Anders Petersen - Café Lehmitz


Schirmer / Mosel 2022

Café Lehmitz, a standing beer hall at the end of the Reeperbahn, was a meeting place and often the terminus for many who work in Hamburg's notorious red-light district: prostitutes, pimps, transvestites and common petty criminals. Anders Petersen (born 1944) was eighteen years old when he came to visit Hamburg from Sweden, ended up in the “Lehmitz” more or less by accident and made friends here that were to shape the rest of his life. In 1968 he returned, found new regulars, made contact again and began to take photographs – with interruptions for two years. His recordings, a selection of which we released in 1978, have since become classics of their genre - Tom Waits, for example, used our title motif for his LP Rain Dogs.

Petersen's Lehmitz series, which is now being offered in a new edition, still touches us with its openness and its unadulterated authenticity. It is the photographer's solidary gaze, reminiscent of Brassaï, which allows neither voyeurism nor false sympathy to arise in the face of these images from a milieu that is commonly described as antisocial. The "other" world of Café Lehmitz, which no longer exists today, becomes visible as a living social structure with its own self-image and dignity.

With a foreword by Tom Waits and a text by Roger Anderson

112 pages, 88 duotone plates

Format: 21.5 x 24 cm, hardback

German language