Shortly after listening to episode 104, Tunnel 57, I came across a segment of the Berlin Wall standing in a tight corner of Chicago’s Brown Line train station.
This particular segment was given to the citizens of Chicago by the city of Berlin in 2008. You can read the plaque on Wikipedia. The wall was constructed in phases, and this segment went up between 1975-1980, at least a decade after Ralph Kabisch and his colleagues dug the tunnel that helped 57 people escape East Germany.
In the episode, Ralph Kabisch and his colleagues began tunneling in a defunct bakery, located near one of the wall’s most fortified areas. The Chicago segment, standing between Dunkin’ Donuts and a stream of subway passengers, ironically reminds me both of the bakery’s strategic role and the tunnel’s careful engineering.
Looking at the wall, I imagine the phantom space between East and West Germany and the contested soil once beneath the wall.
Special thanks to Orla O’Sullivan for her help researching and writing about this week’s image correspondence.
Kate Joyce is a Chicago based artist, architectural photographer, and the first image correspondent for 99% Invisible. Every two weeks, Joyce will release new and original work for specific episodes. She’ll also comb through her archive to find previously made photographs that are already in thematic conversation with current and past episodes. “I’m curious to see how audio will shape image and image will shape audio and what that will mean to telling stories about design over time,” Joyce says.
Now You See It is a photography project of 99% Invisible. We’d like to create a public dialogue by offering our listeners a new way to interact with our show, as well as their own immediate environment. The project includes the Image Correspondent Residency with Kate Joyce, and ongoing photo assignments for listeners.
We want to see what you hear! Submit your images to our Flickr Group, or email them to [email protected] or put them on Instagram with the hashtag #99PI. We’ll be curating and presenting our favorites on our Instagram and Tumblr.