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In 1965, Carl-Wolfgang Holzapfel was arrested by East German border guards and spent nine months in solitary confinement in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen, the notorious prison run by the Stasi [previously]. Starting today, Holzapfel is back behind bars in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen to remind people how they felt before the Wall came down 20 years ago. You can ask him about his campaign and watch him live here. [more inside]
posted by up in the old hotel on Oct 29, 2009 - 7 comments

Worker and Parasite (Рабочий И Паразит)

Recollecting a culture : photography and the evolution of a socialist aesthetic in East Germany.

"in contrast to Western histories built upon a foundation of works by modernist and early-modernist masters, the history of East German photography was built from a body of images by amateurs and artists, largely unknown outside Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, whose photographs depicted the world from the class perspective of the worker."

From a 1999 exhibition held at Boston University. 100 images, 10 essays. Sadly, a bad interface and small reproductions. Out of control : photography from East Germany. A 1993 project documenting "the uses of photography in Eastern Germany after the collapse of the German Democratic Republic (GDR)" also, with small pictures.
posted by arse_hat on Aug 5, 2007 - 17 comments

East German Commercials

East Germany suffers from a posthumous image problem. People think that life in the former GDR was a dreary round of dodging the secret police and mandatory attendance at Boy-Loves-Tractor films. Nothing could be further from the truth. Life in the GDR was fun. You could take pictures with ORWO Film (mildly NSFW. Five seconds of toplessness at 1:15). You could zip through the countryside in your MZ. You could fit every soccer ball in the neighborhood in your Wartburg. And for the ultimate in class-conscious, revolutionary mackitude, there was the Trabant. If these little clips aren’t enough, if you want a whole bunch of East German commercials, here’s a long video called Flotter Osten (Again, mildly NSFW: Same topless shot for about five seconds at 8:07).
posted by jason's_planet on May 6, 2007 - 42 comments

That's going straight to the pool room

What should we get Erich for his birthday? How about a desk set with a radio, a thermometer disguised as a TV mast, a clock topped with a tank, a calendar, and four ballpoint pens disguised as missiles. Iconographia socialistica from the GDR.
posted by tellurian on Feb 21, 2007 - 16 comments

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