August 11: The Berlin Wall marks its 50th anniversary on Saturday.

by Leslie Hossack

Why would Krushchev put up a wall if he really intended to seize West Berlin? … This is his way out of his predicament. It’s not a very nice solution, but a wall is a hell of a lot better than a war. – President John F. Kennedy to an aide, 13 August 1961

In August 1961 a curtain was drawn aside to reveal an empty stage. To put it more bluntly, we lost certain illusions that had outlived the hopes underlying them . . . Ulbricht had been allowed to take a swipe at the Western super-power, and the United States merely winced with annoyance. – Willy Brandt in People and Politics, 1978

Berlin Wall Detail # 7, from The Wall, Niederkirchner Strasse, Berlin 2010

The two image details shown here are taken from my photograph entitled The Wall, Niederkirchner Strasse. The original photograph is a construction, not a stitch. It measures eight feet long and is currently on view in my exhibition CITIES OF STONE – PEOPLE OF DUST at the Red Wall Gallery in Ottawa until September 2nd.

This photograph is intended to simulate a walk along the Berlin Wall today, 50 years after it first appeared. I plan to post two different details everyday this week, leading up to Saturday when I will post the entire image at 2 a.m. to coincide with the time that the Berlin Wall was born on August 13th, 1961.

Berlin Wall Detail # 8, from The Wall, Niederkirchner Strasse, Berlin 2010

© Leslie Hossack

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