Berlin’s visitors (part 1)
As mentioned in the previous post, I have been in Berlin recently. I spent ten days there researching a bit of what’s happening in the street art scene there, with a particular interest in the ways that neighbourhoods associated with street art are starting to change: this can be called gentrification, and such a term certainly covers some of what’s going on, but there are also other features to the social changes taking place (one of which is called ‘touristification’, and more on that another time).
It’s three years since I was last in Berlin, and much has changed, while other aspects were pleasurably familiar. In 2010 I was struck by how many artists from outside Berlin visited, drawn to its creative scene, and sometimes stayed on, becoming more than a visitor.
Anyway, during my visit there, ‘residence’ was a frequently occurring theme: who lived in which neighbourhood, for how long, what made someone a ‘real Berliner’, and what effects the many thousands of visitors per year have on Berlin’s identity, income, and atmosphere. I felt very conscious of my visitor-status there, and a little more uncomfortably self-conscious than in the past.
But the conflicts and tensions around Berlin’s many tourists and visitors is a topic for a later post. For now, here are some of the works left by Berlin’s recent visitors to its streets.
Here’s a piece by Alice Pasquini (with addition!) on the Oberbaumbrucke:
Dscreet and Reka, in the Haus Schwartzenberg courtyard:
Same location, lovely piece by Cake:
And Roa, on Schonhauser Allee in Prenzlauer Berg:
I’ll write more about the tensions around ‘visiting Berlin’ later….