Photo. Visitors at the opening of the exhibition, 'Drawings by Refugee Children,' August 29, 1953
&copy Landesarchiv Berlin - Willy Kiel

Special Exhibitions

Mauern / Walls

Poster Exhibiton Walls
Duration: 20.9.2019 - 20.12.2019

The exhibition portrays three European cities that each had a specific experience of division in the 20th century: Berlin, Gorizia / Nova Gorica and Sarajevo. The fact that these divisions occurred was related to the war: in the case of Berlin and Gorizia, it was the reorganization processes after 1945 under the auspices of the dawning Cold War that led to new frontiers and conflicting political systems. Sarajevo was in the wake of the Bosnian war in 1992 to a beleaguered, demarcated city.

In a comparative perspective, the exhibition sheds light on what the division meant for each of the three cities. It shows that 'borders' and 'walls' could mean very different things. In Nova Gorica / Gorizia, in contrast to Berlin, the hard border regime on the Yugoslav-Italian border in the mid-1950s weakened and a kind of 'small border traffic' emerged. In beleaguered Sarajevo, self-constructed 'walls' of old cars, containers and parts of buildings served as protection against snipers, even if they restricted their freedom of movement.

The main medium of the exhibition are photographs collected by the project partners in Ljubljana, Sarajevo and Berlin. The historical documentation is supplemented by reports from people who personally experienced the division, the separation of close people and escapes. The comic group "Top Lista Nadrealista" sketches presented as video offer an artistic exploration with their satirical and prophetic comments on the political situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Admission is free.

The exhibition is part of the European project OBSERVING WALLS: 1989 – 2019.

Exhibition coordinator:
National Museum of Contemporary History, Slovenia,
on behalf of the Museum Dr. Kaja Širok
Curators of the exhibition:
Dr. Kaja Širok, Urška Purg

National Museum of Contemporary History, Slovenia: Domen Kaučič
History Museum of Bosnia and Hercegovina:
mag. Elma Hašimbegović, Tijana Križanović
Berlin Wall Foundation, Germany: Bettina Effner, Dr. Manfred Wichmann
quarantasette | zeroquattro, Italy: Dr. Alessandro Cattunar, Štefan Čok

Special thanks:
Dr. Paul Lowe, photographer and lecturer,
for the photographs of Sarajevo under siege
Zenit Đozić, actor and founding-member of the Top Lista Nadrealista,
for permission to screen and explanations

Photo material:
National Museum of Contemporary History, Slovenia
Regional Museum of Gorizia, Italy
Berlin Wall Foundation, Germany
History Museum of Bosnia and Hercegovina


And that we had in the past…

Past Exhibitions (in German)