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Jody Kielbasa
Vice Provost for the Arts
Director, Virginia Film Festival

Sponsored by
the office of the Provost &
the Vice Provost for the Arts

 
   

The Berlin Wall at U.Va.
Supported by the offices of the President and the Provost, the Vice Provost for the Arts and the Hefner Collection.
The Berlin Wall at U.Va. made possible by Robert & MeiLi Hefner.

   
Kings of Freedom
Kings of Freedom
© 2014 The Hefner Collection, LLC

Berlin Wall Symposium
The Fall of a Symbol, The Will of a People
November 3–9, 2014

Download Full Program (pdf) >

The Berlin Wall Symposium is a dynamic, week-long multidisciplinary exploration marking the 25th Anniversary of the historic fall of the Berlin Wall. Through lectures, exclusive presentations and live performance, the Symposium brings together experts and artists from throughout the U.Va. community and beyond to highlight some of the cultural, political and historical implications around one of the watershed moments of the 20th Century.

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2014
Kings of Freedom Chalking      Details>
by mural artist Sam Welty
The Community Chalkboard and Podium: A Monument to the First Amendment
Charlottesville Downtown Mall

Rock and the Wall: American Music as Rebellion in East Germany      Details>
Lecture by Grace Hale
UVa Professor of History & Director of the American Studies Program
5:30pm | Reception to Follow
Auditorium of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library

Monday, November 3, 2014 Full Details >

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2014
Nach Berlin: Kapitol Architectures     Details>
Lecture by Karen Van Lengen
William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Architecture
5:00pm | UVa School of Architecture
Campbell Hall Room 153

Urban Planning in the Walled World of West Berlin: 2 Projects
     Details>
Lecture by Alex Wall
UVa Visiting Professor, Architecture & Landscape Architecture
6:00pm | Reception to Follow
UVa School of Architecture
Campbell Hall Room 153

WORLD PREMIERE
W\E: a Theatrical Piece of The Wall     Details>
Writer, Doug Grissom, UVa Associate Professor
Director, Colleen Kelly, UVa Associate Professor
UVa MFA Acting Company
8:00pm | FREE
Helms Theatre, Drama Building

Tuesday, November 4, 2014 Full Details >

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2014
Blind Faith: My Life as a Jewish Self-Hating Communist in the GDR     Details>
Reading & Discussion with Writer, Salomea Genin
2:30pm | Auditorium of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library

Panel with Dr. Sergei Khrushchev, Dr. Klaus Larres, Dr. Mary Beth Stein & Dr. Allen Lynch     Details>
Sponsored by the UVa Center for Politics & the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy
6:30pm | Dessert Reception to Follow | Register here >
Auditorium of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
Download poster (pdf) >

Wednesday, November 3, 2014 Full Details >

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2014
Roundtable with Eduard Fuehr and Janet Ward     Details>
Fuehr, German Architectural Historian and Theorist & Ward, Author & Professor, University of Oklahoma
3:00 | Reception to Follow
Byrd Seminar Room, Harrison Institute

Fall of the Wall Undergraduate Prize      Details>
Contest Presentations & Awards
5:00pm | Auditorium of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library

The Wall in the Head: German-German Confrontations and Arguments (1952 – 2014)     Details>
Lecture by Eduard Fuehr
5:30pm | Reception to Follow
Auditorium of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library

Virginia Film Festival presents
Wings of Desire      Details>
8:00 pm | Downtown Mall – Regal 1

Thursday, November 6, 2014 Full Details >

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2014
Ghetto, Wall, Curtain, Shield: Berlin and the Bordered Urban Condition     Details>
Lecture by Janet Ward
Launching the German Cities in Transnational Context Series
2:30 pm | Byrd Seminar Room, Harrison Institute

W\E: a Theatrical Piece of The Wall
     Details>
Writer, Doug Grissom, UVa Associate Professor
Director, Colleen Kelly, UVa Associate Professor
UVa MFA Acting Company
5:00pm | FREE
Helms Theatre, Drama Building

