Exhibition «(on)against the wall»

Peaceful protests of 1989

The question what could be achieved by peaceful protest arises quite often today. The year 1989 showed that it could be a great deal. For decaes after sovietization, people in socialist countries lived beyond various walls (literally and metaphorically). In 1989 they united regardless of their personal views, because they had a common goal – to fight freedom back. Each of them conceived freedom in its own way, but the life under the control of one political party, the accordance with one ideology and a constant invasion of privacy were not incompatible with this freedom for all of them. Many people didn't like the idea that the government was sending tanks to invade other countries on their behalf to fight the similar ones. It was the protesting people on the streets in 1989 who became the heroes of the exhibition, and main idea are solidarity and what can be achieved through it in a peaceful way. In 1989, residents of Bulgaria, Hungary, Germany, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Czechoslovakia, and Estonia were able to achieve the abolition of the Communist party's monopoly on power and, ultimately, the very freedoms they were fighting for using nonviolent protest; this happened the same year in some countries, in others the process of change only started in 1989, but it still went very quickly and soon changed a lot.

The exhibition contains photos and memories giving a chance to reconstruct the atmosphere of 1989, to comprehend what people were interested in and worried about (and it contained thoughts not only about politics, but even about extraterrestrials), and what slogans displayed protesters in different countries. In addition, a small chronology shows what the inhabitants of the Soviet republics and countries of the socialist bloc went through from 1939 to 1989 and how they resisted.

And one can literally chip off a piece of wall or write something on it, for example, to share thoughts about how society has changed over the past 30 years. 

Curators – Margarita Maslyukova, Ekaterina Melnikova, Ekaterina Pavlenko.

Designer – Stas Zhitsky. 

Consultants – Elena Zhemkova, Nikita Petrov, Irina Shcherbakova.

With the support of the Heinrich Böll Stiftung. 

The exhibition runs at the International Memorial from October 15, 2019 to January 19, 2020 every day, except Sunday and Monday, from 11.00 to 19.00.


Фонд имени Генриха Бёлля