Photographer displays pictures of politically-oppressive barriers on the longest remaining part of the iconic structure.
Photographer Kai Wiedenhöfer was there when the Berlin Wall came down. At the time, the native Berliner thought that it was the end of oppressive barriers between nations, but in the past 20 years there has been a surge in border protection with 22 new walls built since 1989. Wiedenhöfer has made it his photographic mission to travel the world and capture these walls with his lens. Eight of the photographs have now been printed as 30ft x 10ft panoramics and mounted onto the place that start it all, the last remnants of the Berlin Wall.
The project, titled WALLONWALL, shows images of border fences from around the world: the US-Mexico border, the fence in the West Bank separating Israel and Palestine, and the DMZ between North and South Korea are all included. Wiedenhöfer photographed his subject from 2004 to 2012, and spent almost as long trying to get permission for it to be displayed on the world’s most famous political wall. Once permission was granted, he took to Kickstarter to fund the printing and mounting of the massive pictures. Now, and until Sept. 13, 2013, anyone who roams past the Wall will see examples of other divisive barriers used to separate people. As for the reason to return to the Berlin Wall, 24 years after he saw it fall, Wiedenhöfer tells VICE:
The fall of the Berlin Wall was a very positive thing. You can see, for example, in Syria that revolutions can go badly wrong. But during the fall of the Berlin Wall, no one died. It was a very positive event and could have been a model for the rest of the world. In ’89, many people thought there would be no more walls, but we were really proven wrong. So we had the logical idea to go back to the wall and put the photos on there…we will have a quarter of a million people there and we won’t have to pull anybody into a museum to see it.
Click on the gallery below to see some of Wiedenhöfer’s political panorama.