Live Tours are carried out by our hosts, who are outdoors, on location and connected live to you via video call at all times.
The walk moves around Alexanderplatz, following the narrative path of Alfred Döblin’s novel Berlin Alexanderplatz – considered one of the most innovative literary works of the Weimar Republic. The Novel is the starting point – the ‘map’ to observe Berlin.
Döblin’s epic tale is set in the working-class neighbourhoods around Alexanderplatz in 1920’s Berlin. Its protagonist a small criminal, Franz Biberkopf. The story begins when he is released from Berlin Tegel prison, paralysed by fear of having to face his life again in the infernal metropolis. This time, Franz Biberkopf swears, he will be a respectable man, ‘ein anständiger Mensch’; this time, he’ll stay far away from crime. But he can’t. He wants to believe in human goodness, but the part of the metropolis that he knows, concentrated in the main streets around the proletarian Alexanderplatz (‘Alex’) in East Berlin, grinds him down.
Using montage techniques close to Döblin’s work – multiples points of view, newspaper articles, songs, speeches – a kind of performative experience, we will walk between Alexanderplatz and other venues of the metropolitan life narrated by Döblin. Shifting between facts and fiction, between the original 1929 plot and the contemporaneity of Berlin, a new geographical and historical space will be constructed through the visual perception of the existing and the ‘real’.
We will walk from the Rotes Rathaus to the area of the former slaughterhouse (now the city’s library) to the Berolinahaus of Peter Behrens – a great example of the „New Objectivity“ architecture of the 20’s
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