IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

Walls

I suppose everybody knows that yesterday was the big celebration of the fall of the Berlin Wall 20 years ago.  It was interesting, and inspiring to be reminded of those amazing events (if you are old enough to remember them).   I found the falling dominos at first a strange idea (since in International Relations we used to talk about the “domino” theory–go look it up), but as I learned more about it, I think it was a good metaphor.  As it happens, in the mid 80s, because I was teaching courses to American soldiers in Berlin I could travel back and forth from West to East Berlin, and I visited some people who lived not far from the Brandenburg gate (on the Eastern side !).  I swear that as you went from East to West on the subway you could feel the moment you passed the wall.  To me at least, it was palpable.

Anyhow, I saw on French TV last night that there is a young photographer (whose name now escapes me) who at this moment has an exhibition of photographs of other major walls in the world.   She made the point that  these walls exist to, supposedly, protect one group from the “evils” of another:  poverty, terrorism, illegal immigration, etc…  You probably know where some of these walls are, and I don’t want to point political fingers here.  What came to my mind was how the “fall” (or simply removal) of such walls are concrete signs of peace and can facilitate (obviously) more exchange and unification (or in the case of the Germans reunification) among alienated groups and peoples.   So, in a sense these remaining walls, and what is or is not being done about are gages for the evolution toward peace in the world.   Crudely put:  walls going up, peace getting farther away; walls coming down, the possibilities for peace increasing.

Does that make sense?

IGbarb says “tear down the walls!”

“Everybody together
We should be together
We should be together my friends
We can be together
We will be
We must begin here and now
A new continent of earth and fire
Come on now gettin higher and higher
Tear down the walls
Tear down the walls
Tear down the walls
Won’t you try”

(Jefferson Airplane, “We Can be Together”)

Berlin Wall

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November 10, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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