After the iron curtain, we drove to Leipzig. We met Charlotte and Marcel, a French-German couple and slept at their place. Their flat, shared with another couple with a baby, is located in a decayed building that was bought by their friends. They live together like a community.
Leipzig was one of the biggest industrial and fair town in Eastern Germany since the end of the last century. This city was the heart of the first demonstrations against the German wall which led to the nationwide protests. When it fell down, almost half of the population fled to the west from one day to the next. Lots of buildings are still empty today; some are occupied since 25 years by different kind of communities, most of the owners being in the West now.
When you arrive to Leipzig, you feel very surprised to find so much abandoned places. Still today, there is a economical gap between Eastern and Western Germany, such as the salaries may be 30% less in the East. Leipzig was part of the ex-Eastern Germany controlled by USSR. There are still a lot of communist influence in this city, such as churches, buildings, statues and even the way of living in a social way.
Even though the town is still damaged, a new dynamic starts with the development of a cultural and artistic movement. For example, the “Spinnerei”, an old cotton factory where artists come from all over the world for residences.