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Buddy Bear behind bars

On Wednesday, 18th February 2004 the Buddy Bear "Kismet" was solemnly uncovered in the penitentiary Moabit, Berlin.

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The Buddy Bear was created by captives under guidance of the artist Gabriele Oehring. Eight captives from six different nations participated at the project and dubbed their Buddy Bear "Kismet".


Apart from the artistic design the conceptual process played an important role. What to do with such contrary emotions like strait, fear, fury, depression, the responsibility for the own delinquency and on the other hand the steadily growing needs and longings for liberty, love, friendship, family and nature?
On the front-side there is the inscription "Freiheit" (liberty) and it shows motives of longings connected to liberty. On the back-side there is the inscription "lebenslang" (lifelong) with the view from the outside in a cell. Walls and grids characterize the back-view with the motive of jail in the neck. Front- and back-side of the bear are connected with seams, a symbol of hope, the vision of liberty.


A minimal connection to the people "outside" is the bear. The Buddy Bear Kismet will be visible for everyone at the staff-entrance of the penitentiary, Alt-Moabit 12 A. (Photos: Doris Rieck)