Title

The Art of Rebellion

Department

History and Political Science

Major

History

Research Advisor

Behrendt, Andrew

Advisor's Department

History and Political Science

Funding Source

Personal Resources and Advisor's Faculty Support Account

Abstract

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 will always bring to mind the destruction of its colorful walls of concrete panels. The imagery of people slamming the wall with sledgehammers and pickaxes seems to speak loudly to what the people of Berlin thought about the wall. But what about the other decades within the Wall’s nearly thirty-year existence? What did the citizens of Berlin think about the wall then? One way to answer these questions is to use the graffiti found on the wall.

The graffiti on the Berlin Wall, when analyzed, can be separated into four different eras: The Era of Minimal Graffiti (1961-1977), The Era of Political Graffiti (1978-1982), The Era of Artistic Graffiti (1983-1989), and the Era of Memorialization Graffiti (1989-Present). Different locations where the wall stood (or is standing), like Bernauer Strasse, Zimmerstrasse, Potsdamer Platz, and Westminster College all show what these different eras represent and how they show the relationship between the oppressed and the oppressive wall. Case studies from the wall, like the graffitied statement “Freiheit für Weinhold”, also help to give an in depth look into how these eras help to show the relationship between the wall and the civilians in its shadows.

Biography

Ethan Prior is a senior working on a B. A. in history at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. After graduation, Ethan plans on moving forward to earning a masters and doctorate in history, with hopes on becoming a professor.

Presentation Type

OURE Fellows Final Oral Presentation

Document Type

Presentation

Location

Ozark Room

Presentation Date

14 Apr 2022, 11:30 am - 12:00 pm

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Apr 14th, 11:30 AM Apr 14th, 12:00 PM

The Art of Rebellion

Ozark Room

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 will always bring to mind the destruction of its colorful walls of concrete panels. The imagery of people slamming the wall with sledgehammers and pickaxes seems to speak loudly to what the people of Berlin thought about the wall. But what about the other decades within the Wall’s nearly thirty-year existence? What did the citizens of Berlin think about the wall then? One way to answer these questions is to use the graffiti found on the wall.

The graffiti on the Berlin Wall, when analyzed, can be separated into four different eras: The Era of Minimal Graffiti (1961-1977), The Era of Political Graffiti (1978-1982), The Era of Artistic Graffiti (1983-1989), and the Era of Memorialization Graffiti (1989-Present). Different locations where the wall stood (or is standing), like Bernauer Strasse, Zimmerstrasse, Potsdamer Platz, and Westminster College all show what these different eras represent and how they show the relationship between the oppressed and the oppressive wall. Case studies from the wall, like the graffitied statement “Freiheit für Weinhold”, also help to give an in depth look into how these eras help to show the relationship between the wall and the civilians in its shadows.