A Berlin Wall Piece on UMass Campus

Event Series in March and April

UMass received a segment of the Berlin Wall painted by acclaimed French artist Thierry Noir, entitled “The Power of Creativity Over Concrete.” In the 1980s, Noir risked arrest by East German authorities by painting illicitly on the west side of the Wall, which was built 3 meters beyond the western border. In celebration of the installation of this Berlin Wall segment outside Memorial Hall, we invite you to an upcoming event series.


  • Stream 10 Wall films for free! The DEFA film Library recommends ten (East) German films about the Berlin Wall (see here listed on the right): its building in 1961, life with the Wall and the peaceful revolution that brought the Wall down in 1989. You can stream these feature and documentary films on Kanopy with your UMass campus login credentials. We will feature these films on @defafilmlibraryamherst in March and April.
  • German and Scandinavian Studies invites undergraduate students from the Five Colleges to participate in a project competition, “The Berlin Wall: Borders and Barriers in the Past and Present.” Final submission deadline: April 20. The projects will be on display in the Bromery UMass Fine Arts Center lobby from April 24 - 28. Read how to participate following the link.
  • Award-winning German filmmaker and scriptwriter Gerd Kroske will visit UMass classes and present screenings of two of his documentaries: DRAWING A LINE (2014) on April 24 and THE WALL (1990, dir. Jürgen Böttcher) on April 26. Both screenings will take place at UMass ILC-S 240 at 7:00pm and are free and open to the public!



Award-winning German film director Gerd Kroske will visit UMass Amherst campus from April 24 until April 28. He will join German and Scandinavian Studies classes and present two of his documentaries.


MONDAY, April 24 at 7:00pm | UMass ILC 240S 

DRAWING A LINE (Germany, 2014, 96 min., EN ST)

In 1986, five former East Germans members of the punk and underground scene planned an art project: They wanted to paint a line all around the Wall from the west side. Introduction by Mariana Ivanova (Academic Director of the DEFA Film Library).


WEDNESDAY, April 26 at 7:00pm | UMass ILC 240S

THE WALL (GDR, 1990, dir. Jürgen Böttcher, asst. dir. Gerd Kroske, 98 min., EN ST)

An awarded film about the deconstruction of the Berlin Wall in 1989 which makes no use of vocal commentary but instead focuses on visual impressions. Introduction by Victoria Rizo Lenshyn (Associate Director of the DEFA Film Library).


Gerd Kroske was born in Dessau, East Germany in 1958. He focused on cultural studies at Humboldt University in East Berlin and then studied directing at the Academy for Film and Television in Potsdam-Babelsberg. Kroske joined the DEFA Studio for Documentary Films in 1987, first as a dramaturg and writer and then, in 1989, as a director. As of 1991, he started working as a freelance writer and director and founded his own production company [see: realistfilm.de]. Kroske became known for his long-term documentary series on the street sweepers of Leipzig that now covers almost twenty years. He recently released Heino Jaeger – Look Before You Kuck, the last part of his Hamburg-Trilogy. Several of his films, including Voksal – Train Station Brest, The Box Prince and Drawing a Line, have won prestigious international awards.


For more information, please contact: defa@german.umass.edu


This event series is supported and organized by the UMass Chancellor’s Office, the Goethe-Institut Boston, German and Scandinavian Studies and the DEFA Film Library. It is part of DEFA Film Library’s 30th anniversary celebration.



PDF icon Gerd Kroske_flyer.pdf

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