Roger Melis – The East Germans


Lehmstedt Verlag 2019

News from a »quiet country« – ten years after Roger Melis’s (1940–2009) widely acclaimed photo book »In einem stillen Land« the volume ‘The East Germans’ brings together new, largely unknown photographs from the estate of the co-founder and patron of East German author photography . Melis saw himself as a chronicler of his country and began documenting events in public and private life in photographs as early as the mid-1960s. The volume contains twelve series of images which, beginning with scenes from a military parade on the day of liberation in 1965, lead over 25 years to the celebration of German unity on October 3, 1990. The photographs illuminate life in small towns, in the country, in workshops and factories, at public events and private celebrations. The photo reports are accompanied by portraits of writers, artists and actors, children, young people and families, as well as a long series of professional portraits that bear witness to Meli’s legendary portraiture. The recordings create a differentiated picture of the people in the GDR and their working and living conditions. They testify to the skepticism and resignation of the East Germans, but also to their pride, their spirit of contradiction and their longings.

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