In this course, participants will use photography as a research tool to explore the remains of the Berlin Wall. We will walk along different sections of the Berlin Wall Trail that follows the course of the former GDR border fortifications. Participants will work in small groups and show their findings in a presentation/exhibition on the last day of the workshop.
On Day 1, each group will come up with a research question that will be investigated for the duration of the class. During the workshop, you will learn about the history of the Berlin Wall and about the architectural, physical and sociological implications that the division of the city had on East and West Berlin. We will use photography to carefully analyze visual phenomena along the Berlin Wall Path depending on the groups’ research questions with the understanding that these are individual perceptions and interpretations of the spaces.
Exploring architectural, physical and sociological implications with the camera allows for a broader visualization of the Berlin Wall that only one area of expertise cannot achieve. Photography is a useful tool for this approach since it serves as an instrument of communication and as a means of sharing experience. It also evokes emotional responses and makes visible what the written word cannot.
If there are still restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the group could meet for socially distanced walks. Small groups could then meet remotely to put together their presentation/exhibition. The final presentation would be held remotely via Webex or Zoom.
The workshop will be held in English (and German).
The workshop is aimed at photographers, artists, architects, urban planners, landscape planners. The participants should have basic to intermediate knowledge in photography or visual arts and be interested in architecture, history and sociology.
Please bring a camera.
Gesche Würfel is a visual artist based in Chapel Hill, NC, USA where she also serves on the faculty of the Department of Art & Art History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has a background in art, urban planning, and visual sociology. For the 2021/22 academic year, Würfel will be based in Berlin. Her work has been exhibited, published, and awarded internationally; exhibition venues include the Tate Modern, London (UK); the Contemporary Art Museum Raleigh, NC (USA); the International Center of Photography in NYC, NY (USA); the Singapore International Photography Festival (SG). Würfel is the author of Basement Sanctuaries (Schilt Publishing 2014). She is a recipient of scholarships or grants from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the North Carolina Arts Council, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council among others. Würfel is represented by the Tracey Morgan Gallery.