Kerstin

The Birds at the End of the World: Jan. 24, 2020, 7 pm at the North Branch Nature Center in Montpelier

January 24: The Birds at the End of the World: Renewal and Remembrance in the German Borderland – Kerstin Lange When the Berlin Wall fell under the pressure of peaceful protests thirty years ago, the 900-mile-long border that had separated the two German states also became obsolete. During the four decades that humans were kept… Read more The Birds at the End of the World: Jan. 24, 2020, 7 pm at the North Branch Nature Center in Montpelier

The chapel in the no-man’s land, and the monk who pushed the envelope

… and other stories from Kella, the little village that found itself next to the Iron Curtain during the Cold War.  After Kaffeetrinken with a view of Braunrod – the former “window on the GDR” – Jutta took me up the hill behind her house to the chapel I had read about in Daphne’s book.… Read more The chapel in the no-man’s land, and the monk who pushed the envelope

30 years later: Kella and its neighbors commemorate the opening of the border

This article from the Werra Rundschau’s January 1, 2020 issue, about the festivities marking the 30thanniversary of the border opening between Kella and Braunrod, describes the improvisation that was necessary to set up a border crossing in the absence of any guidance from “above”.  The fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, had thrown the… Read more 30 years later: Kella and its neighbors commemorate the opening of the border

Of borders, identities, and friendship

Today’s post explores how “our everyday lives are criss-crossed by border zones” (anthropologist Renato Rosaldo) and how not only physical but also social borders shape our identities. Find out what the late anthropologist Daphne Berdahl had to say about this and how she came to settle in Kella for her field work shortly after Reunification… Read more Of borders, identities, and friendship

Visiting

The next few posts will be about my visits with people in Kella, population plus minus 500. When Germany was divided after WWII, Kella ended up in the 500-meter Schutzstreifen (“protective zone”) right next to the border strip, which meant that its residents had to put up with considerable restrictions on everyday life, imposed by… Read more Visiting

News from the German Unity Sculpture Park

One of my favorite places on my border expedition was the German Unity Sculpture Park in the Rhön Mountains. The park sits directly in the former border strip between East and West Germany and was created by the artist and engineer Jimmy Fell. I found the installations – among them “Expulsion”, the “Miracle of Leipzig”,… Read more News from the German Unity Sculpture Park

Border Journey: Public talk at the Fletcher Free Library

How do you reconnect with your home country after living an ocean away for more than half your life?  If the country is Germany and you like to travel by bicycle, you embark on a border journey. At least that’s what I did… You are invited to a presentation about my expedition at the Fletcher Free Library next… Read more Border Journey: Public talk at the Fletcher Free Library