Friday, November 7, 2014 Full Details >

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2014

Virginia Film Festival presents
41 on 41     Details>
Discussion with Executive Producer Mary Kate Cary, Andrew Card, Marlin Fitzwater, and Barbara Perry
3:45 pm | U.Va. Newcomb Hall Sponsored by The Miller Center

Saturday, November 8, 2014 Full Details >

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2014
25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Virginia Film Festival presents
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb      Details>
Discussion with Douglas Keeney and Allen Lynch (U.Va.)
1:00 pm | U.Va. Newcomb Hall Theater
Supported by the Library of Congress, The Miller Center, and Virginia Festival of the Book

Virginia Film Festival presents
Red Army      Details>
Discussion with director Gabe Polsky
2:15 pm | Downtown Mall – Regal 4

W\E: a Theatrical Piece of The Wall      Details>
Writer, Doug Grissom, UVa Associate Professor
Director, Colleen Kelly, UVa Associate Professor
UVa MFA Acting Company
4:00pm | FREE
Helms Theatre, Drama Building

25th Anniversary Ceremony & Moment of Remembrance at the Berlin Wall at U.Va.
     Details>
5:30 pm | Followed by Reception in Newcomb Hall
RSVP here >

Virginia Film Festival presents
Wałęsa: Man of Hope      Details>
7:00 pm | Downtown Mall – Regal 2

Sunday, November 9, 2014 Full Details >

Kings of Freedom Chakling
Kings of Freedom Chakling
Mural Artist: Sam Welty

INSTALLATIONS

Kings of Freedom
© 2014 The Hefner Collection, LLC
U.Va. Library Quad

Kings of Freedom Chalking      Details>
by mural artist Sam Welty
The Community Chalkboard and Podium: A Monument to the First Amendment
Charlottesville Downtown Mall

The Art of the Wall
Gary Hoover, Photographer
Rotunda West Side Construction Fence
Details >

Dismembering Germany: the Prehistory of the Wall.
First Floor Gallery
Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
November 2-14

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Berlin Wall Symposium Participants

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Berlin Fall of the Wall
Undergraduate Prize Contest
To Explore the Fall of the Berlin Wall & Its Broader Meanings

Contest Poster
Undergraduate Prize Contest Poster
Download poster (pdf) >

The Wall that Fell | The Walls that Remain

When in June 1987 President Ronald Reagan challenged General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down” the Berlin Wall, even the most informed observers doubted that this most pertinent symbol of the Cold War would fall in their life time. Twenty-nine months later, on 9 November 1989, waves of exhilarated East Germans streamed through a fortification that had seemed impenetrable. Almost immediately ordinary citizens started to chisel away at what just a few days ago had been a deadly divider of Germany, Europe and the world. By the end of the year, official operations to dismantle the Wall had begun.

It is thanks to the generosity of the Hefner family that UVa is currently in the position to exhibit four panels of the historic Berlin Wall, featuring “Kings of Freedom” graffiti art by West German artist Dennis Kaun. The installation recalls the fall of the Wall as a historic moment entirely in tune with Thomas Jefferson’s principles of unalienable rights – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

This University-wide prize competition asks students to explore the magic of the historic moment in November 1989 as well as the challenges that remain.

Possible topics include:

  • The effect of the Wall’s Fall on International Relations and Everyday Lives
  • Alternative Histories of the Cold War
  • Commemorative Installations & The Broader Implications
  • Poetic, Dramatic or Comedic Explorations of the Fallen and Remaining Walls
  • How Can We Capture the Promises of the Moment?
  • What are the Walls that Confront us Today?
  • Plus many more...
Specifications
  • All UVa undergraduates are invited to participate
  • Students can work on their own or in a group
  • 1st prize $2500 | 2nd prize $1500 | 3rd prize $500
  • Submissions can take many forms:

