Fall of Berlin Wall Anniversary- 8,000 Balloons Lit to Recreate Divided City

fall of the berlin wall anniversary
image: Wired

Tomorrow, November 9 marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

1989 saw the reunification of friends and families divided by concrete walls and barbed wire for close to 30 years when the wall came down.

Kim, Lucas and I visited the Berlin twice in recent years and really enjoyed the city. What’s left of the wall today is essentially mini-museums which each tell a story. (At times you might need a bit of an imagination to think about what the city/ country must’ve been like while divided when walking by the wall segments.)

To mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall an 11 foot wall of illuminated balloons was put up for 10 miles to recreate the divide for a few days.

The project is called the Lichtgrenze (border of light). It will start at one of the former east-west border checkpoints and make it’s way to the Oberbaum bridge. Roads along with car access will be cut-off  (even in Berlin’s city center) just like the Berlin Wall did years back.

I found out about this amazing, creative and thought-provoking project from an article at Wired.com.

According to Wired, “Light artist Christopher Bauder and his filmmaker brother Marc began working on the concept for Lichtgrenze seven years ago, before the 20th anniversary of the wall coming down. But as you might imagine, building the equipment necessary to hoist and illuminate 8,000 balloons—not to mention getting approval to install them throughout a major metropolis—takes some time and bureaucratic elbow grease. The duo just couldn’t get it done in time”.

Each of the 24-inch balloons sits atop a carbon fiber pole embedded with electronics and an LED light source. The balloons, glowing from below, are tethered to the poles“.

I wish that we were going to be in Berlin to experience the Lichtgrenze. While there are markers on the sidewalks and streets showing where the wall once stood, seeing it recreated with a physical barrier would put it even better into perspective.

(While cars will not be able to pass through the balloon wall, people will be able to pass by.)

On anniversary evening, 8,000 citizens each with a key, will get to unlock one of the balloons. The balloons will be released, one at at time, each carrying personal messages.

Talk about an amazing way to commemorate Berlin’s reunification!

Find out more from the Wired article here.

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