Imprints: Berlin, Kyiv, Wrocław, Moscow

by Helena Kernan

Melanie

Melanie Garland is a visual artist and architectural restorer who studied at the University of Chile and the Palazzo Spinelli in Florence, Italy. She now lives in Berlin, where she has co-founded the NomadicArt project, which explores issues around migration and integration, and StudioMigra, a space for creative reflection on problems of art and society. She is interested in the relationship between maps, migration, cultural and architectural heritage and visual anthropology, and currently works with Syrian, Iranian, German, Chilean and Colombian communities in Berlin.

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    Writing and signatures on the walls of a gym in Moabit. This was previously a refugee centre that housed 300 people.

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    Stairs. Three hundred people walking up and down. Families and single men living in the same space.

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    What do you see? An impressive perspective? It's like a liminal space. Three hundred refugees lived here, deprived of a private life.

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    Glass and coloured spots. Materiality and the memory of what was, of who once lived in this space.

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    Memory walls.

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    The gym caretaker. He didn't know that 300 people had lived there.

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    Me at the entrance of the former refugee centre that is now a gym.

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    ‘20A, AE1’ (not sure to what this refers but if you are happy, I am!). Entrance. 

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    A building housing memories in Moabit.

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    A clean and unused building. Almost no-one lives in the gym.

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    Gentrification in Moabit.

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    Westhafen, an S-Bahn train station in Moabit.

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    I feel, I smoke a cigarette and contemplate.

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    'Antifeminismus sabotieren'. Antifeminist sabotage, a Berlin show.

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    The process of gentrification in Neukölln.

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    Critical citizenship in Berlin.

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    Social expression.

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    Behala, the marine port in Berlin, where containers and goods enter Germany.

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    This is a stone given to me by a special friend, Jana Doudova. I find memories in everyday objects.

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    A bone from Senja, Norway given to me by a special friend, Pia Achternkamp. I find memories in organic art materials.

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    A stone given to me by my friend Bastian Manteuffel. It holds memories of a special day.

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    Senja.

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    Archaeological stones rooted in the Berlin soil.

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    Berlin Mitte district.

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    Metal lines suspended in German concrete.

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    Steps, steps, steps. Movements, day by day, traffic.

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    Transport in the city of Berlin.

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