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Loud and shrill punks, hippies and kissing couples in a sea full of Trabbis, militant flags and demonstrators in front of the Palace of the Republic, shadowy creatures and drunks in their local pub and at folk festivals or patiently waiting at bus stops – Harald Hauswald’s view is unadulterated and empathetic. His pictures are full of sympathy for the object photographed and above all for the people in front of his camera. They always retain their dignity and stand in contrast to the decay and madness surrounding them. They are pictures of the monotony but also of the slowness of life in the GDR, testimonies of an isolated and enclosed world shortly before its demise. Contrary to the West’s prevailing image of East Germany – dominated by the SED and FDJ, the Wall and barbed wire, marches and military parades – Harald Hauswald provides vivid and unique snapshots and testimonies of everyday socialist life, especially the development of East Berlin’s urban space and the work of opposition groups, artists and various youth cultures.
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