On Friday, June 23rd, we had our final day of class, creating a class graffiti mural on the Berlin Wall. During previous classes, we discussed possible mural ideas. Although three main concepts were proposed, we agreed on the “Hello, my name is..” idea. For context, this concept was influenced by the “Hello, my name is…” name tags found throughout Berlin. Then, during our Graffiti and Street Art walking tour, our guide Rob emphasized the importance of graffiti artists leaving their mark and one way many do is by posting these name tags around the city. This idea of leaving a mark resonated with many of my classmates, leading us to create a large-scale rendition of the name tag surrounded by our individual tags on the sides. For my personal tag, showcased in the slideshow below, I decided to create a green and pink heart. I chose this symbol as it was the easiest way to showcase the importance of moving through the world with love. It is important to recognize that the Berlin Wall holds significance as a site of expression and resistance, especially for marginalized communities. During our visit to Die Mauer asisi Panorama, the work of Yadegar Asisi, who had experienced life on East and West Berlin (both sides of the Wall) was highlighted. Asisi created a mural illustrating the second half of a building, because only the first half could be seen from his side of the wall at that time. Asisi is one among numerous artists that continue to create graffiti and street art on the wall to this day, leaving their mark and making a statement. I am proud of the work our class produced, and I feel that we left our mark as #FemGeniusesinBerlin.
Atquetzali Quiroz (she|they) is a rising senior at Colorado College. They are an Indigenous Nahua and Filipinx student from Imnížiska (Saint Paul), Mni Sóta, homeland of the Dakota peoples. Atquetzali is a Feminist and Gender Studies major minoring in Race, Ethnicity, & Migration Studies and Education. They hope to pursue a career as a high school Social Studies educator. They enjoy trying new food, dancing, and seeing new places. As this is Atquetzali’s first time in Europe, they are excited to adventure and make new memories!
Today was the last day of the 2023 #FemGeniusesinBerlin program. Despite the all-day rainy weather, the group still showed up and showed out for one last hurrah to cap off the program, the graffiti workshop! Together with local artist Age Age, the team spray painted a massive group-designed piece onto the former Berlin Wall in addition to many individual tags. Over the past week, several ideas bounced around as to what exactly to spray paint as the group piece, including a series of footsteps (an homage to Dr. Lewis’ book In Audre’s Footsteps) and a giant kitchen table in reference to the second part of the book’s title, Transnational Kitchen Table Talk in Berlin, but the group eventually landed on the idea of a giant “Hello, my name is…” style name tag. Age Age outlined the design while the #FemGeniusesinBerlin wrote their individual tags, after which we individually wrote letters onto the group name tag in a rainbow color scheme (“I” wrote the “I” ^^). Today was understandably a very emotional day for everyone involved, full of group hugs and goodbyes. Over the course of the past three weeks, new connections formed, existing friendships strengthened, and many memories were made in the German capital, which served as the space where numerous foundational thinkers of Black Feminist, Transnational, and Critical Race Theories gathered and developed their ideas. Students created a group thank you card for Dr. Lewis and Judy Fisher for making this whole experience possible for everyone. As the group learned during the previous graffiti and street art walking tour, the art one creates on city walls, from the smallest of tags to the largest of street art pieces, does not simply mean “I was here,” but rather “I am here. I’ve been here, and I will continue to leave my mark on the world, no matter how short or long it lasts.” Expressions of joy and resistance remembered in the unlikeliest of places. Hidden narratives in hidden spaces…
This has been the #FemGeniusesinBerlin, signing out!
Kathrin Luckey is a rising senior double majoring in German and Romance Languages and minoring in Linguistics. She has a passion for languages and is particularly interested in translation, as well as linguistics in the context of intersectional feminist movements. She has previously studied on an exchange semester at the University of Göttingen.