Memories of ghost trains and ghost stations in former East and West Berlin

Anja Werner & Sarah Fichtner (text & story)
Azam Aghalouie & Hassan Tavakoli (illustrations & video)

How did it feel to ride the underground train underneath the divided city of Berlin? Passing through dimly lit, construction site-like stations where trains no longer stopped? What was it like to hear those very trains rumbling underground, but not being able to reach them from East Berlin? To picture them as ghost trains that didn‘t actually exist?

Memories of ghost trains and ghost stations in former East and West Berlin is the title of a collaborative, international motion comic project made in Berlin. 

The story is based on the childhood memories of historian Anja Werner – born in Naumburg-Saale – and social anthropologist Sarah Fichtner – born in West Berlin. 

Illustrations and motion design are contributed by the artist duo (Mina) Azam Aghalouie and (Farshid) Hassan Tavakoli from Iran. 

It all began in September 2019, during a workshop organised in Berlin by the project Re-Connect / Re-Collect: Crossing the Divides through Memories of Cold War Childhoods, co-led by Zsusza Millei (University of Tampere), Nelli Piattoeva (University of Tampere) and Iveta Silova (Arizona State University). During this workshop, Sarah Fichtner shared her West Berliner childhood memory of riding the underground train through the “ghost station” of East Berlin. In turn, Anja Werner recalled a scene from her childhood where she actually heard such “ghost trains” rumbling underneath an apartment in East Berlin. The meeting of these memories formed a bond between the two storytellers. Intuitively, both knew that their perspectives had to be captured – in form of a joint story. It was equally clear that this story needed a more lively medium: the idea for a motion comic was born. They were able to capture the interest of the illustrator duo Azam Aghalouie and Hassan Tavakoli from Iran. Azam and Hassan arrived in Berlin in 2017 and remain fascinated by the extraordinary history of this city until today. 

The motion comic, which is set to make its online debut on November 9th, the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, stands for encounters on multiple levels: memory meets memory, East meets West, two German stories meet the imaginative force of Iranian artists, illustration turns into motion picture.

The production of this motion comic was made possible by the generous support by the Kone Foundation, Finland, which financed the research project described above.

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Dear all,
Unfortunately, the Encounters media workshop has to postpone all events planned in November due to the pandemic. However, we hope to catch up as soon as possible once the City Library Tempelhof-Schöneberg opens its doors for events and workshops again. In the meantime, we will continue to publish interesting content for you online - watch this space!
Stay happy, healthy and active! Your Encounters media workshop
Liebe Alle, die Medienwerkstatt Encounters muss die geplanten Veranstaltungen im November leider pandemiebedingt verschieben. Wir hoffen jedoch, alle Termine so schnell wie möglich nachholen zu können, sobald die Stadtbibliothek Tempelhof-Schöneberg für Veranstaltungen und Workshops wieder geöffnet ist. In der Zwischenzeit werden wir weiterhin interessante Inhalte für Euch online veröffentlichen - also schaut weiterhin auf unserem Blog vorbei! Bleibt fröhlich, gesund und engagiert! Eure Medienwerkstatt Encounters —- لسوء الحظ، يتعين على ورش عمل ملتقى الإعلامية، تأجيل جميع الأحداث المخطط لها في نوفمبر بسبب الوباء. ومع ذلك نأمل في اللحاق بالركب في أقرب وقت ممكن بمجرد أن تفتح مكتبة المدينة "تيمبلهوف شونيبرج" أبوابها للفعاليات وورش العمل مجدداً.وفي هذه الاثناء، سنواصل نشر محتوىً مثير للاهتمام عبر الإنتنرت فتابعونا على هذه المساحة! نتمنى لكم البقاء في نشاطٍ وسعادةٍ وصحة! ورش عمل ملتقى الإعلامية —-


متأسفانه به علتِ اوج گیری دوباره همه گیری کرونا، وُرکشاپ های رسانه ای رویارویی (Encounters) مجبور به تعویقِ همه رویدادهای برنامه ریزی شده برای ماه نوامبر است. با این وجود، امیدواریم که هرچه سریعتر کتابخانه شهر Tempelhof-Schöneberg درهای خود را برای رویدادها و کارگاههای پیش رو باز کند و برنامه های معوقه را به زودی برگزار کنیم.

در ضمن، ما همچنان به انتشار آنلاین مطالب جالب برای شما ادامه خواهیم داد – وبلاگ و صفحات مجازی ما را دنبال کنید!


شاد ، سالم و پُرنشاط باشید!

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