Section of Berlin Wall, East Side Gallery—photo by Will Hasty, July 2019
On the evening of November 14, 2019, UF students and faculty continued a decade-long consideration of Walls and their cultural significance, with the Berlin Wall as the central focal point. This consideration originally began with the “Freedom without Walls” UF Campus Weeks events in 2009 and continued with the “Future of Freedom and Walls” UF Campus Weeks events in 2017. These previous events had broad visibility on campus, locally, and globally via Facebook and YouTube publications of our events. The focal point in UF’s ongoing concern with Walls has continued to be the nexus of Freedom/Walls, poetry, music, drama, and the arts.
The events of the “Setting Global-Cultural Limits 30 Years after Berlin 1989” Campus Weeks previous to the Commemorative Evening included:
Border-, Sea-, and Fire-Walls Projects:
Three student groups created projects focusing on Border-Walls, Fire-Walls, and Sea-Walls respectively. Creative projects addressed the ongoing histories of these different kinds of Walls (whether as problems or solutions), how they have been used in the past, how they are being used now, and how they could/should be used to address likely problems and challenges of the future. The projects were presented as part of the November 14 Commemoration.
An Op-Ed Writing Contest:
Starting with the Berlin Wall and lessons that can be drawn from its history, students were invited to suggest how best to set global-cultural limits 30 years after Berlin 1989, paying special attention to the roles to be played (or not) by different kinds of walls. Click here for the winning op-ed from the 2017 Future of Freedom and Walls Campus Weeks events; click here for an op-ed describing the original “Freedom without Walls” events in 2009.
- The winning op-ed by Noah Mullins appeared in the Gainesville Sun (link) and Sarasota Herald-Tribune (link) on December 15, 2019.
Two Film Screenings, with introductions by UF faculty, addressing major challenges connected to “Setting Global-Cultural Limits 30 Years after Berlin 1989”:
- October 22, 7-9 pm, in Turlington 2305: “Climate Refugees” (2010; http://www.climaterefugees. com/), introduced by Alioune Sow (Languages, Literatures, and Cultures).
- November 5, 7-9 pm, in Turlington 2305: “The Age of Consequences” (2017; http://theageofconsequences.com/), introduced by Les Thiele (Political Science).
These films focusing on climate migration and its consequences show how questions pertaining to environmental sustainability inevitably spill over into questions pertaining to the sustainability of democratic political institutions and the employment of different kinds of walls, for better or worse.
November Commemorative Evening:
The Campus Weeks events culminated in a catered Commemorative Evening on Thursday, November 14 (in the Ocora Room of Pugh Hall) in remembrance of the November 9th “Night of Broken Glass” (Kristallnacht) and the 30th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and following in the tradition of UF’s previous “Freedom without Walls” and “Future of Freedom and Walls” commemorations in 2009 and 2017 (November 9th proper falls on the preceding Saturday this year, hence the later date for the Commemorative Evening). The Border-Walls, Fire-Walls, and Sea-Walls Student Groups presented their projects. Winners of the op-ed contest were announced and read their op-ed pieces.
The historical significance of the occasion was addressed by Deborah Amberson (Associate Chair, Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures), David Richardson (Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences), Leonardo Villalon (Dean, University of Florida International Center), Axel Zeissig (Vice Consul, Consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany, Miami), Susanne Götze (environmental journalist and guest speaker), and officers of the German Club and of the National German Honors Society from Cypress Creek High School, Orlando.
Audience, including special guests from Cypress Creek High School in Orlando.
Op-ed contest winner Noah Mullins chats with Susanne Götze.
Jeff Haden, Jacob Lemaster, and Shannon Scott present their student project.
David Richardson (Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences)
Freelance Environmental Journalist, Susanne Götze (Guest Speaker)
Axel Zeissig (Vice Consul, Miami Consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany)
Please return to this website and refresh for periodic updates; contact Will Hasty <firstname.lastname@example.org> with questions.
The Fall 2019 Campus Weeks Events are sponsored by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, UF’s “Imagineering and the Technosphere” Mellon Intersections Group (also see here), the Imagining Climate Change Initiative, and UF’s Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies; with additional support from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the University of Florida International Center, the Center for European Studies, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies, and the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures.
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August 23, 2019
Please keep me posted about your events. Cn High School students attend your events?
August 20, 2019