Archive for September 1st, 2010

Berlin bombed again

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010
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Berlin was bombed again on Saturday night — but this time the weapon was poetry.  100,000 bookmarks printed with poems by 80 poets from Germany and Chile were dropped from a helicopter, which circled the city for half an hour.

Poets included in the project were 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.

The initiative was intended as a protest against war and a message of peace, as well as a celebration of the 200th anniversary of Chilean independence.

Organizers 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,” according to an article in The Guardian.

Don’t know what the German reaction to the bombing was — but the response from my Facebook friends was immediate:

Person B:  Did the city attempt to defend itself with prose?

Person A:  No, they rolled out the critical theorists.

Person B:  Ah, the “big guns.”

You are challenged to watch the defiantly unwatchable youtube film of the event here.