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The short autumn of utopia 1989
With each passing year, the GDR becomes grayer, its end more inevitable and the events of 1989 more unambiguous. Candles - demos - fall of the wall and that was all? Or was there something else? The exhibition "The Short Autumn of Utopia," realized in 1999, takes precisely this question as its starting point when it focuses on the utopian moment of the autumn of 1989.
Because after decades of nothing going on before and not too much after, there was this intermediate phase, this brief moment in which so much seemed possible. This moment is the focus of the exhibition, with all its peculiarities. The exhibition focuses on the history of the opposition groups, their relationship to the Ausreise movement, the development of the demonstrations, and their attitudes toward the SED and the state apparatus. Who archives, documents and dominates the "Wendegedächtnis"?
The exhibition was designed and conceived by people and groups who themselves made history in a committed and contentious way in '89. It is therefore not only based on generally accessible archive materials, but supplements these with original documents, photos and authentic working materials of the opposition, such as samizdat and flyers. Above all, the contradiction between the central result of the development, the accession to the scope of the Basic Law, and the motives of the protagonists of 1989 will be made clear.
The exhibition is part of the public debate about the representation and assessment of the GDR and its end. The representatives of the GDR opposition were politically marginalized in the process of unification; however, it is worthwhile to remember their work in an unagitated way, especially against the background of their initial successes as well as their failures. The goal is an unsentimental as well as provisional résumé of the events of 1989.