Berlin ‘bombed’ with poetry Helicopter drops 100,000 poetry bookmarks over city as protest against war

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/aug/31/berlin-bombed-with-poetry

Poetry rained from the skies on Saturday night in Berlin as 100,000 bookmarks printed with poems by 80 poets from Germany and Chile were dropped on the city from a helicopter.

Lasting for half an hour, the initiative was intended as a protest against war and a message of peace, as well as a celebration of the 200th anniversary of the independence of Chile. It was the fifth “poetry rain” project from Chilean art collective Casagrande, which has arranged previous poetry bombing events in Santiago de Chile (2001), Dubrovnik (2002), Gernika (2004) and Warsaw (2009) – all cities which, like Berlin, have suffered aerial bombings during their history.

Organisers say that just as wartime bombings were intended to “break the morale” of the inhabitants of a city, so the poetry bombing “‘builds’ a new city by giving new meaning to events of her tragic past and therefore presenting the city in a whole new original way”.

The Berlin project, for which Casagrande worked with Literaturwerkstatt Berlin as part of the Long Night of Museums, took place in the city’s Lustgarten, where a crowd of thousands had gathered to hear readings and performances by Latin American artists.

Poems dropped from the helicopter circling the area were by poets including Ann Cotten, Karin Fellner, Nora Gomringer, Andrea Heuser, Orsolya Kalász, Björn Kuhligk, Marion Poschmann, Arne Rautenberg, Monika Rinck, Hendrik Rost, Ulrike Almut Sandig, Tom Schulz, Thien Tran, Anja Utler, Jan Wagner, Ron Winkler and Uljana Wolf, according to Lyrikline.org, one of the organisations supporting the project.

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One Response to Berlin ‘bombed’ with poetry Helicopter drops 100,000 poetry bookmarks over city as protest against war

  1. April 26th will mark the 74th anniversary (1937) of the bombing of Guernica when Hitler’s Air Force dropped bombs on market day as hundreds of civilians were in town. This was done at the request of the Spanish government. Picasso immortalized this event in the painting of “Guernica” and requested this painting be returned to the Basque Country after WWII which followed the Spanish Civil War. It had been safe in New York…and then sent to Madrid.
    There is an on-line petition to sign (pétition en ligne)…please help us get it back to the Basque Country in Guernica where it belongs.
    http://www.guernicagernikara.net/home/?page_id=80

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