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Soon after the fall of the Berlin Wall known and unknown artists started to paint on the eastern side of it. It soon became known as the Easter Gallery. I was teaching epidemiology in Berlin in 1989 and 1990 and on a sunny Sunday morning of September 2000, I believe, I went there too with a friend and his daughter. I took pictures of the paintings that appealed to me the most. The range was impressive. Several paintings were political statements against the previous regime or against pollution, or against the dangers of nuclear power. Others were more directly accessible: comments on the different walls that limit our lives or more classic artistic expression. Humor was also present: on God, on the west/best. There was plenty of food for thoughts.

Later, I made a selection of pictures for a scrapbook and inserted related texts on “walls” from the literature: Eluard, Tagore, the Bible, etc. Friends have suggested it should be published as a book. One day perhaps…

In April 2001 I had a photo exhibition of 35 of these pictures at the Goethe Institute in Dhaka, Bangladesh. To stay as close as possible to the visual impression of commercial paints on a concrete wall Moumina Dorgabekova and I decided to print the scanned (digitized) slides on a commercial photo printer. The A3 format results were amazingly good. The challenge of the exhibition was not the pictures but the captions. How do you explain to a young Bangladeshi born in 1980 what “Buerlinica” means? Guernica, the Spanish Civil War, Picasso, Buerlinger – a leader of the Italian Communist Party, etc. Or that this painting is a representation of 3 Miles Island, etc. It took many hours to prepare short but intelligible explanations. But were explanations even necessary?

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