miércoles, 23 de marzo de 2011



An airport is a tract of leveland where aircrafts can land and take off, usually equipped with hard-surfaced landing strips, a control tower, hangars, aircraft maintenance and refueling facilities, and accommodations for passengers and cargo.

But an airport is much more than that, an airport is a conglomeration of all cultures, it is place of floating bodies, of people in limbo, a place where everyone is waiting to be somewhere else, it is a place of contraditions. It is a non-place. It is dead time. It is the ultimate waiting room. And yet it is a center of contemporary culture. An airport is a place where identity is scrutinized thoroughly, and also shed like a snakeskin. We become anonymous and homogeneous.

Other authors have talked about airports before: in 1993 the french director Philippe Lioret directed the film Tombés du ciel, a story about the iranian refugee Mehran Karimi Nasseri, who lived several years in Charles de Gaulle Airport (Paris). This film was awarded in San Sebastian Film Festival and Yubari International Film Festival in 1993.

Later, in 2004, Steven Spielberg filmed The TERMINAL, another film about Mehran Karimi Nasseri. A film starring Tom Hanks and the airport was in New York.

The Turner Prize winner in 2007, Mark Wallinger, has a video on exhibit at the Morris Gallery at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Threshold to the Kingdom, made in 2002. The narrative is simple–passengers arriving at London’s International Arrivals terminal come through the double doors toward a static camera. Some of the travelers have people waiting for them. One of the travelers looks confused as he checks and rechecks a scrap of paper. Others stride forward with business-like determination.

Have you ever gone through the same thing? When you arrive at an airport and read in the monitor that your flight is delayed, you never know for how long and you have to wait at the airport waiting room. What do you do there? .

Some months ago, while I was waiting to board, I was thinking about how many times I had been before and how many times I would be in the future in the same situation . That evening I decided to talk about this: about all the airports I had been waiting at and all the airports I would be waiting at before boarding. I would like to talk about it, about why there are some airports I like and why I do not like some others.

In those days I was working in a project which was born online, so I decided to create a blog as a way to invite artists and non-artists to talk about their experiences at airports.

LASTCALL, is an open project which was born as a reflection of many hours spent at airports waiting to fly. Artists and non-artists have the opportunity to send their photos and opinions about the time spent at airports around the world.

The main airport of Berlín, in the present date, is Berlin Tegel Airport, Flughafen Berlin-Tegel Otto Lilienthal, IATA: TXL, ICAO: EDDT. It lies in Tegel, a section of the northern borough of Reinickenford. Tegel Airport is notable for its hexagonal terminal building around an open square, which makes for walking distances as short as 30 m from the aircraft to the terminal exit.

The airport is scheduled to close by June 3rd, 2012, the day the new Berlin-Brandenburg Airport is set to become operational.

Berlin Tempelhof Airport, Flughafen Berlin-Tempelhof, IATA: THF, ICAO: EDDI is closed. It was situated in the south-central borough of Templeholf-Schöneberg. The airport ceased operating in October 30th, 2008 in the process of establishing Schönefeld as the sole commercial airport for Berlin. The basque artist Begoña Zubero made a photo project about Tempelhof.

Tempelhof was the least busy berliner airport due to proximity to the city center, it was difficult to expand their terminals, so that the large aircraft modern, as Airbus A340 o Boeing 747 could not land on it. Out of 20 million passengers travelling through the berliner airports in 2007, only 350,000 used Tempelhof.

Tempelhof was designated as an airport by the Ministry of Transport on 8 October 1923. The old terminal was originally constructed in 1927. The main building of the Airport Berlin-Tempelhof was once among the top 20 lasgest building on earth; in contrast, it formerly had the world's smallest duty-free shop.

To finish, Berlin-Schönefeld Airport, Flughafer Berlin-Schönefeld, IATA: SXF, ICAO, EDDB, is an international airport located near the town of Schönefeld in Brandenburg, directly at the southern border of Berlin and 18 km southeast of the city centre. Schönefeld was the major civil airport of East Germany, and the only airport serving East Berlin.

