We are the People (2014)
innumerat, and Johannes Korstjens
A tribute to the 70.000 of Leipzig, who, on 9 October 1989, two days after the 40th anniversary of the GDR, protested peacefully against East German authorities for more freedom of movement, and for the right to vote in free, and fair elections. Their weapon was bravery, their tactic de-escalation, their strategy humility. The crowd, bearing banners declaring 'Wir sind das Volk!' (We are the people!), marches around the city's ring road, passing the local Stasi headquarters, and blocking traffic. Tension was high, but at the critical point, riot police and troops stepped aside, allowing the marchers to pass. A bloodbath was only averted by the sheer absence of orders from higher up. The protests played a crucial role in the collapse of the GDR to culminate in the fall of the Berlin Wall*.
V.A. chose the site of Leipziger Messe, build on the grounds of the old airport after the German Reunification for the following reasons. The "Neue Messe" could be seen as a symbol of/home to the at the time much coveted Capitalism from the West. But the site breaths, looks, and feels as the old GDR regime. An "Open to the Public" webcam mounted at the 85 meters high Leipziger Messe tower is taking round the clock images from the exhibition grounds. The data is wirelessly transmitted to the administration building of the fair, and played there on the internet. Walking in circles on the scene provoked the appearance of a security-team in minutes.