Journalist Steve Meacham writes about Kathrin Longhurst—her childhood behind the wall in Soviet East Berlin and the memories she draws upon in her latest exhibition, Indoctrinated.
“I was brainwashed when we left the DDR,” she says. “East Berlin was all I knew. I only realised how bland, drab and grey the DDR was once we’d left. I had to relearn history, geography… I had no idea Stalin had killed millions of his own countrymen. My grandparents took us to the Soviet war memorial as a Sunday outing.”
Longhurst’s 18 works in Indoctrinated are based on childhood photographs, historical photographs and re-enactments of important moments in her early life.
Some emulate the figurative propaganda beloved by dictatorships of both the left and right.
Others echo Longhurst’s holiday snapshots, spent at holiday camps available only to members of the Free German Trade Union.