On Walls

By Khaled Abou Alfa • 13th of March, 2022

Walls are the foundational design elements of the built environment and come in all manner of shapes, sizes, materials. Walls became the way we protected our preferred way of life. We sometimes build walls to the elements out. Sometimes we build them to keep each other in or out. Sometimes these walls are physical barriers complete with security protection. While at other times they are imaginary boundaries that need humans to enforce them.

We now find ourselves in a new era where a new(ish) imaginary wall has been erected around the largest land mass in the world, Russia. Overnight it seemed the world reverted back to a decidedly different era, and a new iron curtain. This video, from Wendover Productions, excellently captures the impact on global aviation that looks to carve out Russia from global aviation routes. While the impact and implications of isolating the world’s largest land mass is going to take a while to play out, it is clear that there will be pain involved, for all, but primarily for our environment. This is decidedly not progress, by anyone’s measure.

The thing about very large walls and barriers is that over time, they all fall away, it’s just a matter of time.

Date of Erection Date of Fall
Great Wall of China 770 BCE 1644 CE
Sakoku (Japanese Isolationism) 1603 1867
Maginot Line 1930 1966
Berlin Wall 1961 1994
Iron Curtain I 1945 1991
Gaza Strip Barrier 1994 -
American Border Wall * 2005 -
Iron Curtain II 2022 -

* Fantastic analysis provided over at the KPBS and inewsource website America’s Wall’.

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