BJORN FRANKE

Eastern Remains (2005)

Essay

The Reunification of Germany was the end for the German Democratic Republic and its political, social and economic system. Its national institutions were integrated into the structures of the West. The shutdown of factories and military sites, as well as the migration of large parts of the population to Western Germany led to an enormous amount of abandoned spaces. Furthermore, the departure of nearly half a million soldiers of the Red Army stationed in Eastern German increased the amount of deserted military sites and objects.

Most of these spaces are vacant today and slowly disintegrating. Others are torn down or converted for private use. Some of them were bought by military enthusiasts and are kept alive to function as a museum. This research project investigates these spaces, their transformation and their new occupants - which are sometimes the old ones - on a road trip through the former German Democratic Republic.

Images: Tim Giesen, 2005.