A nostalgic look to the life in East-Berlin

“East-Berlin” exhibition at Berlin City Museum (Stadtmuseum Berlin) welcomes you with a city-model which claims that “East Berlin is a city with many faces.” Then it starts the story of architecture, consumption culture, and other socio-economical and political topics within the question of borders.

As a modern socialist metropolis, East Berlin becomes increasingly cosmopolitan. However, the Berlin Wall, visible throughout the city, still creates a harsh separation between East and West. The border fortifications are constantly being expanded and perfected. In everyday life, East Berliners have to come to terms with the border that runs through their city. Their perception begins to change: For older people who knew Berlin before it was divided, the building of the Wall remains a brutal break in their lives. For many of those born later, the Wall is a ‘normal’ fact of life that they are forced to accept. However, there is growing opposition to the borders that the Party and the State create in people’s lives. As hopes for more freedom of movement fail to be fulfilled, the Wall looms larger in the city’s counciousness.

Exhibition Text

In addition to its rich textual materials, the exhibition hosts various medium in a broad spectrum from maps to original documents, ephemeral to replicas, and audio recordings to videos.

A tram ride from the outskirts to the centre of the capital offers a first impression of everyday life in East Berlin. (…) While the overall picture is at first strikingly grey, a closer look reveals a wide range of urban landscapes and astonishing social diversity.

Exhibition Text
Friedrichstadt Palast and the consumption culture in East Berlin
Pop-Culture in 1980s

Naturally, my fav part in the exhibition includes participatory curatorship practices: My East Berlin. In this section, the inhabitants joined the exhibition in figures and through the displayed objects and notes on the figures, they tell their own stories concerning the memory of East-Berlin. The project is open to participation via e-mail.

“My Berlin”

The reunification of Berlin, and with it the changing way of life in East Berlin, is a separate story that deserves its own exhibition.

Exhibition Text

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