Exhibition theme: Encounters and Explorations: Helping contract workers who fled the GDR [30/65]



November 18 1989
Berlin (West)
Created By: Fumiko Matsuyama

License: Creative Commons License

From the Set

Vietnamese migrant workers, Berlin, 18 November 1989

West Berlin-based Japanese artist Fumiko Matsuyama took photographs documenting the fall of the Wall at numerous border crossings. She was approached at Bornholmer Straße border crossing by two Vietnamese contract workers who had illegally fled the GDR with the masses. She helped them get in touch with relatives in the West.


apartment, book, contract worker, group of people, refugee, woman


anxiety, apartment, contract worker, courage, dog, joy, metro, photography, refugee


Fumiko Matsuyama


Bornholmer Straße border crossing, Other places (Berlin)

Other items in this set

Freedom of travel made it possible for people to spontaneously visit friends and family together. These visits were captured on film, too. Many took advantage of the opportunity to explore the unknown country in the West or the East. Curiosity was not limited to sightseeing. There was also a great interest in people living in the other part of Germany, and in creating a sense of community. Partnerships between towns and cities were established and revived, and associations in both East and West organized meetings. Many longstanding friendships were formed in this period when curiosity was such a potent force.