Breaking the boundaries

Before coming to Berlin, I purposely did’t do any research about it, so I could try to get for the beginning my own perception about the city, as in the past I had quite disappointing experience of getting the image of the city from films and books and meeting this image in the reality. I remember that the first thing that amazed me when I came to Berlin was the sky with stars. Nowadays every big city that I visited or lived in has a very strong and bright night illumination and probably fume haze, so you will never see the stars. This image of sky with stars emerged in my my mind during my daytime walks around the city. In Moscow, Paris, London, Rome, Amsterdam you always know where is the heart of the city consolidating around itself the flows of tourists, citizens and life of the megapolis in general, but here there is no such place. To be more accurate here there are lot of centres and none of them pretends to be the only one as the stars in the sky. And the only place that unites all the city is an azure above us.
Such topographic disposition also intensifies the feeling of freedom in Berlin. You can choose your own centres, routes. On a larger scale people are completely free to choose how to dress and behave, because it feels like everybody is truly tolerant to others and will hardly try to give an askance look on somebody. Every person here equal and independent as the different districts of Berlin. I know that all this sounds a bit utopian and idealistic, but I feel that Berlin is very horizontal city, and my internships strengthen this idea. Both spaces, where I am interning in, are working not only on creating and presenting art, but building a community around them. There is no didactic vertical conception ‘curator-artists-visitors’, the borders between these definitions are very unsteady. People can come on community meetings according to their interests, work together with the artists, create their own pieces and then exhibit it ‘all together with others’.
Coming back to the city it worth mentioning would also mention that sometimes I lose the sense of time here. The city has so many layers, so many Berlins inside it and all of them are gently integrated in each other so it is really easy to get a feeling of being in the 70s or 80s. I strongly felt it while walking along the the route where Berlin Wall used to be. In the murals on the building it is quite easy to recognise the same areas and street 50 years ago. The photos and audio recordings of different stories of the people create very immersive feeling of being in Berlin at that time, and erasing the borders between past and now. So, I guess my first impression of the city is all about breaking the boundaries between vertical and horizontal, past and now, topographical and physical senses, which make you think about breaking your own borders inside your mind.

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