When politics build you a wall, make art out of it. As the nation reconciles with its history, Berlin has reinvented itself as a unique epicenter where art and politics collide in unusual but thought provoking ways. This wall I stand before in Berlin echoes the prevalence of street art that documents the voices of the past and of the current generation. As an American studying economics and politics in Berlin, I embrace the hybrid of art and politics to understand the global challenges of today’s world with a practical, but human centered, approach. It is often said that Berlin is not a reflection of Germany, but rather a reflection of the world—all cultures, languages, and social-class. And like the world, Berlin is ridden with its own social, economic, and political issues, but harnesses the determination to surmount it all from its rich diversity.
The Euro crisis, the plight of the Syrian refugees, and terrorism armed with a destructive ideology threatens not only Berlin, not only the European Union but also the world if we are all unwilling to cooperate and deal with our differences as it is. Berlin has taught me the value of being open in this globalized society. Only then can we bring down our own wall.