Not one location of From Berlin With Love is like the other. And I know that completing my dare and hanging the bags in public in an art attack – even though it is all happy, friendly and colorful – has at some places its dangers. Yet, while I will never put any pressure on anyone in an attempt to cover as many different areas on this planet as possible, I still ask my friends in the more dangerous locations if they want to participate. If there is one thing I took from growing up in East Germany and seeing the Wall fall nine days after my 14th birthday it is that freedom is about choices and not least about the choice to speak up or to shut up. In this light giving the choice to participate might be even more important for those in the more dangerous places, because these places are usually more dangerous since the people are limited in their freedoms.
Once I am signaled that an attack is a go somewhere I see it as my responsibility to make it as safe as possible for my friends. And that means to find a subject in the framework of the project that limits the possibility of trouble. A subject like cookies for example.
Cookies were an important source of nutrition for the soldiers of WWI. The recipe can be altered to allow for limitations in the supply of certain ingredients. The resulting cookie is durable, lasting and considerably easy to stack and transport.
And cookies, like friends, can be found all around the world and in the whole glorious diversity that imagination makes possible. They are as special as the people, who eat them.
Hence, I sent the Monster’s Book of Cookies to Turkey – the Cookie Monster showing his cookie recipes from all the continents. And so the ANZAC biscuit is shared in the streets of Istanbul. Maybe in the end, when you think about it, it wasn’t as apolitical as it seemed.
Thank you, Elgiz, for your courage and for sharing with Cookie Monster your favorite spots of your beautiful hometown.