Walls have been built since ancient times, used for marking territory, protection and keeping people from leaving – most walls are at some point in time knocked down, but some remain to tell the story of a time when things were different, when something changed, and to serve as a memory of a long gone past …
1. Chewing Gum Wall, Seattle, US
You’ll find the Seattle Gum Wall in a place called Post Alley. It all started in the 90s, when people who were bored waiting in line for tickets to the theatre starting sticking their used gum to the wall. When it started, they stuck coins on top of the gum, but that part of the ‘tradition’ died away, simply leaving the mangled plastic stuff behind.
2. Berlin Wall, Berlin
A wall that once symbolized the “iron curtain” between Western Europe and the Eastern Bloc, today represents the fight for political freedom and the fall of the communism in Eastern Europe.
The construction of the Berlin Wall began in 1961 as a desperate (but effective) move by East Germany to stop East Berliners from escaping the Soviet-controlled East German state into West Berlin.
During the wall’s existence, hundreds of people died trying to escape, and each attempt made it even harder for the next person to try.
Today remnants of the Berlin Wall can be found around Berlin, however the most famous section of the wall is the East Side Gallery, where in artists from all over the world in 1990 created 105 paintings on the wall that today stands as a freedom memorial.
3. Storm King Wall, NY, US
Goldsworthy (British sculptor, photographer and environmentalist) created the Storm King Wall in Mountainville, New York in 1997. At 2,278 feet long, the site-specific sculpture is made from stones gathered around the Storm King Art Center’s property. The wall twists and turns in and out of trees, utilizing their placement to give the wall its interesting shape and putting itself second to the natural landscape of the grounds. By working with the natural landscape and allowing the elements to remain and impact viewers in their original forms, Goldsworthy’s Storm King Wall does not exist merely as a dreaded “inanimate invalid” but as a lively fluid creation, enhanced exponentially because of its close unity with nature
4. Security Wall, West Bank, Israel
Is it a Fence? Is it a Wall? No, it’s a Separation Barrier
Photo by izahorsky.
Photo by Jonas Hansel.
5. The Wall of “I Love You”s in Paris
The “I love you” wall stands at the center of the Abbesses garden at Montmartre, Paris, and covers a surface area of 40 square meters with a total of 612 tiles of enameled lava. The phrase “I love you” is written more than a thousand times in over 300 different languages.
The wall was created by two artists – Frederic Baron and Claire Kito – as a rendezvous location for lovers and a lasting monument to eternal adoration. The phrases were collected by Frederic Baron in notebooks by knocking on the doors of embassies and asking their neighbors until he had collected more than 300 languages all expressing the powerful sentiment of love. Frederic Baron then asked Claire Kito, an artist who practices oriental calligraphy, to assemble the script.
Says Frederic Baron: “The bursts of color on the fresco represent the pieces of a broken heart, the heart of a humanity so often torn apart and which the wall tries to gather together.”
6. Vietnam War Memorial Wall, Washington D.C., US
7. Belfast Peace Line, Belfast, Northern Ireland
The Peace Wall (20ft (6m) hig), also known as “peace lines,” have been built all over West Belfast to separate Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods. What was meant as a temporary measure became more permanent as the barriers became longer and wider. The recent suggestion that they should be destroyed was met with anger from local residents and so its deconstruction remains a debated topic. Every day, people in West Belfast wake up to these peace walls which are build with corrugated metal and barbed wire. Graffiti created by locals express everything from “Peace” to “Break the Wall Down.” The walls are a constant reminder to residents (and visitors) that this kind of peace is fragile.
8. Green Line “Walls”, Cyprus
One small corner of the European Union remains separated by a conflict that erupted 35 years ago: the Republic of Cyprus, which was been split in two since the Turkish invasion of 1974.
9. “Eco Barriers” Wall In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Beginning in March 2009, a concrete wall surrounds the Dona Marta favela, which sprawls over the Corcovado hills above Rio de Janeiro and housed approximately 7,000 residents in 2006 in more than 1,000 dwellings. Officials insist the wall exists to protect the remaining native forest as serves as an ecobarrier. Critics see the wall as a symbol of Brazil’s vast division between the rich and poor.
10. Lennon Wall in Prague, Czech Republic
It once was a regular wall, but since the early 1980′s it was continuously filled with John Lennon inspired graffiti. Why? Well, in 1988 Young Czechs would write grievances on the wall and in a report of the time. This led to a clash between hundreds of students and security police on the nearby Charles Bridge. The movement these students followed was described (ironically) as “Lennonism”. What’s so great abut this place is that it constantly undergoes change because people still paint/write on the wall.