Online since 3.3.2015 is a project that arose from the abrupt moment in which a building, safeguarding the memory of Cologne, collapsed and entered history itself.

On March 3, 2009, the Historical Archive of the City of Cologne collapsed. The archival material was completely buried in an enormous pit underneath rubble and concrete debris. Two people lost their lives, many people had to leave their homes.

Over the next thirty years each deed, plan, photograph or other document will be cleaned by hand and categorized anew in order to rebuild the archive that once was. Something which is perhaps more difficult to restore is the ‘psyche’ of Cologne in relation to this disaster. The questions I pose in the project are: What kinds of memories do Cologne residents have of that day? What is their relationship to the archive? aims to give an insight into residents’ memories and thoughts and to set in motion a parallel ‘restoring process’. This growing archive comprises of different perspectives collected since September 2013. It contains contributions from both long-time and new residents; from frequent users to people that did not know about its existence before 3.3.2009; from individuals who donated family archives and from people who were in the building that particular day.

The ‘resonance’ in the form of memories from Cologne citizens following this event will be kept here, easily accessible for anyone interested in the construction of history in general and the collapse of this archive in particular.

Supported by CBK Rotterdam (Centre for Visual Arts Rotterdam)

& Freunde des Historischen Archivs der Stadt Köln e.V.

The idea of the project was sparked during an exchange between the members two art initiatives: Het Wilde Weten, Rotterdam en Opekta, Cologne in 2013-14.