Ian first visited Berlin in mid-March 2005. It was mainly a work trip but Ian was almost instantly hooked on this remarkable city. Berlin provokes the visitor (if so inclined) to ask difficult questions of themselves. What does it mean to be free? What is the power of the state? Who won the Cold War? Was Socialism a complete failure? Is life better now? Is there an alternative to Capitalism?
On the last day of the trip, Ian walked down Karl Marx Allee. The impressive (and oppressive) architecture had such an impact, Ian wanted something as a token of his trip and bought a DDR T-Shirt. Almost immediately, he was plagued by ‘pangs of conscience’. He knew he had to find out more before he could be comfortable with the item and the My DDR T-Shirt project was born.
Within weeks, Ian booked flights for a second trip to Berlin and a dedicated week of shooting and interviews.
With help from a variety of sources, interviews were planned and a filming schedule was put together. Amazingly, every arranged interview took place successfully. Approximately 16 hours of video were shot and the cataloging, assessment and digestion began as soon as Ian returned home.
My DDR T-Shirt is the most ambitious project ever undertaken by Hawkinsian productions and the Hawkinsian Institute. Even so, it has enjoyed incredible support from everyone involved so far.