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The Freedom Within Us.
East German Photography 1980-1989.


Text by Sonia Voss. Edited by Philippe Séclier.
Walther König, Köln, 2019. 240 pp., 180 illustrations, 6¾xx1".



Publisher's Description

Before the fall of the Wall: photography as a tool for resistance

Nearly thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall (the Anniversary will be celebrated in 2019), what do we know about East German photography?

This body of work — a territory, borne of a country that, since the 1920’s has played a central role in the history of photography; a period spanning four decades, from 1949 to 1989 — should be brought to light.

From the various perspectives possible, the book focuses on how, in an authoritarian state relying on the physical constraints of the body (denial of the individual in favour of ‘the people’, confinement within G.D.R. borders, normativity bodies regarded as tools of production and vectors of ideology, constant Stasi surveillance), photography was a medium where the individual asserts, resists and expresses its freedom.

The photographs presented here represent the decade predating the fall of the Wall and were taken by 14 different photographers.

Taken between 1949 and 1989, the photographs presented here were taken by Tina Bara, Sibylle Bergemann, Kurt Buchwald, Lutz Dammbeck, Christiane Eisler, Thomas Florschuetz, York der Knoefel, Gabriele Stötzer, Ulrich Wüst, Ute Mahler, Sven Marquardt, Barbara Metselaar Berthold, Helga Paris, Manfred Paul, Rudolf Schäfer and Gundula Schulze Eldowy.


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