At the time I didn't know that. I grew up behind The Wall; that of East Berlin. Mine was not an unhappy childhood; we were not “Crianças de rua”. My parents were doctors and part of a social class, which afforded us a good standard of living.  Despite indoctrination at school we still played, cried and ate, just like most children in the West. It was when I reached puberty that I began to notice how The Wall felt like a great weight on my shoulders; I was a curious, young girl eager to discover the world and too many things had been denied me.  For example, music; how I wish I had gone to a Tina Turner concert! But there was The Wall. I wished there had been a peephole, a gash or ideally, a zipper that I could open or close at will. 

The Wall fell and I forgot the zipper. Since then, 30 years have passed; I have travelled a lot, especially in Europe and I have encountered a thousand other walls. Oh my god! No "Vopos", no "Achtung - Halt", no reinforced concrete but often incomprehensible words. No physical danger, but psychological conditioning. Usually, the same deceptions: ideological, psychological, moral. The same hypocrisy, the same slavish need for approval, all compounded by the lack of security. The desire, the need to get to know each other better, to understand, to confront, to be accepted or rejected, all of this has been smashed against a wall. Notably it's a wall less grey than the first and often full of colours, sometimes calm, even with a feeling of well-being in a society of plenty. This, at least as a collective ideal. So the zippers came back. To open and leave open, to leave halfway to allow tantalising glimpses or to permanently close, denying all access.  At the time, I didn't know that. Now I know, but I don't know what I know - yet.