In close cooperation with over 20 partners, Kulturprojekte Berlin is organising the Berlin Weekend for Democracy on 18 and 19 March 2023, commemorating the March Revolution of 1848 and its themes. The broad programme ranges from artistic interventions in the urban space to exhibitions, talks, performances and interactive tours. There is an extensive calendar of events.
Image above: Barricade and meeting point for guided tours at the corner of Jägerstraße and Friedrichstraße in Mitte, Photo: Stephanie Schneider
Opening with Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and historic city walk: The Governing Mayor of Berlin Franziska Giffey invited guests to the opening of the Berlin Weekend for Democracy and the first city walk on 18 March 2023 at 11 am. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier also attended the opening as a guest.
Franziska Giffey, the Governing Mayor of Berlin, said: “Today we commemorate the beginning of the March Revolution 175 years ago. On this important day in the history of German democracy, brave men and women rose up and took to the streets and literally to the barricades for a democratic society. Unfortunately, this is often forgotten in historical accounts: The history of democracy is also a women’s history. At a time when women were disadvantaged in the most diverse ways, they took the floor – self-confidently and courageously. Like the men in the revolution, these women risked their lives. The revolution failed – but the cries for freedom, unity and democracy could no longer be dispelled. And with them the calls for women’s rights and equality. Even today, women all over the world are fighting for their rights. Like in Iran, where women and also men are protesting against the oppressive regime and for their freedom rights. Today’s day and the ‘Berlin Weekend for Democracy’ should also make us aware that we as democrats are not only responsible for ourselves. But that this very freedom empowers us to stand up for those who are still fighting for this freedom. I would like to thank the team from Kulturprojekte Berlin for taking us back into exciting history this weekend.”
On 18 and 19 March 2023, Berliners and guests are invited to take marked city walks in the footsteps of the revolution. In addition, free guided tours will take place every hour along the route. The starting point is the Installation of a Barricade at the historical site on the corner of Friedrichstraße and Jägerstraße. This impressive intervention in the urban space is modelled on the barricades that were first erected in Berlin in 1848. It puts a piece of democracy history back on the map as a new kind of collective experience. On 18 and 19 March, this is also the central contact point for information about the Berlin Weekend for Democracy.
City markings / barricade: The March Revolution took place on Berlin’s streets – and that’s exactly where we want to make its relevance visible. A barricade is being created in the middle of the city! At a historic site, Kulturprojekte Berlin is putting an extraordinary piece of democratic history back on the map for all Berliners and their guests. In this way, we link today’s Berlin with the people who forever shaped our city and its history with the March Revolution. With informative offers at the info point or as a meeting point for lively city tours in the footsteps of the March Revolution: the barricade installation will become the pulsating hotspot of the Berlin Weekend for Democracy.
The route of the city walk is marked by ten representative Berliners of the revolutionary era. Designed by the internationally renowned artist Jim Avignon, larger-than-life, pop-art style figures such as the doctor Rudolf Virchow or the women’s rights activist Louise Aston tell the walkers their stories. An intrepid locksmith’s apprentice, a young student with his visions for a fairer world, a feminist who fought for her voice by writing, an eloquent guy who became the mouthpiece of the working people, a spy, a parliamentarian, a famous doctor, a woman who accidentally became a victim of the revolution, and a man whom fate placed on the other side of the barricade – the revolutionaries were as diverse as our Berlin, then and now. What they all have in common: the desire for democracy and social justice. By using an intuitive and free smartphone app, the stories become particularly vivid and vivid. Download the Artivive-App once and experience moving stories. They will lead the way to the former palace where, from 15 to 20 March, selected works from the nationwide youth poster competition will be presented in an exhibition in a prominent location in the foyer of the Humboldt Forum. On 18 March, the young winners of the competition will be honoured here by Senator for Culture and Europe Klaus Lederer.
Discover, participate and create: The calendar of the diverse events on the March Revolution during the Berlin Weekend for Democracy – and beyond the weekend – can be viewed here. The programme items span a wide range: From a live broadcast of the well-known Deutschlandfunk Nova format “One Hour of History” at the Humboldt Forum to the traditional commemoration of the March 18 Action at 12 noon at the Brandenburg Gate. The exhibition section on the 1848/49 Revolution at the Cemetery of the March Fallen will be completely redesigned and its foundation stone will be laid on the Berlin Weekend for Democracy on 18 March at 2 pm. The guided tour of the exhibition STREIT in the Museum für Kommunikation is recommended for those who want to join in the discussion. And those who prefer to listen can attend the staged reading “… that those will also be forgotten who forgot to think of themselves” or the special performance of “Danton’s Death/Iphigenia” at the Maxim Gorki Theatre. In addition, there are offers tailored to children and young people, such as family-friendly guided tours, workshops and plays, for example at the German Historical Museum, where there is a lot to discover around the Zeughaus.
Occasion: 18 and 19 March 1848: When Europe first experienced a wave of protests and radical upheavals aimed at democratisation and social justice in 1848 and ’49, these demands also reached the broad masses of Berlin. On 18 March 1848, thousands took to the barricades, which had been quickly improvised everywhere when the military arrived. For instead of listening to the demands, the Prussian king had the uprising violently suppressed. Nevertheless, even his military could no longer stop the change in people’s minds. 175 years later, these significant historical events are to be commemorated with an extensive programme of events, a historical barricade and interactive city walks.
More information on the Berlin Weekend for Democracy: