donderdag 17 maart 2011

Berlin Sixties Peter Martens Germany since 1945 Through the Eye of Dutch Photographers Photojournalism Photography

Peter Martens devoted his life to documenting poverty, injustice and the abuse of power. He hoped that photography could be the means for promoting the more fortunate world's awareness of the other. His solidarity with those less blessed with worldly goods was reflected in his own extremely austere life style.

While still a photography student in The Hague he spent a lot of time in the Café De Fles, which was frequented by members of Rotterdam's cultural scene. He portrayed regulars such as Cor Vaandrager, Jules Deelder, Daan van Golden and Woody van Amen.

In the sixties he began to travel, becoming what he called a street photographer. This form of social documentation became his weapon in the struggle against the injustice in the world. He would go to a particular country, usually on his own initiative, and subsequently offer his reportages to various newspapers.

Martens preferred to photograph people in the isolation and loneliness of the urban jungle. He portrayed both material poverty and the inner emptiness of western society. Sometimes he photographed death itself, or the moment prior to death: there were no limits to his compulsive urge to show reality. Martens' photographs are indeed brutally frank, to his mind the most honest form of depiction. They are not candid camera shots, though: Martens would take several photographs from one angle and then choose the most significant image.

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