Auf dem Schwarz-weiß Foto sitzen 3 Mädchen vor einem Stück Betonmauer.

07.06.2023 - 14.01.2024

No man’s land and model village

Photo series by Bettina Flitner 1990/2014

“What are you feeling right now?” – This is the question photographer Bettina Flitner from Cologne asks various people from East and West Germany in 1990, as she visits the fallow border strip that once divided Berlin. Almost 25 years later, she explored the former “socialist model village” in Mestlin, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, guided by the question “What does the GDR mean to you?”.

The result is two photo reportages, that presented for the first time the tense period of upheaval in East Germany since 1989. About 60 of Flitner’s photographs are shown at the Museum in der Kulturbrauerei. Black and white on the one side, colors on the other; city scenes here, landscape views there: At first sight, the two features seem to be contradictory.


The binding element is Bettina Flitner’s approach. Both projects unite compositions and quotations in a sensitive, individual way and with respect for the portrayed. She looks for upheavals, contradictions and impressions, letting them appear in their proper light. Every work focusses on the human being.

Their responses to Flitner’s questions “What is to come?“ and “What remains?” show joy, frustration, indifference, consternation, fears, hopes and disappointments. In this way, deep insights are being created into the attitude to life in East Germany since the end of the GDR. 

An English translation of the answers can be accessed via QR code in our exhibition.

Eine Fotografie an einer roten Backsteinwand in der Ausstellung
Ansicht einer Fotografie eines jungen Mädchens in der Ausstellung
Beide Fotoreportagen aus Berlin und Mestlin, in Schwarz-Weiß und in Farbe, in der Ausstellung
Besucherinnen und Besucher betrachten Farbfotografien der Mestlin-Reportage in der Ausstellung
Besucherin vor einer Pinnwand mit dem Schriftzug "Umbrüche. Upheavals" in der Ausstellung.
Plakat zur Ausstellung "Niemandsland und Musterdorf. Fotoreportagen von Bettina Flitner 1990/2014" mit einer Farb- und einer Schwarz-Weiß Fotografie aus der Ausstellung.