Seeing the Berlin Wall up close gave me goosebumps. There is so much history represented in that wall. It was the symbol of a city divided, a country divided, and a world divided.
This year the biggest project I did with my students was called "The Walls that Surround Us," during which we spent a few months studying and reflecting upon physical and invisible walls that divide people. We studied walls around the world, including the Berlin Wall, and students also shared their stories of the invisible walls that they had experienced- racism, sexism, anti-homosexual sentiment, social barriers. Often it is these things which are at the root of physical walls that are erected. When we begin to see other humans as inferior to us, it is easy to justify a physical wall so that we actually don't have to see them at all. It is because of this that I always question any wall that is constructed to divide humanity. I had all of this in mind as I approached the Berlin Wall, and it left me with a heavy heart.
While it was interesting to see some of the art that has been added to the wall in recent years, I enjoyed the raw, deteriorating sections of the wall more, as I felt they painted a better picture of history than the paintings themselves. That rawness reminds me of what was, and the many physical and invisible walls that are still in place today.
That last photo is original graffiti from when the wall was up that says something like, the wall does not run north and south but between you and me.