The fireworks sounded like distant shelling and popped relentlessly through the night. Litter and debris burned and danced through the streets, and I was certain I was going to lose an eye on the journey home from the Brandenburg Gate. It was a spectacular New Years Eve in Berlin, however for the biggest open air NYE party in the world, the music was TERRIBLE. Who wants to listen to ‘Gangnam Style’ four times in an evening?! Enough said.
The popping continued through the night (and following days) and loud explosions that echoed from the surrounding buildings repeatedly woke us. Combined with the bleak grey skies, it felt like Berlin was reminiscing over its Cold War Era. It reflected the dismal hung-over mindset of the local population… (And myself). This made it a suitable day to go exploring the abandoned places of East Berlin.
Amongst the urban sprawl we discovered this junkyard in Kreuzberg that has become a street-art mecca, visually contrasting the desolate area. Street art is strongly embedded in Berlin’s culture and is often mentioned as being a bi-product of ‘the wall’s’ oppression on youth. Though considered by some to be vandalism, here it flourishes and is embraced by well-known artists (Banksy), activists and anarchists alike. These crumbling buildings remain in tatters from the war and harvest squatters, leaving the area smelling like stale liquor and whizz. The area is known to host raves in the abandoned buildings, and also displays makeshift skateboard set-ups. It is visually inspirational and encourages the average person to harvest hidden creative talents! I think these images tell their story…
More Street Art and Graffiti can be found here: http://anoceanaway.net/2013/10/09/meanderings-in-malasana/