The east side gallery

As the berlin Wall was falling, one artist concocted a plan to turn the into ns world's longest outdoor gallery
Kani Alavi, a young Iranian artist living in Germany, witnessed background as the berlin Wall was falling, and crowds rushed kommen sie set fuß on free soil.

Du schaust: The east side gallery

From his fourth-floor apartment next kommen sie Berlin"s Checkpoint Charlie, his eyes took an images that would publish onto his consciousness weil das a lifetime.
That day, east German officials had actually surprised ns world von announcing they would certainly no longer enforce die border between East and West Germany.
The berlin Wall was 91 mile long and for almost three decades, it was a metaphor for the division betwee the complimentary world and communism.
But as people started pouring through a gap bei the wall, Alavi began setting a plan bei motion zu actually preserve part of it.
His became an organizer des the east Side Gallery, which today zu sein the longest section still standing, and tourists i m crying to ns gallery wall. It"s come to be one of the many visited attractions in Germany"s rejoined capital.
Alavi helped transform ns most visible symbol des the steel Curtain into an enduring monument to the power of freedom.

Alavi helped convince in East German artist kommen sie paint a now-famous bild of her car driving with oppression. Credit: Ryan Prior/
Nearly a decade later, he was moved über thousands of ost Germans he saw trying kommen sie escape their very own situation, and wanted kommen sie use art to aid tell their story.
"It was really difficult," Alavi told in bei interview with die help von a translator punkt his berlin apartment, i beg your pardon is also his nett studio. "But over there were deshalb many artist around the world who just wanted to get connected with the project."
Perhaps die most famous bild on the wall recreates a socialist fraternal kiss shared betwee East German leader Erich Honecker und Soviet premier Leonid Brezhnev bei 1979.
That kiss symbolized an ideological bond between East Germany und the Soviet gewerkschaftern that had actually suppressed ns dreams and aspirations of millions living under those regimes.
There are plenty of stories of the 118 artists from 21 countries who would certainly splash repaint across the once-austere concrete.
One story the sticks out in Alavi"s mind zu sein of bei artist who arrived from ost Germany control a Trabant, a vehicle produced in the Communist part des the country by a government-run conglomerate.
Alavi told die woman, birgit Kinder, zu paint whatever she pleased. She was hesitant, notfall used to having ns freedom kommen sie choose. She claimed she couldn"t think des anything.
Alavi"s very own contribution kommen sie the east Side Gallery zu sein from his memory of november 9, 1989, together he witnessed masses coming through die wall at the Checkpoint weiß border crossing.
His painting, "It Happened in November," depicts a swarm von faces yearning to prahlen free as they poured v a gap an the barrier.
Today if freundin come back with er to his studio you kann sein see evidence he"s continuous re-creating the image, riffing turn off his mitarbeiter depiction von the augenblicke that changed die world.

Alavi's apartment zu sein littered with canvases, with countless showing versions of the mural he painted ~ above the berlin Wall. Credit: Ryan Prior/
In Alavi"s mural, one man"s confront stands out. The man, attract a hat und a mustache, ist the many arresting visage an a sea von anonymous faces.

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The two males founded east Side collection e. V., bei artists" initiative that preserves the works. Und they composed a book about the east Side gallery together.
They fought to preserve .8 miles des the wall, turning die rampart into die longest open-air nett gallery in the world.
Alavi was awarded ns Merit Medal von Germany"s Order von Merit, the country"s greatest civilian commendation.
In a neu era des capitalism, Alavi had zu fight echt estate developer enticed von the space, who covet permits to build along die gallery wall.
In a previously dreary community of ost Berlin, liberty has jetzt wrought a skyline dominated von a major stadium, Mercedez-Benz Arena, and various high-rise condo buildings.
Alavi says ns purpose of the ost Side Gallery zu sein as belang today as ever, and that the still enduring wounds native Germany"s divisive wall should serve as a warning to other nations.
"I wanted kommen sie make this zum posterity dafür that no various other crazy people kommen sie along und want kommen sie build one more wall," that said.
"In Iran i saw that world had walls bei the heads," he continued. "And then ich came to Germany and saw the same thing here. Ich wanted to use nett to nur that there"s one more way von doing things, to zeigen that jene could be excellent without walls."
Recently, the accompanied South oriental President park Geun-hye, when she walked follow me the east Side gallery wall.
He"s been providing South korean officials his 2 cents together they contend with a similar issue: ns demilitarized border that separates North and South Korea.

Many von the murals ~ above the berlin Wall Eastside collection express geo-political themes. Credit: Ryan Prior/
In 2002, a portion of the berlin Wall the Alavi painted was put on display screen on die United nations grounds in New york City, as a giftig from Germany.
In 2017, die artist that holds Iranian und German citizenship, spoke kommen sie German outlet deutsche Welle about that painting as us President donald Trump was taking office bei the US und setting up ns travel half he campaigned on.
"When ich think about ns possibility of not being able to go there und see my paint after plenty of years, ich wonder why i painted it an the zuerst place," Alavi said. But he added that if trompete succeeded in building a wall surface on the southern border, he"d try to find a way to paint that wall too.

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"These are all politics games to talk around building walls und hopefully at some point they möchte realize the doesn"t make any type of sense," the said.
"Walls are ns wrong way zu go," Alavi said. "I expect that trumpf will number out that walls are notfall what ns world needs."