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An exhibition of photography by Wirral-based photographer Colin McPherson documents the dramatic changes which have taken place in Berlin since the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 will have its premiere later this month in Liverpool to mark the 30th anniversary of those momentous events.
Entitled Berlin: After the Wall, the work focuses on how the the city has been transformed in the three decades since the Cold War came to an end. Photographs from the period after the Wall came down will be displayed alongside images made in recent years to illustrate how life has changed in this once-divided city, which lies at the heart of Europe and European history.
As the Berlin Wall crumbled under the weight of people power in 1989, a new era began for Germany. Reunification of the two republics was most evident in Berlin, where the 155 kilometre barrier had separated families, friends and neighbours for 28 long years. After the euphoria came reality. The course of the Wall left an ugly scar across urban and rural landscapes. As the years passed, development, regeneration and gentrification began to rub out the traces of what was once present and visible.
Photographer Colin McPherson’s family links have taken him back to Berlin repeatedly over the last three decades. In that time, he tasked himself with documenting the physical changes which have slowly but inexorably brought East and West Berlin together. Now, to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Wall, he presents images of what came after 1989 and what the city looks like today. Berlin: After the Wall is a visual exploration of a changing environment and also a tribute to the power of belonging and memory.
The exhibition coincides with the launch of a publication featuring photographs from the early part of the series by Southport-based publisher Cafe Royal Books entitled Berlin: After the Wall 1992-94.
Commenting on the exhibition, Colin McPherson said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to show this work in my home city of Liverpool. The work is very personal to me as the majority of my family are Berliners and have been witnesses to the incredible changes which have taken place over the three decades since the drama of November 1989. We are all familiar with the images of the Wall coming down, but what happened after that has been more interesting for me. Berlin’s evolution into a united, vibrant capital city has been a long and at times difficult process. Covering over the traces of where the Wall once stood is a powerful visual metaphor for these changes.”
Colin McPherson is a documentary photographer and photojournalist whose work has been published and exhibited worldwide over the last 30 years. For over 20 years he worked on commissions and assignments for the Independent newspaper and is a regular contributor to publications such as The Guardian, The Times, Le Monde and the monthly football magazine When Saturday Comes and he is represented by Getty Images. His project work has been shown at galleries such as the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, the Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, Impressions Gallery, Bradford and the Martin Parr Foundation, Bristol. He is a member of SixBySix and also the Document Scotland collective.
Established in 2019, SixBySix is a group of documentary Merseyside-based photographers whose mission is to spark debate and grow a network of people interested in photography. They organise events and exhibitions at Ropes & Twines in Liverpool, which has a history of staging photography exhibitions in collaboration with Lightbox Gallery.