I guess all I can do is show what I've made and talk about it.
So for the last few days or week or so, I haven't been going to museums or touristy points of interest unless they happen to intersect with what I want to sketch/photograph for historical content. For example, a little while ago I went by Alexanderplatz to see the Rotes Rathaus, a building I'm sure I've seen on my previous trips to Berlin but never took much notice of, besides "hey, look how European that building looks!"
The area around the bridge was pretty interesting--the day was pretty bleak weather-wise (it would rain about an hour after I was there). Under the bridge and beside the train tracks was a large low-income sort of neighborhood. It was totally different from what I'm used to seeing in Canada. There were no "roads" between houses, and so nowhere for cars to go. There were walking lanes between them, and their yards were full of brown dead plants and broken toys. Some of the houses had those corrugated tin roofs, some had big flagpoles with German flags flapping from them. Actually, someone had a big confederate flag flying from their pole, which I can only hope is meant to be ironic.
Because the "village" was just underneath the bridge and so below the street level (you could only access the area by climbing down some graffiti-covered stairs) the village gave the impression of being sunk into a pit. Part of the old Berlin Wall ran along the ridge above the neighborhood, meant as a memorial, but looking at the Wall from the low vantage point made it seem as if it were still serving the use of keeping people away, or out.
Some sketchbook pages:
Anyway, the weather's supposed to stay around 5-10 degrees for the rest of the month, and I only hope that's accurate. I'll be going to Potsdam fairly soon to see the Tempel Cecilienhof and get some sketches. The work I've been doing now has been pretty much centered around this idea of division and isolation brought on by the way totalitarian regimes bureaucratize and surveil the bejesus out of their populations, turning people against each other based on their political, ethnic, religious or other inclinations. I haven't been reading as much as I'd like about the history while here (though I did recently finish The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall), but hopefully the ideas I'm burning through will give me a lot to work with once I get home. In less than a month now I'll be going to Leipzig for two weeks, where I'll be mostly interested in seeing the church where the Monday Peace Revolution started, as well as some other old GDR-related buildings. I know pollution was a huge problem in Leipzig during the GDR era, so maybe I'll do something with that too. I'm gonna try going to a few more museums before I leave as well, especially art museums. I've only been to the Kathe Kollwitz one so far. It was pretty cool, but also quite small. Still recommendable. I'll be talking to my teacher soon, which is a relief because I feel like I need some directional prodding more than anything. Aaaaand I'm not really sure how to end these things yet, so have some pictures of U-Bahn stations.