History does not change every day, but it did on that day

On the 9th of November 1989 the Berlin Wall fell. Our parents saw the images on TV of East-Germans passing checkpoints in Trabants, their faces showing both happiness and disbelieve, because those checkpoints had been limiting their freedom for years. Germany celebrated deliriously and the world was watching. We were 11 or 9 years old. Some even younger. We didn’t understand much about politics, but we felt the excitement of the moment. Maybe that was when we decided to become journalists.

Twenty-five years later, a whole generation has grown up without personal memories of the Iron Curtain. The map of the European continent has changed radically, the Trabant became retro-cool, Berlin super trendy and the pieces of the Berlin Wall are being sold to collectors – most of them often fake.

We are the children of the ’90, spoiled children who were told that it would all be fine in our world. Today, in 2016, this remains to be seen. The merits of the European Union are openly questioned; there is Euroscepticism in Western Europe and nostalgia in Eastern Europe. New extremistist parties gain popularity and poverty drives labour migrants away from home and hearth. The war in Ukraine even led to the re-introduction of the term 'Cold War'.

This is the Iron Curtain Project. The coming months and years, we will investigate the impact of the Iron Curtain on the daily life of the contemporary European.

The creators of the Iron Curtain project