there is nothing there, there is nobody there
WHAT IS THE WHITE ZONE?
The white zone is the area of 140 square kilometers which is situated around 120 kilometers north from Berlin, Germany, between Neuruppin and Wittstock. It is the first area which consists of nothing. Nobody is there, nothing is there. No one can enter inside the white zone. The only option is just follow white signs of the white zone and walk around nothing within 7 days.
Photo: the map of the white zone
HOW THE WHITE ZONE APPEARED?
During Cold war period, the white zone was used by Soviet army as a shooting range for tanks and artillery. In 1989 the Soviet Army left, and the Federal Republic of Germany planned to use this area as a testing ground for bombs. It created a lot of anger and indignation of the local population and led to protests.
Accordingly, it was decided to stop these plans and leave this place, and the area was just simply cut out from the map. Thus, the zone of nothing appeared.
WHITE ZONE IS NOTHING OR NEW REALITY?
Since the beginning of 2000s, Michael Kurzwelly and his team started implementing the white zone project so-called large-scale experiment or applied art. As Michael said “An artistic strategy focussing on problems of society in order to intervene, interact and transcend into another construction of reality. I create tools to create this new reality in other people’s minds”.
They also created IWF, Institut für Weisse Zone, or Institute for White Zone, with a museum, a library, an archive, residencies, etc. IWF studies, discovers and explores nothing, asks and answers questions about nothing.
Photo: Michael Kurzwelly (on the right) and his team
Thanks to white zone project, you have a chance to walk around borders of the white zone and observe yourself in the atmosphere of nothing. In this way, the white zone gives a chance to recreate, construct your own new reality and challenge your old reality, because reality sometimes becomes just a summary of our previous experiences. A new space can appear in the mind and fill with your own thoughts and imaginations. You do not just read theories, you have an opportunity to participate and feel it.
Photo: the film ‘White zone’
WHY DO WE NEED WHITE ZONE?
2nd decade of 21st century is characterized with strong informational propaganda and war, rising of nationalism, militarism, and a lot of conflicts. It can be political, social, cultural, territorial, etc. Sometimes we can live under influence and do not really understand it. We can be a participant of the conflict even we do not want it. Sometimes we can even obtain the conflict as inheritance before our birth, and it is not our choice, especially if someone comes from the country which engages in the historical conflict. And you do not like borders, barriers and walls which have already build in the people’s minds. Do you feel at some point that you want to get rid of the situation? And you do not like how this reality is constructed? Or maybe you want to check yourself and your borders? And to ask, is it really your opinion, your choice, reality?
Then it is definitely worth to be lost for a while between white zone and reality.