Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2012


When the Berlin Wall fell, the first reaction of the citizens of Berlin was to destroy the loathed barrier altogether. As early as 1991, the city of Berlin firmly rejected and questioned the idea of attributing monument status to the Wall. Why should they have to preserve the border fortifications which marked the city with a sad universal notoriety? Today the Wall is approached and interpreted from a wider perspective that includes a border landscape and a sociopolitical landscape. The Wall serves as a visual object that illustrates a pictorial phenomenon in the context of political communication. Although the 'Iron Curtain' is nothing but a concrete barrier its impact upon Berliners' lives and world politics inevitably prevents the monument from ever turning into an inconsequential barricade. The Wall stands as 'lieux de memorie' or 'icon objects of collective memory' – a memory crystallized at a particular historical moment that embodies a sense of continuity. This multimodal historical monument has so many variable connotations that it becomes the combination of the reconstruction of history as a part of the present and the historical representation of a culture.