Images by: Rebecca Cofie
Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
Ronald Reagan, Former President of the United States, speech at the Brandenburg Gate, 1987
And so they did.
I heard so many different points of view before going to Berlin. Some were praising the city, others were saying it was rather grimy. This made me very curious – what is the mystery behind the inconsistency of everyone’s memory of Berlin? Is it a Vienna kind of city or is it a Warsaw type?
That’s when I saw something that Jack Lang, former French culture minister, noted. He said: “Paris is always Paris and Berlin is never Berlin.” And that’s so true. If I come back in a year’s time, it will probably be a completely different experience – it’s constantly being constructed, reconstructed, deconstructed in a never ending circle. And that’s the beauty of Berlin – a city that’s buzzing yet isn’t as saturated as a beehive. A city that boasts memorable architecture but lacks in equivalents of the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame, the Big Ben.
In fact, the piece of architecture it is famous for is simply not there. And yet millions come year on year admiring this beautiful torn down nothingness.