    • Essays and short stories (maximum of 15 double-spaced pages)
    • Poetry (to be accompanied by a maximum of 5 pages of text)
    • Posters (to be accompanied by a maximum of 5 pages of text)
    • Photo Essays (to be accompanied by a maximum of 5 pages of text)
    • Video work (to be accompanied by a maximum of 5 pages of text)
    • Musical Compositions (to be accompanied by a maximum of 5 pages of text)
    • Design Projects (to be accompanied by a maximum of 5 pages of text)

  • The deadline is Monday, October 27, 2014
  • The prize winners are announced at a Reception on Thursday, November 6, 2014

Please direct questions and submissions to Ms. Manuela Achilles, Associate Director of the Center for German Studies, and Co-organizer of CGS Fall of the Wall events. Email >

Organized and co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Vice Provost for the Arts, the Center for German Studies, and the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures.

Download Poster (pdf) >
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Contact Us

Vice Provost for the Arts office

Jody Kielbasa email >
Vice Provost for the Arts
Director, Virginia Film Festival

PO Box 400308
Booker House, University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4226

Emma Terry email >
Staff Assistant to the Vice Provost for the Arts
PO Box 400308
Booker House, University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4226

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In the News

Cavalier Daily, University remembers fall of the Berlin Wall, 25 years later November 3, 2014, by Katherine Wilkin

The University will host a symposium this week to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Art collector Robert Hefner loaned two pieces of the Berlin Wall to the University, currently on display outside Alderman Library. Jody Kielbasa, vice provost for the arts and director of the Virginia Film Festival, has been instrumental in planning the symposium surrounding the pieces of the wall.

“The University was very fortunate that Robert Hefner wanted to loan the wall,” Kielbasa said. “It is an extraordinary piece of history, and also very timely, because the 25th anniversary of the fall of the wall is Nov. 9.”

Read more >

Daily Progress, UVa to mark 25 years since Berlin Wall's fall November 2, 2014

The University of Virginia will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall at a public ceremony Nov. 9, capping a weeklong symposium at the university.

UVa had a portion of the wall shipped to Grounds in March. Since April, it has stood in a display case in front of Alderman Library on McCormick Road. The side of the wall that faced West Germany features graffiti art by Dennis Kaun.

Read more >

UVA Today, U.Va. Architecture Professor Shares Memories of Berlin Wall’s Fall October 30 2014, by Robert Hull

One week after the Berlin Wall fell on Nov. 9, 1989, Karen Van Lengen arrived in Berlin to present what would become her winning entry in a design competition for the Berlin Public Library.

The friend’s apartment where she was staying offered her an angle on the aftermath of the historic event that few people would ever have, allowing Van Lengen to film the celebrations that occurred immediately after the wall fell.

As part of next week’s Berlin Wall Symposium at the University of Virginia, Van Lengen, Kenan Professor of Architecture at U.Va. and former dean of the School of Architecture, will combine this trove of her footage – never before shown in public – with a collection of rare artifacts, to tell her personal story of a land celebrating its new freedom. The presentation will take place Tuesday at 5 p.m. in Campbell Hall, room 153.

Read more >

UVA Today, Berlin Wall Symposium to Celebrate 25th Anniversary of Historic Fall Nov. 3-9 October 24, 2014, by Robert Hull

In April, University of Virginia officials unveiled four panels from the former Berlin Wall, on loan from a private collector and installed at a site adjacent to Alderman Library and the Small Special Collections Library.

During the first week of November, the University will connect those physical artifacts with history through a Grounds-wide series of events marking the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Cold War symbol.

“The Berlin Wall Symposium: The Fall of a Symbol, The Will of a People” will offer a dynamic, multidisciplinary exploration of the fall’s importance through lectures, talks, presentations and live performances. It will bring together academics, scholars and artists from the University community and beyond to highlight the cultural, political and historical implications around one of the watershed moments of the 20th century.

Read more >

Daily Progress, Berlin Wall Comes to UVA April 2014

The installation of four panels of the Berlin Wall that features murals titled "Kings of Freedom," by West German graffiti artist Dennis Kaun Monday at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. The exhibit, on loan from the Robert & MeiLi Hefner Foundation, will be open to the public in April. The outdoor installation will be in place as the world marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in November.

