Witnessing the fall of the Berlin Wall – by mistake

Mark Power happened to be in Berlin on the night the Wall came down. In the ninth video of BBC Culture’s Through the Lens series, he describes what it was like to chance upon a world-changing event.

“Photographs are so powerful that they become the memories in themselves, so my memory of Berlin that night is these black-and-white pictures,” Mark Power says in this video, the ninth in our Through the Lens series marking the 70th anniversary of Magnum Photos.

Video

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Power happened to be in the German city on the night of 9 November, 1989, and went on to witness the momentous days that followed: capturing in photos the joy – and confusion – of East and West Berliners alike.

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“When you are jettisoned into a major news event like that, it’s hard to know how to react… I carried on photographing all this with a strange feeling that I’d gate-crashed a party I wasn’t invited to,” he says. In the video, Power talks about what it was like to see people dancing on top of the Wall – and why he chose to go into East Berlin rather than staying with the rest of the press pack.

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