It was an extremely cold, grey December day when we visited the East Side Gallery in Berlin. The gallery is a collection of over 100 paintings on a remaining 1.3km section of the Berlin Wall. Each piece conveys messages largely of freedom, diversity and democracy. Some literal, some open to interpretation. Painted in 1990 after the fall of the wall, the gallery now stands as a memorial to a time of great change and hope for a better future.
The works have deteriorated over time due to erosion and vandalism and some have been (somewhat controversially) restored. Hundreds of visitors were undeterred by the cold and damp weather and many of us walked the full length of the wall in silence absorbing what has been described as a symbol of peaceful revolution.
Berlin is a city with much urban art and the first 3 photos here are actually not of the East Side Gallery but of a piece called 'Balancing Act' constructed on another eroded section of the wall.
Berlin also further recognises the troubled history of Germany with the 'Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe' otherwise know as the Holocaust Memorial. This is a foreboding collection of solid concrete slabs arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping field. The memorial has garnered both praise and criticism but with its sheer mass and solidness, Berlin seems to be very definitely acknowledging the weight of this horrific atrocity and their part in it.