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The Monument Is…

Curation and Exhibition Design for the Peaceful Revolution Foundation, Leipzig


Photos: Jens Franke

Photos: Shortnotice Studio

A Freedom and Unity Monument is soon to be erected on Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz in Leipzig to keep the memory of the Peaceful Revolution of 1989 alive in the present and the future.

The Peaceful Revolution, together with revolutionary developments in Central and Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, paved the way for the fall of the Iron Curtain and made German Unity possible. It had a multitude of participants and went through several stages. For Germans, one particular point in time is anchored within the collective memory: the Monday demonstration in Leipzig on October 9, 1989.

To commemorate the Peaceful Revolution with a Freedom and Unity Monument, we look back, around us, and forward. This examination offers the opportunity for discussion: What new perspectives on history could a monument promote? Who would it speak to and for whom? What functions should it serve in the present? What do we want to convey to future generations? How do monuments change and furthermore how does our view of them change?

In the outdoor area on Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz, the exhibition “The Monument is …” offers insights into the model process of creating the Freedom and Unity Monument, for which a design competition is going to be announced soon. Here on the square, all visitors can find information on how the initiative for the monument came about, who is involved in its creation, which steps have already been taken, as well as what will happen next.

A “Raumerweiterungshalle” (REH), a mobile architecture developed by engineers Helmut and Klaus Both in Mecklenburg in the 1960s, houses the second part of the exhibition in its inside. Here, monuments and remembrance culture in Leipzig and beyond are portrayed from the perspective of artistic contributions. For the future Freedom and Unity Monument will fit into a landscape of other monuments and places of remembrance and expand them with new meanings, narratives, and functions.

The exhibition invites us to discover the unknown and to look at the familiar from a new perspective. Based on the case studies, we would like to imagine together what role the Freedom and Unity Monument could play in our society.

  • 05.09.-09.10.2023, Leipzig
  • With contributions by Constanza Carvajal, Daniel Theiler & Angelika Waniek, Jens Franke, Anna Jermolaewa, Susanne Kim,  Isa Rosenberger, Alina Schmuch, Siegbert Schefke & Aram Radomski, Clara Winter
  • Curation with Tuan Do Duc and Marlene Oeken
  • Exhibition Design wit Marlene Oeken
  • Graphic design: Shortnotice Studio
  • Illustrations: Verena Herbst