Visual artist Susanne Kunjappu-Jellinek was born in East Germany. She studied in East Berlin and Munich. Her painting “Curriculum Vitae” shows the years that the Wall existed.

Susanne Kunjappu-Jellinek, Curriculum Vitae, 2000
Susanne Kunjappu-Jellinek, Curriculum Vitae, 2000

Showing the date of every year since the Wall was built, Susanne Kunjappu-Jellinek’s painting “Curriculum Vitae” also comments on East Germany’s rigid bureaucracy. Kunjappu-Jellinek painted her picture three times: The first version of 1990 expressed her delight at the fall of the Wall. In 2000, she factored in the realisation that new walls in the minds of people in both East and West were preventing them from uniting as hoped. In 2009, she added a rose in remembrance of every victim of the Wall and to counter the use of her painting as simply an eye-catching background for commercial and tourist photos.

While studying at Weißensee art college in East Berlin, Kunjappu-Jellinek was arrested and jailed for “planning to illegally cross the border”. 15 months later, the West German government paid for her release. In 1972 she moved to Munich, where she gained a diploma from the Meisterschule für Mode. She moved to West Berlin in 1984. She observed the developments leading to the fall of the Wall with joy, partly for personal reasons: It meant she could see her family in East Berlin again. Today she works as a visual artist.

Additional information:

Susanne Kunjappun-Jellinek about herself and her picture:


„Curriculum Vitae“ is part of the following online-tours: Life in a Dictatorship The Berlin Wall in the Artwork

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