitions

Open-air exhibitions at each of the seven locations use text and images to explore the historical backgrounds of the events of 1989/90. Over the course of the festival week visitors can immerse themselves in the events of that time at the original sites. The recollections of contemporary witnesses will render the exhibition’s narrative even more palpable: Their stories were collected and curated in an extensive interview project, and are featured in the exhibitions in the form of quotes and listening stations. Spread across the city, the exhibitions reflect both the relationships between each of the sites and the diversity of topics: from local events to global and European contexts, from the long history of resistance to the Communist dictatorships to the role of the Western media in the fall of the Wall, from the many different ruptures and transformations of the 1990s to the perspectives of immigrants.

The Evening of 9 November

The evening of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Wall will be celebrated with a large stage show at the Brandenburg Gate: The Staatskapelle Berlin, conducted by Daniel Barenboim, will open the show, which will also feature people involved in the Peaceful Revolution, contemporary witnesses, musicians, and performers alongside people who take a stand and inspire courage today. DJ WestBam will then ring in the Berliner Clubcommission’s European Club Night, with dance parties in 27 clubs across Berlin.

A Festival for Everyone!

The festival week is a platform for cooperation and participation. A calendar of events will be hosted on this website from September 2019, providing an overview of the many events also taking place in Berlin outside the festival week. Museums, memorials, associations, educational institutes, initiatives and artists’ groups are all invited to take part.

“Your vision in the skies above Berlin”

During the Peaceful Revolution, hundreds of thousands of people raised their voices and contributed to the fall of the Wall. In reminiscence of the banners carried during the demonstrations of the Peaceful Revolution, the people of Berlin and visitors to the city are invited to share their own messages, wishes and hopes for the future, as well as their memories of the past. 30,000 messages will be incorporated into a large art installation, a so-called Skynet, created by Patrick Shearn of Poetic Kinetics, which will float, almost weightlessly, at the Brandenburg Gate for the duration of the festival week.

About Patrick Shearn, Poetic Kinetics
Patrick Shearn is renowned internationally for his impressive, larger-than-life kinetic sculptures, which he has installed in different places all over the world ever since his début in Los Angeles. The art installation at the Brandenburg Gate is the latest kinetic installation in his Skynet series, which trace the natural movements of the wind.

Everybody has the opportunity until the end of September to write something on his or her own ribbon. Watch this website to find out where you can take part. Messages can also be submitted online. [Link zum Generator]

The Wall in 3D: MauAR

The augmented reality app MauAR visualizes the division of Berlin along the Wall from 1961 to 1989. In a world first, the app enables users to experience the Berlin Wall along its roughly 160-kilometre length as a true-to-the-original 3D model. Users can switch between four moments in history – 1961, 1969, 1981 and 1989 – to see how the Wall shaped the cityscape over three decades, and how its security facilities and barrier systems evolved in the course of almost thirty years to form a deadly border system.

Here’s how it works: If you open the MauAR app at a place where the Berlin Wall once stood, a full-size movable 3D model of the Wall will appear on your smartphone or tablet. Viewers can look at the virtual Berlin Wall from all perspectives and angles. Five episodes tell the story of how the Berlin Wall changed between 1961 and 1989, using animations, pictures, videos, texts, sounds and music. Two fictional characters featured in the episodes describe their experiences from this time, one from an East Berlin perspective, the other from the West.

To mark the festival week “30th Anniversary of the Peaceful Revolution – Fall of the Wall”, five special episodes have been created in cooperation with Kulturprojekte Berlin, which will describe the historical events of the Peaceful Revolution at the original sites during the festival week. At Alexanderplatz, for example, users can join the demonstration of 4 November 1989 as virtual participants. MauAR is free to download at www.mauar.berlin.

Done with Courage – The Film Project

Courage, the fall of the Wall, walls today: What do schoolchildren in Berlin think about these topics? Short films made by children and young people will be presented on the website www.mauerfall30.berlinand shown during the festival week.