Mauer Mob: a short interview

A entrevista em português está AQUI.

Planning to come to Berlin and celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the wall? So you better organize yourself very well: there are plenty of activities to do, specially on November, 9th 2009. The official program is HERE.

However, I found a special event concerning the celebrations of 20 years, which is not in the anniversary’s official program. I joined a Facebook community some months ago called “Recreating Berlin Wall – 9th November 2009” and thought: “This idea is really cool!”.

But you may ask yourself now: “What is all this about? Will the Berlin wall exist again?”. No, at least not as symbol of repression as it was before.  It’s a mob to bring people together and reconstruct a kind of “human Berlin wall”. As it’s explained in the project’s official website:

Mauer Mob. 2009 – Recreating the Berlin Wall is a large scale art project in the frame work of the 20 year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, in Berlin, Germany. The idea is to form on the 9th of november 2009 – the night the Wall fell 20 years ago – a line of people that will recreate the Berlin Wall with their physical presence, marking the path where the wall once stood. Thousands of people will form a human chain that will make its way on the 9th of november around 8.15pm.”

Martin Butler, the initiator of the "mauer mob". Photo: Freundenthal/Verhagen

Martin Butler, responsible for the "mauer mob". Photo: Freundenthal/Verhagen

I could make an exclusive interview per e-mail with Martin Butler, a British performance director and curator. He is the one who initiated the Mauer Mob.

The Wall Memories: Where were you on November, 9th 1989? How did you feel about the fall of the wall?

Martin Butler: on the 9th november 1989 I was partiyng at the (nightclub) Hacienda in Manchester. It represented  for me that people can change themselves if they want to.
TWM: From where came the idea to recreate the wall with people?

MB: It seemed like a simple and powerful gesture.

TWM: What is your biggest motivation to make the mob?

MB: I found it an important date to remember, and to reflect upon. It is a part of a series of large scale temporary monuments that I am trying to establish.

TWM: Why to recreate a symbol of repression?
MB: I don’t ask people to recreate a  symbol of repression. I ask people to come together and think about divisions… It is a positive and participatory action.


TWM: What is the goal and how many people already confirmed to be there on November, 9th?

MB: The goal is to fill the whole length of the wall, but if  the project effects only two people it will still be a success. But we have now already a few thousand people involved. (Note of TWM: On October, 19th, the official website says that 1828 people are already registered for the mob – including myself. The numbers are always increasing thanks to the social media).

Click on the image to go to the official website of the mob.

Click on the image to go to the official website of the mob.

Just click on the image beside and make a reservation if you are in Berlin and want to be part of the mob on this special 9th November.  You don’t need to pay anything for that and by joining it, you can help to make of it an unforgettable moment, as it was the fall of the wall 20 years ago. I hope to see you there in exactly 3 weeks! Who will come?

P.S.: I apologize for eventual writing mistakes. Take it easy, as English is not my native language. 😉


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