Wherever it says Berlin, Berlin has to be inside: The capital represents history, creative culture, sport and innovation. Additionally, the growing attractiveness of the bar and restaurant scene is drawing more and more tourists to the Spree. This brand should be communicated through the partners involved, the staging and the programme itself. A form of Berlin’s authenticity, it embodies the aspirations set forth with the motto NUR MIT EUCH (Only with you) since the planning, implementation and content communication only works in a participatory process. The celebration has to do justice to the occasion with both the choice of locations and the programmes offered; they should always relate to the content of the occasion and aspirations of the celebration.
Berlin as host offers a unique opportunity to rediscover the importance of the Day of German Unity. A festival area will be set up in the city centre with the Platz der Republik at its core. It will extend between the main train station (Hauptbahnhof) and Potsdamer Platz throughout the Tiergarten and around the Reichstag and Brandenburg Gate. Historic sites and landmarks, such as the Soviet War Memorial, the Brandenburg Gate and Platz des 18. März, will be integrated into the grounds to emphasise the occasion and reinforce the aspirations of the public celebration. The connecting element will be a gallery, the “Einheitsband”, showing the names of all German communities – more than 11,000. As a symbol for German unity, its spans hundreds of meters across the festival area. The gallery expresses German unity as well as the diversity of Germany in a simple yet appealing way. Thus, both the festival grounds and the programme offerings become part of a journey of discovery throughout Berlin, Germany and Europe – past, present and future.
THE STREET FESTIVAL IN DETAIL
At the heart of democracy – Presentation of the Federation and Federal States
The festival grounds are located around the Platz der Republik, site of Germany’s reunification on the 3rd of October 1990, where all 16 German federal states, the so-called Zipfelbund (the four communities at Germany’s furthermost cardinal compass points) and Germany’s constitutional organs, including the German Bundestag, Bundesregierung (Federal Government) and Bundesrat (Federal Council), will be presented together. This close cooperation between the states, communities and constitutional bodies offers a unique opportunity for a little journey through German democracy in the heart of the capital. Here, visitors can peer over the shoulders of politicians as though at a kind of condensed open house of Germany’s governing bodies
In the footsteps of history – Historical & Cultural Remembrances
In light of its own division, the city of Berlin has a special significance in the context of unity. This will be emphasised at the public celebration with a Berlin-specific area addressing historical and cultural remembrances. Through this, it will become clear why the Day of German Unity is celebrated and how the processes of the past 28 years directly affect our present-day lives in Germany and Europe. This unique history of unity will be presented directly in front of the Soviet Memorial on the Straße des 17. Juni in cooperation with numerous partners, foundations, initiatives, museums and institutions. Together, they will examine, discuss and demonstrate the state of unity after 28 years within the context of social challenges for the future. An exhibition about the “intermediate period” between the fall of the Berlin Wall and unity will shed light on Berlin’s special role. Partners include the Deutsches Historisches Museum (German Historical Museum), the Spionagemuseum (German Spy Museum), the Stiftung zur Aufarbeitung der SED-Diktatur (Federal Foundation for the Study of Communist Dictatorship in East Germany), the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (Federal Agency for Civic Education), the Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft (Robert Havemann Society), the Stiftung Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall Foundation) and many more.
City of the future – Innovation
German unity not only allowed two previously divided parts of the city to grow together; the open spaces it created – both physically and in the minds of its people – provided the historical basis for a restart. Berlin has been reinventing itself for 28 years and has become an innovation and start-up metropolis in Europe. Like the Berlin cityscape itself, decentralised offerings focused on innovation will be integrated into all areas of the public celebration across the entire festival grounds. A varied programme will give visitors the chance to get to know social and technical innovations created in Berlin, try them out and to contribute to their future.
Start small, hit it big – Children & Family
Children are the innovative minds of the future, and the public celebration will offer them plenty of opportunities to try things out. The basis for all planning is to design a sustainable, children- and family-friendly area that harmoniously fits into the Tiergarten. The most important topics are integration, inclusion and cultural education. Working in tandem with S27 – Kunst und Bildung (S27 – Art and Education), an experienced Berlin partner in the field of intercultural youth work, the public celebration offers a programme focused on integration and action.
The successful “Weltstadt” (World City) exhibition will also be presented in cooperation with S27: a walkable urban landscape that reflects the memory and future imaginings of young refugees in model form will be on display again for the Day of German Unity 2018.
Always on the move – Sport
Berlin is sport. As an Olympic Games host city and base, one of the most sought after venues in the world and a technical pioneer in the sports sector, the capital is a unique sports metropolis. More than 800,000 people are organised in sports clubs; the city is home to six professional clubs and hundreds of teams playing every kind of sport imaginable. Sport is a significant economic factor and provides important social impulses for inclusion and diversity. Together with the Senatsverwaltung für Inneres und Sport (Senate Department for the Interior and Sport), clubs, athletes, associations and initiatives in this context will represent the great diversity of Berlin as a sport metropolis and encourage visitors to participate. Sponsors enable charitable and smaller projects to participate as well. A javelin throwing simulator, various trendy sports, a BMX court and historic sports equipment, as well as numerous other offerings, provide a chance to join in and try it out. The sport campus, which stretches over a section of Straße des 17. Juni, also provides a glimpse at the future Berliner Sportmuseum (Berlin Sport Museum).
Culture capital – Culture & Programmes
Art and culture are Berlin’s calling card. Berlin’s art and culture have a unique appeal that extends far beyond Germany. The public celebration should take this into account: Not only will there be a main stage at the Brandenburg Gate, but the entire grounds will feature art and performances of various kinds. Greats and less well-known players from the fields of art, music and theatre will present their works at the public celebration. The musical programme aims to bring the city’s incomparable cultural offerings in all their diversity to a crowd as colourful and varied as the music itself, with an attractive range of sounds from karaoke (“Mauerpark–Karaoke”) and street music to classical music. Aware of visitors’ different interests, broadcaster and official programme partner Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (rbb) will be providing a stage entertainment programme and reporting live from the public celebration via its television channel rbb-Fernsehen and various radio stations. Hitting the stage – or rather moving from the theatre stage to the public celebration – is the production “Grundgesetz” (“Basic constitutional law”) by Polish director Marta Górnicka, which will be staged in cooperation with Maxim Gorki Theatre. It is a powerful statement for something that binds a society and transcends all party lines, political or religious views, gender and origin: the constitution. The concluding highlight will be a large Unity Concert at the Brandenburg Gate, which is being designed by Peace x Peace Festival initiators Fetsum Sebhat & Teddy Tewelde along with independent music curator Björn Döring.
Public celebration concept & realisation: Kulturprojekte Berlin GmbH on behalf of the State Berlin