// Berlin Wall Trail: Space in Flux

 

Berlin Wall Trail: Space in Flux

The former site of the Berlin Wall spans roughly 96miles (162km) and forms the circumference of what was once the ‘West Island of Berlin’. This space was turned into a trail, which was opened to the public from 2006 as part of an urban redevelopment project called the ‘Berliner Mauerweg’. I documented the entire route by bicycle, following the Trail, starting and finishing at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin’s city centre. This significant demarcation space physically separated East and West Germany’s capital into two nations, cultures and communities from 1961 through 1989. The demolition of the Berlin Wall and the opening of the once long fortified and formidable border led to most of the physical footprint of the former Wall being ‘erased’ today. However most of the trail remains a sombre ‘no man’s land’, a reminder of the historical forced division of people, places and space.

Although few tangible remnants exist of the Wall on its former site the areas along the trail remain in flux as nature reclaims the land or man contributes to the environmental change of a landscape that is now rapidly becoming part of a unified and progressive capital city of Germany. I was fascinated that it proved difficult to retrace the Wall on its former site and how, because of the rapid transformation of the route through natural and human forces, this space’s significance only remains a true memory to those who lived through the divide, those whose life was affected through its existence.

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The series is titled Berlin Wall Trail: Space in Flux and was shot in summer 2013. The project has been exhibited twice before: at LoBe (London-Berlin project space) in Berlin and at the Brick Lane Gallery (The Annexe) in London in 2013. The former exhibit showcased 12 images and the latter 20 images. The full series forms a contemporary archive of this significant space that symbolises freedom across the former borderline that divided the city of Berlin and the nation of Germany.