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BERLIN Handshape
BERLIN Handshape © visitBerlin/HEIMAT Werbeagentur GmbH


The Art of Connections

Ten thousand nine hundred and fifty-seven.
On 9 November 2019, that is how many days will have passed since the Wall fell 30 years.  We have collected 10,957 Berlin HANDSHAPES, one for each day without borders in the heart of this city.

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What is the Berlin HANDSHAPE?

Berlin Handshape Installation in the Documentation Center in Bernauer Straße

Berlin HANDSHAPE creates and preserves an encounter between two people. Every encounter has its own story, a motto or something shared.

Each clay handshape captures one of these encounters and its story for eternity –  in the form of the Berlin HANDSHAPE. During the festival week of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall from 5 until 15 November 2019, these prints were exhibited as an art installation in a pavilion in front of the Berlin Wall Memorial Documentation Centre. Until 30 November you can still see an installation of around 4,000 handshapes in the documentation centre. Come and see us.

In the end, there will be 10,957 Handshapes to show how valuable such human encounters and connections are. And this is something we should not take for granted – especially in Berlin, a city divided for decades.

How can you make your HANDSHAPE?


Our promoters will bring you together with another person and guide you through the process – and it couldn’t be easier.

Most likely you will meet someone you don’t know, but in any case you’ll find out something new about each other. In your conversation, you’ll discover a shared ‘common ground’ – and that is the story captured in the Berlin HANDSHAPE.

The ball of clay held in the middle as you shake hands comes to symbolise the moment of your encounter and remains as a memento of this human connection. By shaking hands, you form this piece of clay into your own personal and unique Berlin HANDSHAPE.

Where can you make your HANDSHAPE and tell your story?

Handshape at the Berlin Wall Memorial

Show your connectedness. Show Berlin your HANDSHAPE!

You can tell your story and share another person’s story at temporary HANDSHAPE Meeting Points.

Together you form the Berlin HANDSHAPE, testifying to the moment of your encounter.

Come by and form your own personal HANDSHAPE in an exchange with others!

We look forward to welcoming you as part of this project.

Where can you find all the Berlin HANDSHAPE stories?

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Have you already made a HANDSHAPE? You can find your story and a photo of your Berlin HANDSHAPE here.