Taking part in one of Berlin’s most popular cultural events, A Long Night of Museums, the Chilean arts collective Los Casagrande dropped 100,000 poems from the sky onto the Lustgarten to celebrate poetry and condemn acts of war.
The unusual ‘Poetry Rain’ project was launched in 2001 by the group with the aim to make poetry more accessible to the public and to protest acts of war. Since its launch, Casagrande has ‘bombed’ Santiago de Chile (2001), Dubrovnik (2002), Guernica (2004) and Warsaw (2009) — all cities that have suffered aerial strikes in the past.
The Guardian writes: “Organisers say that just as wartime bombings were intended to ‘break the morale’ of the inhabitants of a city, so the poetry bombing ‘builds’ a new city by giving new meaning to events of her tragic past and therefore presenting the city in a whole new original way.”
Eighty German and Chilean poets contributed to the Berlin event 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, whose poems can be found at lyrikline.org.