Berlin’s East Side Gallery

Everyone said to go to the wall, and how could I not – we were in Berlin, after all. After taking the scenic route (AKA getting lost while trying to find the proper U-Bahn station), I was finally on my way to the East Side Gallery. Upon my arrival to the stretch of the wall that – as its name suggests – has essentially become a stationary outdoor art gallery, I was hooked to the cultural site that seemed to address problems faced by Berlin before the fall of the wall, as well as calls for peace, that both remain largely relevant and applicable to this day.

The city of Berlin seemed to be a petri dish of spray-paint street artwork, and the East Side Gallery was no exception. However, something I found extremely interesting was that while graffiti still marked remnants of the Gallery, that the artwork was largely left intact and unharmed – showing a sense of respect held by the various artists towards one another’s pieces.

In front of a “tagged” portion of the Gallery that still maintains its artistic meaning.

Moreover, I loved the free spirit and uniqueness conveyed by the East Side Gallery through the Gallery’s special combination of it’s pieces of satire, works of recognition, and calls for peace and/or change in the world for the better.

A satirical portrayal of Checkpoint Charlie.

A satirical portrayal of Checkpoint Charlie.

Seen above, the showing of Checkpoint Charlie was a very interesting portrayal to bear witness to.

The famed "My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love" piece.

The famed “My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love” piece.

I was really excited to have the opportunity to see this piece of the wall, as I have seen it depicted in pictures countless times.

A powerful work on freedom and the peace by which it is necessary to occur.

This section of the wall really caught my attention and made me think about the circumstances under which these works of art were inspired by/painted as a result of, and how works like these are still extremely applicable to this day.

Impactful quote on the power of change.

Impactful quote on the power of change.

I found this quotation to be very powerful and thought provoking as well, and again, to be something that is just as relevant today as it was when it was painted in 1990. Moreover, although there is small graffiti additions throughout the piece, I found the overall respect held for the work to be notable as no one had defaced it, etc. to the extent to which some other sections of the Gallery had been, thus, preserving the work’s simplistic stance.

Having the opportunity to see the East Side Gallery was amazing, and without a doubt was one of my favorite things I saw/did in Berlin (arguably being a close second to attending the Mauer Park Flea Market this past Sunday). I loved seeing the preservation of the works and how the art-culture of Berlin(and the respect for it) really makes the city something special and beautiful.

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