During the 93 STRASSENSCHILDER project, the Polish and German public will get the chance to familiarise themselves with historical changes in the names of Berlin’s streets, all while taking a look at Polish-German stereotypes.
In August, the colour pink will dominate the Friedrichshain district through the appearance of at least 93 street signs. It’s all part of a project centred on artistic interventions in Berlin’s city spaces, as well as a street map simultaneously serving as a catalogue of the project, and an exhibition featuring an installation by Franciszek Orłowski. The centre of attention will be nine streets, all named after former German towns that now belong to Poland. The streets will have these German names despite the originals vanishing long ago. It’s all an attempt to bring attention to what happened, to urge audiences to reflect over the above.
Franciszek Orłowski is one of the most interesting Polish artists to come out of the current younger generation. During the event, Orłowski’s work will be an audio-visual installation about the moving topic of the two country’s shared history as well as Polish-German stereotypes that are still being repeated today. He confronts the viewer with two very personal stories, one about smuggling cars illegally out of Germany, and the other about forced labour in a German Volkswagen factory. The installation is an accompaniment to the exhibition of 93 street signs.
Finally, the map describes both the aesthetic and historical aspects of the project, showing how the threads of past and present all intertwine. The nine streets chosen to be renamed are some of the locals’ favourites – they are the backbone of Friedrichshain’s character. The journalist Nancy Waldmann from the Institute of Applied History is the author of the text included in the catalogue on Friedrichshain’s name changes.
“Polish Streets in Berlin”: Intervention, Exhibition, Map, and Installation by Franciszek Orłowski
Opens: 13th August 2015, 19:00
Music: Rathaus Ramblers
Alte Feuerwache Projektraum, Marchlewskistrasse 6, 10243, Berlin
Three further events complete the project’s programme (all happening at Alte Feuerwache Projektraum)
- Thursday, 3rd September | 18:00: Guided walk along the street sign route | 19:00: Discussion: Should Grünberger Straße be called Zielona-Góra-Straße?
- Sunday, 13th September | 16:00: Guided walk along the intervention route in Friedrichshain
- Saturday, 19th Sept | 17:00: Performance by Franciszek Orłowski based around the moving subject of identity, and the psychological and physical borders when communicating with others
Source: Press material, edited by kk, August 2015, translated by az