Recently, a number of artists have been painting segments of The Berlin Wall as part of an installation in Berlin’s Freedom Park. I was particularly struck by Dave the Chimp‘s pieces. Here’s how Dave explained his work to his mailing list:
For me, involving the word “freedom” with a barrier built around one half of a city, a barrier involving not just a wall but barbed wire, guard dogs, machine gun implacements, search lights, and soldiers with the instructions “shoot to kill”, doesn’t make sense, and I wanted to use this opportunity to remind people of just how disgusting it is to divide a city and it’s people. The barrier built between the Russian sector and the British, American and French sectors of Berlin was, in many cases, built down the middle of streets, dividing friends, families, and whole communities. Over night on August 12th 1961 relationships were destroyed and freedom, a natural human right, was viciously snatched away from millions of German citizens, people just like you and me. I tried, in my simple way, to show this with one of my “one line” drawings. I hope it will stand as a reminder of the reality of the Berlin Wall, and of the walls dividing people in other parts of the world.
The other side of my wall is a little lighter, showing the words “Every Wall Is A Challenge”. This is both intended as a reminder of the many people from the East that escaped, and of the teams of West Berliners who dug tunnels and found other ways to rescue and reunite families, and as a cheeky nod to the graffiti writers of the city today.
Photos by Dave the Chimp