Berlin. Assaults on Memory

B esides good sewage systems and green parks, urban ecology entangles memory. It is commonly known that urban sprawl leads to the extension of suburban areas into natural ecosystems. However, nowadays there is an inner sprawl, a pressure towards the city’s center that is almost all the time exerted by private developers allied with a weak local government against historical sites. Powerful interests – big developers, land speculators, construction corporations – get rich off this inner sprawl, also named infill building.

Cities are human altered ecosystems, all different from one another. People, inhabitants along history, give them uniqueness, by living in them, using and changing them in a diachronic evolutionary process that shapes the past and the present. Currently, this evolution is curbed by developers that, artificially and within a very short time span, reshape the city’s ecosystem. Despite an apparently improved functionality, communities are losing buildings and spaces that developed organically and spontaneously, spaces that mark turning points in history, local creativity and heritage. They are losing memory.

2Celsius is starting a series of short pieces of (photo)reportage on the urban inner sprawl in European cities. The new Berlin, the hardened Bucharest, green Vilnius or sad Sofia are among the examples of assaults against memory.

 

Berlin. East Side Gallery

March, 2013. 5 a.m. Demolition workers backed by Berlin police force have removed a section of the Berlin Wall to make way for a luxury building project, despite cries of the civil society for the historic site to be preserved.

Work had begun early to take down four sections of the wall, each about 1.2 meters wide, to make way for an access route to the planned high-rise luxury flats along the Spree river.

The East Side Gallery is the longest remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall. Construction staff removed a piece earlier this year, but a public opposition halted building work, with local politicians saying they would look for a way to keep the rest of the wall intact. Some of the murals below now exist merely in an electronic format.

 

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The Wall’s memory vs. glass n’ steel arena

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Along EastSide Gallery, Berlin

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Square heads. Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Debut. Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Antiracist. Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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DDR flag with the communist coat of arms cropped out. Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Gorby. Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Brejnev smootching Honecker. Famous mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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TV journalists report on what is and what will never be

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Pacifist mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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The Wall’s resume’. Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Trabant breaking through. Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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This picture has gone. Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Along the wall

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Pinkfloydish. Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Pinkfloydish. Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Japan. Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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A noble Honecker. Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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EcoMural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Gate and mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Famous caricature of a soldier defecting. Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

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Mural on the EastiSide Gallery, Berlin

 

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