Strassmannstrasse 8

15 years after the fall of the wall.

Old east Berlin and old west Berlin don’t differ very much anymore. They have the same food stores, the same clothes, the same stress, and almost the same salaries. east was adjusted, there is more freedom, more segregation and more cars on the eastern side of the wall as well. The old houses that are left fall into disrepair. The inhabitants that are left disappear. The division isn’t about west and east any more, but about rich and poor. In Berlin’s everyday life new, economic walls are built to once more divide its people.

Where former east’s remnants meet the new west they’re excluded and shut out. Even in the backyards, where one half of the house is renovated while the other haft isn’t, fences and barriers are put up. They’re there to keep the inhabitants of the old part from crossing to the new part. And it happens automatically, people are so used to it that they don’t think about it, don’t question it. It’s because the houses belong to different grounds, to different owners is the answer you get when you question why the yellow houses and the grey houses are separated. Nobody seems to neither ponder over what purposes the fences really have, nor who really benefits from them being there.

Walls and fences that divide people may exist as long as we choose not to se them. The society where everybody has equal rights and the same opportunities, can not exist as long as these borders are allowed to influence and rule our everyday life. Not even Berlin, with the history it carries, has succeeded to set an example and conquer its barriers. Now, when the thoughts and lifestyle of the west increasingly spreads, it’s important to see that neither the rest of the world, nor parts of our own societies get shut out, excluded, shut up. It is necessary for people to meet, to see each others’ everyday life, if we want to live in a society without segregation.

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