Schönefeld Airport is situated outside the city proper, unlike Berlin Tegel Airport. Noise pollution is, therefore, less of an issue at Schönefeld. This is the main reason why the airport will be transformed into Berlin-Brandenburg Airport by 2012.

Schönefeld Airport saw a major increase in passenger numbers over the recent years, which was caused by the opening of a base for EasyJet and Germanwings.


When the World War II finished, Soviet forces took Tempelhof in the Battle of Berlin on 24th April 1945, but in accordance with the Yalta agreements, Zentralflughafen Tempelhof-Berlin was turned over to the United States Army 2nd Armored Division on 2 July 1945 by the Soviet Union as part of the American occupation zone of Berlin. This agreement was later formalised by the August 1945 Potsdam Agreement, which formally divided Berlin into four occupation zones.

During the historical context of the Cold War, on June 20th, 1948, the Soviet Union blocked the Western Allies' railway and road access to the sectors of Berlin under Allied control. Their aim was to force the western powers to allow the Soviet zone to start supplying Berlin with food and fuel, thereby giving the Soviets practical control over the entire city.

After six days, in response, the Western Allies organized the Berlin Airlift (Luftbrücke) to carry supplies to the people in West Berlin. The Royal Air Force (the air force of the United Kingdom) and the recently independent United States Air Force flew over 200,000 flights in one year, providing up to 4700 tonnes of daily necessities such as fuel and food to the Berliners.

The blockade was lifted in May 1949 and resulted in the creation of two separate German states. 70 pilots (39 american and 31 british) died during the Berlin Blockade.

Another consequence of the World War II meant that all air traffic through the Allied air corridors linking the exclave with West Germany was restricted to airlines headquartered in the United States, the United Kingdom or France. In addition, all flightdeck crew flying aircraft into and out of West Berlin were required to hold American, British or French passports

Air France was the first airline to commence regular commercial operations at Tegel on 2 January 1960, Pan Am followed Air France into Tegel in May 1964 and British Airways was the last of West Berlin's three main scheduled carriers to commence regular operations from Tegel following the move from Tempelhof on 1 September 1975. Following Pan Am's and British Airways's move from Tempelhof to Tegel on 1 September 1975, the latter replaced Tempelhof as the main airport of West Berlin.

Following Germany's reunification on 3 October 1990, all access restrictions to the former West Berlin airports were lifted. Lufthansa resumed flights to Berlin on 28 October 1990,

What is happening nowdays in Berlin?

Well, Schoenefeld Airport will expand to become Berlin Brandenburg International (BBI), the new airport for the German capital. It is scheduled to open in June 2012. This new airport will replace the three airports in Berlin: Tempelhof Airport, closed in 2008, Tegel Airport will also close, in 2012. The existing airport in Schönefeld will be greatly expanded to the south from its current state to allow this, thus becoming the third busiest airport in Germany.

Since the acronym BBI is already in use as IATA code for Biju Patnaik Airport in Bhubaneswar, India, Berlin Brandenburg International will use BER (the current Metropolitan Area Code for the two Berlin airports).

So with the blog, lastcall, as the starting point, the tree berliner airports and the only one future airport Berlin-Brandenburgo, what I propose is:

Instead of taking photos before or after flying to a fortuitous airport I chose two airports from the begining: Tegel and Schönnefeld. I am going to study these two airports before flying to Berlin to complete this study with an illustrated report to link lastcall to berliner airports (Schönefeld and Tegel) and with the purpose of having an historical illustrated report in the future.

The first Step is adding German language to lastcall, an important pillar in the devolement of this project since the begining. I have the intention of adding the German language to make it easier for German artists and non-artists to participate and collaborate sending images, texts or anything they want about Berliner, German or around the world airports.

The final aim is to create a number of at least, eight photos, four for each airport, which show two of the three berliner airports which time ago wrote some lines about the German history. I want these photos show these airports at their best, as a last tribute.

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