The 30th anniversary of the fall of the Wall and Berlin Festival Week
This November marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. To commemorate this momentous occasion, the city is hosting Berlin Festival Week to mark the anniversary of the Peaceful Revolution and fall of the Wall.
From the 4-10th November 2019, you will be able to experience Berlin as it is transformed into a large open-air exhibition across over one hundred events, where visitors are encouraged to learn, celebrate and remember.
If your group is travelling to Berlin this November, you may have some questions about what to expect from the festival, what’s on where and how to get the most out of your visit. That is why we have created a quick breakdown of the key events, so you know what to visit and when.
How long is Berlin Festival Week on for?
The festival lasts for seven days, from the 4-10th November 2019. On each day, six of the seven historical locations will be illuminated in a multimedia show from dusk until late at night.
What happens at the festival?
The event consists of various festivities around the city, where distinctive buildings in key locations are brought to life through illuminations and large-scale 3D animations. These are largely comprised of historical images, accompanied by animations and atmospheric sound effects to illustrate the realities of those living during through those periods.
In addition, the city will host a diverse collection of workshops, film screenings, readings and talks with contemporary witnesses, as well as panel discussions with journalists, historians and politicians.
Where are the events held?
Events are spread across several key locations in the city that played key significance in the story of the fall of the Wall and the Peaceful Revolution. These include:
- Gethsemane Church
- Brandenburg Gate
- Stasi headquarters
- East Side Gallery
What are the top events not to be missed?
While there will be an event, workshop, screening or talk to interest any group visiting Berlin during the festival, there are a few key events that we recommend looking out for in particular.
- “Your vision in the skies above Berlin”
During the Peaceful Revolution, thousands of people joined together, raised their voices and contributed to the fall of the Wall. In commemoration of the thousands of banners carried during the demonstrations, Berlin and its visitors have been invited to share their own messages of hope for the future, as well as their memories of the past.
A staggering 30,000 messages will be featured in a large art installation, which will float above the Brandenburg Gate throughout the festival week. Everyone has the opportunity to write a message on their own ribbon and take part in the installation before the end of September. If you wish, you can even submit your message online here.
- The Wall in 3D
Through ground-breaking new technology, which is the first of its kind, this unique experience allows users to witness the Berlin Wall as it once stood in various locations across the city. By opening the app at a location where the Wall was once situated, a full-size movable 3D model of the wall appears on your screen.
Viewers can experience the Wall as it appeared in various key locations, across four moments in history including 1961, 1969, 1981 and 1989. It will give your students a chance to see how the Wall changed over time, which evolved over the course of almost three decades to form a deadly border system.
The app features interactive animations, videos and music to bring each location to life, along with personalised accounts from two fictional characters in the East and West, to narrate their contrasting experiences from either side of the Wall. You can download the app for free ahead of your trip here.
- Done with Courage
This event features a series of short films that will be shown throughout The Festival Week, created solely by children and young people. Illustrating a modern perspective on courage, The Berlin Wall and the walls of today, the exhibition will focus on celebrating the celebrating the courage of all those who peacefully stood up for their democratic rights thirty years ago, as well as exploring a new generations outlook on this topic in our world today.
Whether your students are focus on the historical or creative perspective, this is a wonderful opportunity to experience a variety of original films, crafted from the minds of the young people of today. It may even inspire your students to create their own film-projects after returning home and explore some the topics raised in greater depth, or simply broaden their perspectives by considering their relevance to them as individuals.
The Berlin Festival Week have now released their official calendar of events, which is available here.