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UW Celebrates German Unification with Fall Events

September 3, 2015
man swinging a sledgehammer at a graffiti-painted mock-up of the Berlin Wall as others look on
Last fall, UW students used sledgehammers to tear down a 32-foot-long mock Berlin Wall on Prexy’s Pasture, as part of a series of events to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. A series of events is scheduled this fall to commemorate 25 years of German unification. (UW Photo)

Activities ranging from a wire arch representing the Iron Curtain to Berlin’s influences on pop icon David Bowie will be among a series of University of Wyoming fall programs celebrating 25 years of German unity.

Events begin Sept. 8-12, when a wire arch, representing an opening of the Iron Curtain, will be in place on Prexy’s Pasture to symbolize the path to reconciliation and unification. Anyone who wishes may attach (anonymously) a regret, an apology or a hope on a multicolored tag. 

“We hope that the tunnel will look militaristic at the beginning of the week, and transform with multicolored confessions to look more like a garden arch, overgrown with flowers,” says event organizer Stephanie Anderson, an associate professor in UW’s Department of Political Science. “The culmination of all of the students' hopes, fears, pain and negative situations can, thus, create something beneficial and spark conversation.”

All programs are free and open to the public. Among other events in the series:

Thursday, Sept. 10, 4 p.m. -- Gary Bruce, from the University of Waterloo, discusses his book “The Firm: The Inside Story of the Stasi,” Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center auditorium.

Wednesday, Sept. 23, 7:10 p.m. -- The film “The Lives of Others,” Room 133 of the Classroom Building. Set in 1984 East Berlin, Glasnost is nowhere in sight. The population is kept under strict control by the Stasi, the East German Secret Police. The Stasi’s declared goal: To know everything. The film won numerous awards, including the 2006 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.

Friday, Oct. 2, 4 p.m. -- German television and radio commentator Andrew Denison, a 1985 UW graduate, will discuss “The United States and German Reunification: Hopes and Fears in Retrospect,” Berry Center auditorium.

Thursday, Oct. 15, 6:30 p.m. -- Ulricht Adelt, assistant professor in the UW Department of American Studies, discusses “Struggle with a Foreign Tongue: David Bowie in Berlin,” about the pop singer’s three years of explosive creativity, UW Art Museum.  

Friday, Oct. 30, 6:30 p.m., 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. -- Friday Night Fever presents the film “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” described as “East German-born Hedwig tells, in monologue and song, of her botched gender-reassignment surgery, leaving her with a genital nub -- the angry inch -- a name she bestows on her band.” A panel discussion follows the 6:30 p.m. showing, Wyoming Union Ballroom.

Monday, Nov. 16, 4 p.m. -- Cultural anthropologist Annegret Staiger discusses “From Nudity Cultures in East and West to Sauna Club Mega Brothels,” Berry Center auditorium.

Friday, Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m. -- Department of Music faculty members perform works by Bach in a reunification commemoration concert, Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts recital hall.

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