The Wall that divided the city of Berlin between 1961 and 1989 was the most potent symbol of the Cold War, representing the division of a continent into two hostile blocks. Closer to home, for the people of Berlin, it represented enforced separation from family and friends. On the night of 9th November 1989, when border guards finally gave way to the peaceful revolutionaries of East Germany and opened the checkpoints, the world witnessed euphoric scenes as East Berliners streamed through the suddenly redundant border and family members and complete strangers fell into each other’s arms amidst popping champagne corks, tears of happiness, and shouts of joyful disbelief.
November 2014 marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of that extraordinary night, and October 2015 will see the twenty-fifth anniversary of the reunification of West and East Germany that followed. To commemorate these events, the German Department of the University of Bristol (http://www.bristol.ac.uk/german/) has joined forces with ten local secondary schools and Europe’s biggest street art festival, Upfest, to produce a public art project entitled ‘What I would have painted on the Berlin Wall’. The project is generously supported by the University of Bristol and Routes into Languages South West (https://www.routesintolanguages.ac.uk/southwest).
The project coordinator, Dr Debbie Pinfold http://www.bristol.ac.uk/sml/people/debbie-m-pinfold/overview.html, is a lecturer in German at Bristol and the Schools Liaison Officer / for the university’s School of Modern Languages. She followed the events leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall on TV as a second year university student, and experienced the night of German reunification first hand on her year abroad in Hamburg; she now teaches a module to final year university students on the way the former East Germany is remembered in contemporary German culture, but says she is all too aware that neither her students nor local school children had been even been born when the Wall fell. The Berlin Wall art project is an attempt to make this seismic event in European history real and exciting to local school children by engaging them with German history in a creative way that goes beyond the classroom; the graffiti that covered the west side of the Wall in a form of colourful protest provided an obvious link with Bristol’s own vibrant street art culture, and the German department was delighted when the Upfest organisers agreed to host the project. Dr Pinfold has been visiting schools to talk to pupils between years 8 and 13 about the history of the Berlin Wall and its fall, starting her talks by showing the young people a map of Bristol and asking them to imagine waking up the next morning to find a fortified wall running through their own city and separating them from family and friends. She has been thrilled to see how fascinated they have been by the topic and amazed by the sheer variety and creativity of their artistic responses.
Each of the participating schools has run an internal competition to find its designs for the West and East sides of its own 8’ by 6’ panel. Once the winning designs have been selected the young people will paint their panel and the finished products will be displayed outside St Francis’s Church on North Street for the duration of Upfest. Watch this space!!
‘Online Viewers’ Award’ Winner:
11-14 Age Group
15-18 Age Group
Non-native speaker category KS3
Winner: Aneesha Iqbal, Oasis Academy John Williams (Spanish)
Runner-up: Hanna Doherty, Farmor's School (French)
Near-native speaker category KS3
Winner: Elena Espinosa Cabrera, West Buckland School (Spanish)
Runner-up: Jakub Wrobel, Farmor's School (Polish)
Non-native speaker category KS4
Winner: Abin Varghese, St. Bede's Catholic College (Spanish)
Runner-up: Lenny Montague, Chew Valley School (Spanish)
Near-native speaker category KS4
Winner: Alex Conway, St. Bede's Catholic College (Polish)
Runner-up: Florence Cameron-Webb, Truro School (German)
Non-native speaker category KS5
Winner: Kathryn Moses, Highcliffe School (Spanish)
Runner-up: Sauri Roche-Walker, Plymouth College (Spanish)
Near-native speaker category KS5
Winner: Luc Dewulf, Plymouth College (French)
We are thrilled to invite secondary schools to visit this year’s UPFEST in Bristol on 25-27 July 2015, which will feature our new exciting project – an art installation ‘A Miniature Berlin Wall’ – designed to commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversaries of the fall of the Berlin Wall and German unification!
We are delighted to use this unique event to give local school children an exciting and creative means of engaging with German history and culture and some insight into an event which has significantly shaped the world in which they live.
The project is a part of the 'Languages for Culture, History and Society' thematic area developed by the South West Consortium and led by the University of Bristol.
The Bristol University German department has joined forces with UPFEST (the largest street art festival in Europe), Routes into Languages South West, and ten local schools to run a competition entitled 'What I would have painted on the Berlin Wall'.
Each school is running an internal competition and will choose one 'East' and one 'West' design and paint them on a free standing panel (6 feet high / 8 feet long). This is a cross-curricular school project, involving students of German, History and Art.
The ten panels will then be assembled into a mini-Berlin Wall at the UPFEST (25-27 July) on the grassed area in front of St Francis Church on North Street BS3 1JR to be viewed by festival visitors.
The festival is FREE to attend.
Check out our webpage on the festival website: http://www.upfest.co.uk/festival-venues/st-francis-church
We are looking forward to seeing you at Upfest!
A day event at the University of Bath. Students will have the opportunity to spend the day on Campus, practise their language skills and exchange experiences with Bath university students.
Classes will be offered in French, Spanish and German. Students will also have the opportunity to have a taster session in a new language and to attend a lecture on the importance of multi-cultural awareness and a talk about Year Abroad.