Disappearing Wall: Goethe Institute calls citizens to take part in a Europe-wide quotes competition

Whether a statement by Hannah Arendt, a lyric by the Beatles, a quote from the film “The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain” or a statement by the Hungarian Nobel Prize winner Imre Kertész: in a Europe-wide competition, the Goethe-Institut is asking all people in ten European countries for their favourite quotes from European high and pop culture. Everyone can submit their proposal from now until 31 March 2020. The best quotes will be included in an installation entitled “Disappearing Wall”, which will be on view in the participating countries in Europe from summer 2020 in the framework of Germany’s EU Council Presidency. The Goethe-Institut in Belgium is additionally raffling a Standard German language course at the Goethe-Institut Belgium, contemporary German books and tickets for cultural events of the Goethe-Institut Belgium (*) among the submitters of all the quotes considered in Belgium.


Disappearing wall
Disappearing Wall – Goethe-Institut – Felix Rettberg


Interactive installations commemorating Europe’s diversity of languages and ideas will be put up in public spaces from summer 2020 in cities extending from Vilnius to Belfast and from Thessaloniki to Madrid. The attention-grabbing sculptures will be based on personal quotes that citizens from Europe can submit online or by post to a competition at the Goethe-Institut from now on until 31 March 2020. The quotes can come from European high or pop culture, such as from well-known thinkers or artists from all over Europe. After the closing date, an independent jury will make a selection of the best quotes, which will then be used in the installation. The submitters of all of the quotes considered will also be entered in a raffle.

Entry requirements for participants from Belgium:

  • The quote can be contemporary or historic
  • The quote can have a maximum of 124 characters (incl. spaces)
  • The quote must be given the correct source citation (reference to Wikipedia is not sufficient)
  • The quote can be submitted in the original language or in translation
  • Send by post or via E-Mail to Goethe-Institut Belgium; Avenue des Arts 58 | Kunstlaan 58; 1000 Brussels; E-Mail: verschwindendewandbelgien@goethe.de

Entry deadline: 31 March 2020. The date of receipt applies. The jury’s decision is final. For questions, please contact: Aloña Elizalde – alonia.elizalde@goethe.de


Disappearing wall
Disappearing Wall – Goethe-Institut – Felix Rettberg

About the installation

The interactive “Disappearing Wall” installation is based on an idea proposed by Maria Yablonina in a workshop carried out by the architect and engineer Werner Sobek and initiated by the Goethe-Institut. The installation consists of a Plexiglas frame in which around 6,000 wooden blocks with quotes are inserted. For the German EU Council Presidency, the installation will soon be seen in ten European countries. After the installation is unveiled, everyone will have the opportunity to take blocks with quotes home with them. All that remains is the clear Plexiglas grid: The wall disappears.

More information on the dates and places of the Disappearing Wall will be available online here from summer 2020 onward.

The Disappearing Wall is a project by the Goethe-Institut. Supported with special funds from the Federal Foreign Office for the German EU Council Presidency.

(*)Winners will be notified in writing. Legal process is excluded. Cash payment or an exchange of the prize as well as transfer of the prize to other persons is not possible and applies exclusively to private use. Any resale is prohibited.