It’s just a wall

Photo: Veronika Neprašová

I decided it was time to update my profile picture on Facebook and I needed to go to the Lennon Wall to do that. As a study abroad student in Prague, I didn’t go to the Lennon Wall during the first month I was here, like everyone else in my program, because at first, I didn’t think it was worth it. I would see the pictures on social media with the typical John Lennon quotes to accompany them, but to me, it wasn’t a big deal.

Photo: Veronika Neprašová,  Czech Radio
I waited until late October to finally make my trek to the wall because I figured if everyone else had gone, I should at least look at it in person-- but once I got there, I was a bit disappointed. It was smaller than I would’ve thought and the man with the guitar singing John Lennon’s music didn’t excite me. I looked at the wall and couldn’t figure out why it seemed like such a big deal to everyone, but nonetheless, I was armed with a friend, a camera, a sharpie, and the will to do the typical, touristy things. A friend to take my pictures with the wall and a sharpie to make my mark on it since it’s a home for graffiti and positive messages.

When I first heard that the Lennon Wall had been whitewashed on November 17th, at first, I didn’t believe the person who told me. I laughed it off and when more people started talking about it, I decided to go to Google, the source of most of my information, and found out that it was true. To be honest, my first thought wasn’t “Wow, I can’t believe someone would do that”, but, “It’s an unfortunate day for the tourists who came to Prague and were going to see the wall today.”

Some people seemed to disagree with what happened, but I loved the idea that someone had the idea to paint over the entire wall in white and write “Wall Is Over!”. I didn’t care so much about the wall being completely blank, but I wanted to know about the people behind what happened. I wanted to figure out who came up with the idea to do it and how long it took for them to decide that they would actually go through with it and turn their thoughts into action. I was delighted that someone decided to do something as big as this in Prague without fearing the consequences.

To some, the whitewashing of the wall was upsetting and to them, it seemed like the end of a landmark that Prague is known for. To me, it’s just another tourist attraction, and another wall that people are going to graffiti and take pictures in front of when they come to visit.