Poetry bombing event in Berlin

Chilean art collective Casagrande dropped 100,000 poems over the city of Berlin as a protest against war.

What if cities that have endured horrendous, wartime bombings could experience a different sort of “bombing”–one that would bolster the morale of its citizens, instead of breaking it?

In my introductory article on street art, I discussed yarn bombing, a new type of graffiti art that is being championed by artists like Olek and Jessie Hemmons. This week I came across two different art projects inspired by the idea of poetry bombing. The idea was new to me, so I was intrigued.

Since 2001 the Chilean art collective Casagrande has been staging “Poetry Rain” projects in cities like Warsaw, Berlin, Santiago de Chile, Dubrovnik, and Guernica–all cities that have suffered aerial bombings in their history. The most recent event took place in Berlin in 2010 and was part of the Long Night of Museums. Crowds of thousands gathered in the city’s Lustgarten as 100,000 poems rained down from the sky.

(Photo © Cara)


(Photo © Cara)

The poems, which were dropped from the helicopter by Casagrande, included work by 80 German and Chilean poets, including Ann Cotten, Karin Fellner, Nora Gomringer, Andrea Heuser, Orsolya Kalász, Björn Kuhligk, Marion Poschmann, Arne Rautenberg, Monika Rinck, Hendrik Rost, Ulrike Almut Sandig, Tom Schulz, Thien Tran, Anja Utler, Jan Wagner, Ron Winkler and Uljana Wolf.