an inextinguishable fire must go out on its own: harun farocki, in memoriam

 

When I heard that Harun Farocki had died, I got on my bike and rode from my apartment to the Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin’s most important museum of contemporary art, which is holding an exhibition of his work until the 18th of January, 2015. The quickest way to get there from where I live is to cut across the Tempelhofer Freiheit, which was an airport until 2010 and has now become one of Berlin’s most beloved public parks. Riding through it, when the sun is shining and the wind is in your face and it’s 72 degrees outside it’s easy to think: This is what progress looks like. While the Nazis were in power there were forced labor camps here, now there is a leisure culture; you can sit in a beer garden or go for a run on the very spot where the so-called Rosinenbombers (Raisin Bombers) of the Air Bridge delivered vital supplies to a city whose very existence seemed tenuous.

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