In 2011, I spent a year in Berlin seeking out artists and musicians who had lived and worked in GDR before Germany’s reunification. In the following series of portraits, each was taken in the moments immediately after its corresponding interview. The practice of photographing the sitter in this way became an important meditative process. The sitter was able to reflect back on that time in their life. Naturally, these portraits reveal true personal emotion and sincerity.
Within the official guidelines of the GDR, there was little room for creativity. This interested me in these artists, to live within this dictatorship whist still creating their art: sometimes legally, sometimes illegally.
For a handful of the artists I met, living in the GDR was a struggle, whereas others lived peacefully. These contrasting perspectives revealed much about the aims of the artists and an oppressive regime's effect on artistic culture, as well as imparting interesting parallels within the different personal stories.
70 page book includes 7 images and 6 full interviews. English and German.
Designer: Piers Greville