Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 November 2019

Riding the wall: Social media takes on the old border line

Virtual reality shows next generation glimpse of life under the Iron Curtain

For many living under the former shadow of the Berlin Wall it is hard to imagine the stark scenes their relatives once faced.

Many were not born when the Iron Curtain fell 30 years ago.

But where once a grey concrete fortified death strip stood laced with barbed wire there now stands lines of trees and countryside.

The children growing up in Germany today are greeted to a 161-km long cycle track through rolling countryside dotted with relics of the past.

Despite it disappearing 30 years ago, the next generation is now developing new ways to ensure it is never forgotten.

One new element is the Mauerweg, the “path of the wall”, which has transformed a large section into a tranquil hiking and cycling trail of the reunited Capital as a poignant reminder of the former wall.

Using new technology, to commemorate the fall of the wall youngsters are able to use a virtual reality experience which transforms the image they see today into a glimpse of what once stood there, from scenes of its construction to the moment it was torn down.

There will be 30 locations across Berlin where people can use the reality app MauAR, which transforms where they stood to the scenes their ancestors were once faced with.

In a more upbeat and joyous celebration, a floating art installation called Visions in Motion is at the Brandenburg Gate.

The giant montage of colorful ribbons represents the dreams, hopes and memories of 30,000 people.

In other areas large scale 3D video projections of historical images are being beamed onto buildings in combination with light and sound effects to illuminate the historical events.

A large open air exhibition is also being held along with more than a hundred events in seven original locations of the Peaceful Revolution.

Updated: November 7, 2019 08:50 PM

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