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Walls, Borders, Fences: The CFMDE at Vassar College to Host a Series of Events

30 years after the Berlin Wall came down on 9 November 1989, Vassar College has organized a series of events on Walls, Borders, and Fences. This multi-disciplinary program explores the disruption of often long-standing social, cultural and familial connections resulting from such human intervention, and the personal and national trauma that can result. Resistance, political activism and artistic responses to such barriers are also part of the program.

October 30, 6:00 PM Panel Villard Room on Walls, Border, Fences: Discussion with Paul Farber, artistic director of the Philadelphia Monument Lab, who curated the exhibition on the Berlin Wall. Joining him in conversation are Vassar Professor of Geography Joe Nevins and Vassar students Ava McElhone Yates, Carlos Espina, and Ivanna Guerra, who curated the exhibition on the U.S.–Mexico Border.

Opening Reception, October 30 7:00 PM: Palmer Gallery and College Center 2nd floor Gallery

Exhibition I – Palmer Gallery, Vassar College

“Know Your History and Geography” I: Leonard Freed’s Photographs of the Berlin Wall (1961-1989) including a selection of images by photographers Shinkichi Tajiri and Jonathan Borofsky.

Exhibition II – College Center Second Floor Gallery

“Know Your History and Geography” II: Students, Artists, and Activists Narrate the U.S.–Mexico Border

November 6, 5:00 Taylor 203, Sky and Ground screening and discussion

Filmmaker Joshua Bennett screens and discusses his documentary, Sky and Ground, detailing the dangerous journey (much of it on foot) of a Kurdish family from Northern Syria to Berlin after the closing of the Balkan route. 

November 8, 7:00 Old Bookstore, Opening of Exhibition Life After War Disturbed

Vassar alumna Amy Kaslow ’81, a noted journalist and photographer, presents her portraits and stories of refugees and forcibly displaced individuals from across the globe.

November 13, Rocky 300: Born in the GDR: Young People and the Fall of the Wall. Skyler Arndt-Briggs, Interim Director of the DEFA Film Library at UMass will screen the film The Transition and explore the impact of the coming down of the Berlin Wall.

November 14, 5:30 Taylor 203, From Beacon to the Border screening and panel

Val Carlisle and Andrea Garbarini, members of Grannies Respond screen their documentary about their protest on the U.S-Mexico border against the separation of families. From Beacon to the Border will be followed by an inter-generational panel discussion between Vassar students and activists from Grannies Respond.

November 20, 5:30 Class of ’51 Reading Room, The Destruction of Memory screening and discussion

Documentarian Tim Slade screens The Destruction of Memory, highlighting the destruction of historical monuments and cultural artifacts that have accompanied the wars in Syria and Iraq.