An invitation to reflect on borders and walls in arts, politics, and history

In 1989, the people of the German Democratic Republic imagined a new and different future. They demonstrated against a political system that had suppressed its people and denied them basic human rights. The Berlin Wall had been separating East and West Germany for 28 years when it finally came down.

ASSITEJ Germany has hosted an event, Directors in TYA – An International Exchange, every other year since 1976. The idea of an artistic exchange across borders is key to this event. In June 2019, Theater STRAHL invited directors from all over the world to come to Berlin and the theme of walls was the starting point for a collective process.

Walls exist everywhere. They create barriers; they are meant to keep people out or in. They stand symbolically for what some people believe is right. Walls exist also in our minds and in our hearts. They can give structure to thoughts, ideas, and emotions. Walls stimulate curiosity. What’s beyond this wall? What choices do we have? Which walls are ours to cross and which limits do we challenge? These are artistic questions and the questions of our children’s. This event in Kristiansand is intended to start a conversation about historical events, new plays, and changing perspectives on heritage and collective memory in diverse societies.