30 Years After the Fall of the Wall: Old and New Borders through the Lens of Research

Berlin Wall Memorial – Visitor Centre | 5 November 2019 | 6:30 pm | Free admission

With Nina Frieß (Slavonic studies expert), Félix Krawatzek (political scientist) and Sabine von Löwis (geographer) and Gwendolyn Sasse (chair)

© Nicole Montéran/ Berlin Wall Foundation

The fall of the Berlin Wall is an event of great symbolic power. Looking back after 30 years, it is clear that the East-West border embodied by the Wall but also the circumstances of its disappearance still resonate today. At this event, researchers from the Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS) will discuss the Berlin Wall and other borders from a geographical, cultural and political perspective. What do “phantom borders” in Berlin and elsewhere tell us about the social and political afterlife of vanished borders? How are borders thought and written about in Eastern Europe? Finally, the panellists will look to the youth generation and ask which border crossings are seen as desirable by young people in Eastern Europe today, and what kinds of new borders emerge as old ones are dismantled.


Nina Frieß is a literary and cultural studies expert and researcher at ZOiS. Her current research project focuses on Russian-language literature in the post-Soviet space.

Félix Krawatzek is a political scientist and senior researcher at ZOiS. His research explores the political mobilisation of young people, with a regional focus on Russia.

Sabine von Löwis has a doctorate in economic and social geography. A researcher at ZOiS, she currently leads a project on microgeographies of conflict constellations in the southwestern post-Soviet space.

Gwendolyn Sasse is the Director of ZOiS. Her research interests include political identities and conflicts in the post-Soviet space.