Anderswo: Elsewhere • Erich Lessing • Magnum Photos

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Conflict

Anderswo: Elsewhere

Erich Lessing's black and white photographs focus on the everyday life of people in post-war Europe

Erich Lessing

Erich Lessing | Anderswo The Turkish minority who were expelled from Bulgaria under communist government pressure, arrive by train at Edirne railway station. Between 1950-51 about 100 000 people fled to Turkey. Edirne, Tur (...)
Erich Lessing | Anderswo Meeting of the Allied Council of Austria. Caps of the four occupation powers. At the end of the war the Allies : USA, Great-Britain, France and Soviet Union occupied the country. Vienna, Austria. 1 (...)
Erich Lessing | Anderswo Prague's Stalin-monument high above the Vltava. Prague, Czechoslovakia. 1956. © Erich Lessing | Magnum Photos
Erich Lessing | Anderswo Outside of the former central office of 'Szabad Nép', crowds try to catch the first edition of 'Függetlenség' (Independence). Budapest, Hungary. 1956. © Erich Lessing | Magnum Photos
Erich Lessing | Anderswo In Vienna's quadripartite first district. Army photographers document the monthly change of guard among occupation powers US and Soviet officers. Vienna, Austria. 1954. © Erich Lessing | Magnum Photos
Erich Lessing | Anderswo Mother washing her baby. Edirne, Turkey. 1951. © Erich Lessing | Magnum Photos
Erich Lessing | Anderswo Children playing in the upper Silesia region, which was the center of Polish coal mining. Bytom, Poland. 1956. © Erich Lessing | Magnum Photos
Erich Lessing | Anderswo The Lenin Museum, former pub where the first meeting of the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party was held, converted into a museum. Lenin spent a few years in Poronin at the beginning (...)
Erich Lessing | Anderswo A kindergarden outing. The poster in the background reads 'Onward under the guidance of the working-class, towards the fulfillment of the Seven-Year Plan'. Dresden, Germany. 1959. © Erich Lessing | Magnum Photos
Erich Lessing | Anderswo On Vaci Street angry crowds have stormed the Soviet Cultural shop and burnt the literature and propaganda material. Budapest, Hungry. 1956 © Erich Lessing | Magnum Photos
Erich Lessing | Anderswo Insurgents on a Hungarian tank, surrounded by joyous citizens who did not know the Soviet retreat, announced for October 31, 1956, was only feigned. Budapest, Hungry. 1956. © Erich Lessing | Magnum Photos
Erich Lessing | Anderswo Hamburg dockworkers looking at a newly-launched tanker at the shipyard. Hamburg, West Germany. 1958. © Erich Lessing | Magnum Photos
Erich Lessing | Anderswo Pilgrimage. Czestochowa, Poland. 1956. © Erich Lessing | Magnum Photos

In the course of his career, Erich Lessing covered many significant political and social events. His photographs illustrate the atmosphere of post-war Europe, such as Allied occupation in Vienna, reconstruction in war-damaged Germany, life under communist rule in Eastern Europe, several political summit conferences, Charles de Gaulle’s visit to Algeria in 1958 and the dramatic events of the Hungarian Uprising in 1956.

"I never thought of myself as doing anything other than telling stories"

- Erich Lessing

For the most part, this book’s duotone photographs are gathered from unpublished material. In the context of Lessing’s reportage work they do not show figures of political power, but rather focus on anonymous people and representations of everyday life. The photographer’s chosen title for this collection, Anderswo (Elsewhere), mirrors his intention to portray a world beyond the familiar and habitual.

“I never thought of myself as doing anything other than telling stories. The camera became the medium through which I did that, but I don’t carry a camera everywhere I go. To me, it is simply the means to a very specific end. I observe the world through my eyes and not through the viewfinder of a camera. I don’t interpret, nor do I adjust anything in the dark room. I am a realistic photographer.” – Erich Lessing