Remembering East Germany's Peaceful Revolution

Data collection


Andrews, M. 2018. Remembering East Germany's Peaceful Revolution. The University of East London. doi:10.15123/DATA.00000219
AuthorsAndrews, M.
ContributorsAinsworth, Louisa (Rights holder), Droth, Barbara (Project member), Melzer, Vaughn (Rights holder), Murray, Jaime (Producer), Schmitt, Birgit (Project member), Schneider, Kerstin (Rights holder) and Walter, Stefan (Producer)
Abstract

Exhibitions and Symposium based on Professor Molly Andrews' longitutional research project (1992-2012) 'The Unbuilding of East Germany: Excavating Biography and History', in which interviews were conducted with forty East Germans, most of whom had been leading critics of the East German government and had played an important role in contributing to the bloodless revolution of 1989. Twenty years later, a follow-up study was conducted with fifteen of the original forty participants.

Two exhibitions were organized, timed to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Berlin Wall: the first in London, at the German Historical Institute (31 October 2014 – 31 January 2015), and the second in Berlin at the Wissenschaftzentrum (12 November 2014 – 31 March 2015).

The exhibitions were organised around four themes that featured in the interviews and explored through multimedia content: the intersection of biographical and historical change (“Generations”); the role of the past in the present (“Representation of East German History”); the meaning of being from East Germany (“East German Identity”); memories of the night the Berlin Wall was opened and subsequent anniversaries of that event (“November 9th”).

The exhibition contained MP3 sound files from the archives and a short video based on the theme of November 9th with extracts of interviews held in 1992 and 2012 with fifteen East German dissidents. The video shows archival footage of the interviewees, as well as of Berlin during the time of the falling of the wall in 1989, and is available from Molly Andrews upon request.

The GHIL exhibition consisted of several largescale panels, designed by Stefan Walter, containing archive images and text based on the longitudinal research.

The exhibition was preceded by a half-day symposium focused on the personal testimonies of three people who had been key activists in the events leading up to the opening of the wall: nuclear physicist Sebastian Plugbeil, architect and green activist Reinhard Weisshuhn, and psychoanalyst and writer Annette Simon. There were two panels organised around the themes of the representation of East German history (chaired by historian Dorothee Wierling) and cultural memory (chaired by psychologist Jens Brockmeier).

Credits:
German project co-ordinator and translator (within interviews): Birgit Schmitt.
Exhibition graphic designer: Stefan Walter.
Exhibition coordinator: Barbara Droth.
Photo archivist: Christoph Ochs, Robert Havemann Gesellschaft.
Portraits: Vaughan Melzer.
Transcriber and translator: Max Haberich.
Filmmaker and subtitles: Barbara Droth.
Exhibition opening photographs: Louisa Ainsworth; Vaughan Melzer; Kerstin Schneider.

Data files
License
CC BY-NC-ND
Data type
Video
File Access Level
Anyone
Data files
License
CC BY-NC-ND
Data type
Video
File Access Level
Anyone
Data files
License
CC BY-NC-ND
Data type
Video
File Access Level
Anyone
Data files
License
CC BY-NC-ND
Data type
Video
File Access Level
Anyone
Data files
License
CC BY-NC-ND
Data type
Video
File Access Level
Anyone
Data files
License
CC BY-NC-ND
Data type
Audio
File Access Level
Anyone
Data files
License
CC BY-NC-ND
Data type
Audio
File Access Level
Anyone
Data files
Data type
Audio
File Access Level
Anyone
Data files
License
CC BY-NC-ND
Data type
Archive
File Access Level
Anyone
Year2018
PublisherThe University of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.15123/DATA.00000219
FunderThe Max Planck Institute
The University of East London
Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung
Data collection method

All images used in the exhibition and video were from the archives of the Robert Havemann Gesellschaft Archive in Berlin, except for the colour portraits by photographer Vaughn Melzer, who was commissioned to photograph 15 of the project participants in Berlin. Her colour photographs were part of the exhibition at the GHIL as well as featuring in the short film 'Remembering November 9th' (Droth, 2014: available from Molly Andrews upon request). Photographs from the opening of the WZB exhibition were taken by Louisa Ainsworth, Vaughan Melzer, and Kerstin Schneider. A short documentary video of the symposium and exhibition was created by Jamie Murray of the University of East London.

External resourceEast German History
Remembering East Germany's Peaceful Revolution
Publication dates
Online03 May 2018
Copyright information© Molly Andrews, except WZB Exhibition Opening photographs, 12.11.14 © Louisa Ainsworth, Vaughan Melzer, and Kerstin Schneider.
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