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"Am Tatort" (On the scene) is a project made in Halle (Germany) in 2010.

After the reunification of Germany and the fall of the Berlin wall more than 20 years ago, Halle, a city in East Germany, in the former German Democratic Republic, has lost almost half of its population. Most of its industrial competitiveness is unable to cope with the advanced western industry. Therefore much of the former socialist industry ceased its activities and many workers lost their jobs. Ever since free movement between East and West Germany for citizens was established, many families and mostly young people left the east in search of new opportunities in the west.



Gravo-Druck, Halle.

Since 1991 East Germany has lost 15% of its population and this remains a problem until today. Thus, throughout the territory of the former GDR, with exceptions such as Berlin, many houses were abandoned by families who began migrating in the early 90s. In 2000, an expert committee estimated that there were a million empty apartments. Between 2002 and 2012 around 300,000 of them were demolished.


Intervention in an abandoned building, Halle. 2010
Coordinates: 51.497912, 11.955850


Alvaro Martinez Alonso used photographs of places in Halle between 1949 and 1990 to recreate these former homes on the walls of abandoned buildings of the same era.
„Am Tatort“ is a metaphor that retrieves the memory of those households and families that left everything behind. It is a way to fill the void that permeates cities like Halle with an apocalyptic air, with uninhabited houses and lifeless neighborhoods.

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This project was first shown in 2010 at the Festival "Stadt, Spiel, Vision", an art and social festival in Halle (Germany) that rethinks uses of an decaying and abandoned urban space in the Glaucha neighborhood through art interventions.

Am tatort
Am Tatort

Photographs of homes in Halle between 1949 and 1990 (left) / Intervention in abandoned buildings (right)
Coordinates: 51.496091, 11.980911