Read more >

WVTF Radio IQ, UVA Welcomes Berlin Wall Exhibit April 16, 2014, by Sandy Hausman

The University of Virginia recently unveiled a surprising work of art – a painting by one of Germany’s best known graffiti artists -- on four panels of the Berlin Wall.

More than a hundred VIP’s assembled on the lawn in front of UVA’s main library to witness the unveiling of a giant painting called The Kings of Freedom – 12 feet tall and 16 feet wide. It sat behind a curtain, inside a protective case of iron and glass. The University’s Vice President for the Arts, Jody Kielbasa, said one of the main roads on campus had to be closed for two days as the four panels were installed west of the Rotunda.

Read more >

The Hefner Collection, The “Kings of Freedom”: Four Panels of The Berlin Wall from The Hefner Collection are on Exhibit at the University of Virginia April 15, 2014 by Metra Nichols

Four panels of the Berlin Wall entitled “Kings of Freedom” were unveiled at the University of Virginia on Friday, April 11 and is open for public viewing located adjacent to Alderman Library and the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the university grounds in Charlottesville. The panels are on loan to UVa by Robert and MeiLi Hefner, owners of Ramiiisol Vineyards, as part of a year-long commemorative of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. The exhibit will be surrounded by an exciting array of programs and events, both academically and public-city curriculum all to encompass the celebration of The Wall’s historical symbolism.

Read more >

UVA Today, Berlin Wall’s ‘Kings of Freedom’ Art Unveiled on U.Va.’s Grounds as Symbol of Liberty April 14, 2014, by Robert Hull

In 1820, Thomas Jefferson wrote to a friend, “The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave.” In 1989, just such a wave of boisterous liberty toppled the Berlin Wall.

Four panels of that historic wall are now on the Grounds of Jefferson’s University of Virginia in an art installation that reflects his principles of “unalienable rights” – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Read more >

UVA Today, ‘Kings of Freedom’ Art to be Unveiled Friday at Berlin Wall Installation April 9, 2014, by Robert Hull

Last month, workers at the University of Virginia installed part of the Berlin Wall on Grounds, in celebration of artistic and political freedom.

The official unveiling of the “Kings of Freedom” graffiti artwork on panels from the wall will take place Friday at 5 p.m. in a ceremony that will include U.Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan and Robert and MeiLi Hefner, who own the panels loaned to U.Va., as well as distinguished alumni and faculty.

Read more >

UVA Today, U.VA. MEDIA ADVISORY: Public Unveiling Ceremony of ‘Kings of Freedom’ Art Berlin Wall Installation on U.Va. Grounds April 9, 2014, by Robert Hull

Last month, the University of Virginia installed part of the Berlin Wall on Grounds. On Friday, the unveiling of the art installation will mark the official opening of a yearlong U.Va. celebration commemorating the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall with extensive supporting academic and artistic programming.

The unveiling of the “Kings of Freedom” graffiti artwork on panels from the Berlin Wall will take place Friday at 5 p.m. in a public ceremony that will include U.Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan and Robert and MeiLi Hefner, who own the panels loaned to U.Va., as well as distinguished alumni and faculty.

Read more >

NBC29, Four Panels of the Berlin Wall Installed at UVA March 10, 2014

The University of Virginia is rebuilding the Berlin Wall.

Four panels of the Berlin Wall - that separated communist East Germany from the free West - arrived by truck Monday. Each concrete slab stands 12 feet high and weighs 6,500 pounds.

Read more >

UVA Today, Berlin Wall Coming to U.Va. Grounds March 5, 2014, by Robert Hull

The University of Virginia is preparing for a yearlong celebration commemorating the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall. From March through November, U.Va. will host an outdoor exhibit of international significance, and will present a comprehensive program of supporting events.

On Nov. 9, the world will mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall with global celebrations. On Monday, four panels from that Wall will be delivered to a site on Grounds; for more than a year, they will be on loan to the University.

Read more >
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