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Snowdenstraße, 10967 Berlin

Spotted this afternoon on what was once Schoenleinstraße, Kreuzberg: a political art action renaming the street Snowdenstraße, after the American whistleblower was granted asylum from Russia today.

There’s been tremendous support in Berlin for Edward Snowden. Last weekend hundreds marched in Kreuzberg, in favour of providing him with asylum–– part of a nation-wide protest which brought out ten thousand.

This isn’t the first time that there’s been an art-action of this kind. An anonymous masked artist posted his/her action online. (S)he changed the street sign of Schwedterstraße in Prenzlauer Berg also to Snowdenstraße. You can see the video (and the related article from the local press) here.

There’s plenty of graffiti in Berlin, but this kind seems to inspire, creepily, very quick official treatment. Apparently the police removed the sign in Prenzlauer Berg within twenty minutes of the action, and have charged ‘property damage by an unknown culprit’ (I wonder if all of us who have been bugged against our knowledge can also claim compensation now that that culprit is known).

Back in Kreuzberg, for at least the last three years the cross streets to Snowdenstraße have also been changed: Lachmannstraße to ‘Achman’ and Boppstraße to ‘Be-bop’ Straße. I wonder whether ‘Snowdenstraße’ will last as long. Somehow I doubt it.


  1. Almost three weeks later, the street in Kreuzberg is still named Snowdenstraße, despite thunderstorms and police. That’s, so far, 1500 X longer than the length of time the sign in Prenzlauer Berg survived…

  2. Update: Wednesday 21st August, sign has been torn down. But it lasted more than three weeks!