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Borders, art, and the city: How the East Side Gallery came about

118 artists from 21 countries helped make the East Side Gallery in Berlin in 1990. It was the first time anyone had painted on the east side of the wall that had divided the city for 28 years. The artworks spoke to a unified Europe about the revolution in 1989/90 and memories of life in dictatorships and divided Germany.
Today, the paintings are accompanied by an open-air exhibition telling the stories behind them, in the artists’ words. These and numerous residents’ comments give a range of insights into life in the divided city, the fall of the Wall and German unification. Going beyond the events of 1990, the exhibition also looks at monument protection in a growing city and explores issues of appropriation and dispossession, asking questions such as: Does the city need free zones? Do we need public art? To whom is it relevant?

Information for your visit to the East Side Gallery