For over half a century, an enormous mosaic portraying former East Germany’s ideals has been a beloved landmark in central Berlin.
Overlooking the famous Alexander Platz, the colorful frieze on the “Haus des Lehrers,” or House of Teachers, shows flag-waving laborers, happy farmers and engineers with calculators overseeing the construction of nuclear power plants.
The dramatic, two-story tall communist fantasy that spans the high-rise building is called “Our Life.” It was created in the 1960s by late artist Walter Womacka, who became known in that era for his state-commissioned work. His work was meant to show the German Democratic Republic as superior to the West; the mosaic on the iconic cultural center for teachers was no exception.
Although history has shown otherwise, contemporary Berlin artist Michael Wäser wondered what such a mosaic would look like through a modern lens – without the influence of political propaganda.