Berlin’s Vi­brant Street Art

Diplomat East Africa - - Culture -

Berlin’s vi­brant street art scene cov­ers it all – from gra iti to car­i­ca­ture – en­com­pass­ing both the ide­al­is­tic and the rude cre­at­ing a raw, cre­ative an en­ergy that de­fines the city and its peo­ple. RON­ALD BERA ex­plains

In one of the few less noisy streets in down­town Berlin, el­derly folk sit sip­ping from their cups in an open air café as a huge dom­i­neer­ing im­age ad­mirably basked in the sum­mer af­ter­noon sun on a high wall be­hind them.

The de­pic­tion is that of a thread fall­ing from the sky as mice, seem­ingly in a hurry, scur­ried to get to the top. So im­pres­sive was the mas­ter­work, that passersby in­tu­itively stopped and took time to look at it, and then de­cided to look at it some more over an espresso. While across the road on a low wall, a sim­i­lar im­age evoked quite the op­po­site re­sponse: a smirk, and a has­tened pace.

Berlin’s street art scene, from graf­fiti and car­i­ca­ture, runs the gamut from the su­perbly gen­teel to the dis­cour­te­ously rude. In­ge­nious art­works thrive along­side ob­scene ones in this multi-cul­tural city that be­came a mag­net for cre­atives in the years after the wall fell. At ev­ery turn and cor­ner, ex­udes a raw, cre­ative en­ergy that has in­creas­ingly come to de­fine it.

“It all started after the wall came down…and well a part of it re­mained. And artists from all over Europe came and started to paint. I don’t think they were of­fi­cially in­vited re­ally,” said Pe­tra Sorge dos San­tos, a cul­tural af­fairs ex­pert. “That’s how I think it started.”

Oth­ers say it be­came popular while the wall was still stand­ing. That it was the West Berlin side that was a can­vas for artists, while the East Berlin side re­mained blank. And

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