Photo Journal: A Wall of Hope in Berlin, Germany

Although it was 1989, I still remember it like it was yesterday.


Pulling back the plastic tape barricading a freshly paved square of sidewalk. Smelling the chalky finish as I drew my stick out like a sword, ready to attack.


And then, after checking left and right to make sure no one was watching, slowly etching a small smiley face in the corner of the drying-cement square. :)


That was my first (of two) brushes with vandalism street art and I all I wanted to do was make the world a little bit happier with my smiley message. But that’s not exactly how the woman whose property it was felt when she saw it a minute after I finished my masterpiece… She looked like >:(


And then I felt :(


Bad Lisa Bad.


In contrast, when Lilia and I walked down the 1.3km graffiti art-laden strip of the Berlin Wall’s East Side Gallery, we were in complete awe at the beautifully poignant emotions that the artists captured.


Originally constructed to separate the East (commies) from the West (democrats), the 100 mile-long wall divided the country for almost three decades until it was torn down in 1989.


While most of the wall has been destroyed or disbanded around the world, the East Side Gallery features a sampling of colorful voices across an endless range of topics from personal fears and wishes to social and political protests. Today the remaining section of the Berlin Wall is an international symbol of freedom and hope.


As we walked along the range of emotions displayed :-) :D :o) :] :3 :c) :> =] 8) >:[ :-( :( :-c :c :-< :っC :< :-[ :[ :{ >:\ >:/ :-/ :-. :/ :\ =/ =\ :L =L :S, I couldn’t help but think that my little :) would have fit right in.



Soho House Berlin
Torstraße 1, 10119 Berlin, Germany
+49 30 4050440

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Write a Comment

  • The art here is just amazing and your pictures make it seem like I am right here in person. I feel so grateful to be traveling around the world with you through your blog!

    1 October 2014 at 11:35 AM
  • Love these. There has always been something in me that is so drawn to street art. Not sure if it’s the anonymity, or the fact that it could go away at any time… there’s a feeling of urgency in getting your message out into the world, somehow, in some way. Thank you for sharing these beautiful images.

    30 September 2014 at 10:48 PM
  • I love your images Lisa, they really capture Berlin in its essence, especially the one that says ” to anyone, I don’t want to die a virgin”, got me at emotional level. Your writing also captures the mood really well. Having been to berlin in 1990 to run the first berlin marathon course that ran through the Brandenburg Gate and the Unified city, it was so emotional to see many german athletes had tears in their eyes as they ran through the gate just after the wall came down, I can too felt both the anger, frustration but also the elevated party mood of the city. Such a great time for the city. Now I am sure you ;) would fit in just perfectly :)

    28 September 2014 at 6:15 AM
  • Once again, your images capture something that words alone cannot. I’ve never been to Berlin and yet your photos provide a sample of the beauty, art and emotion of the city. Thanks for sharing.

    P.S. Your :-) would have fit in perfectly!

    27 September 2014 at 11:55 PM
  • I LOVE street art, aka graffiti. It tells a story and has a great message….not all of it I know. But the true street artists are very meticulous about their craft.

    26 September 2014 at 11:36 AM
  • I can’t tell you how much I enjoy your photography. It really captures the essence of whatever locale you are visiting. and your writing just adds so much to those photos. Well done!

    26 September 2014 at 9:34 AM
  • Such a fascinating (and emotive) city. Berlin’s street art certainly is reveals many different view points and calls for that thing everyone wants more of – freedom. Well captured

    25 September 2014 at 2:40 PM