A Radical Tradition – Heimat Photography

Eine Radikale Tradition: Heimat Photography in the Third Reich in Manchester

A Radical Tradition – Eine Radikale Tradition: Heimat Photography in the Third Reich 

(4th March – 30th April 2019)

photographs from Aberystwyth University’s School of Art Museum Collection and the Ludwig-Uhland-Institut für Empirische Kulturwissenschaft, Tübingen.


‘A Radical Tradition’ explores the work of three relatively unknown twentieth century German photographers – Hans Saebens (1895-1969), Hans Retzlaff (1902-1965) and Erich Retzlaff (1899-1993). Their work was produced as part of the visual narrative of a romanticism of the peasant and the ‘Heimat’ or homeland during the Third Reich. In addition, these photographers were highly skilled practitioners whose approach reflected international trends in avant-garde photography. The fact that this German photography was ideological signifies that the work should be understood. The power of photography to form and direct public opinion, information and ideas has been well documented. Yet a self-conscious visual literacy, an informed understanding and respect for the influence that a constant exposure to the image can effect, is still remarkably uncommon even in our over-exposed, image saturated culture. Comprehending the power-potential of these images is as relevant today in our increasingly polarised world, as it was over 80 years ago.


Curated by Christopher Webster van Tonder


Manchester Central Library

Opening at 6pm on Monday 4th March in the first floor exhibition hall at the library.


There will be a short introductory talk and refreshments will be available.


Manchester Central Library

St. Peter’s Square


M2 5PD


Open from 9am to 8pm Mon-Thu and 9am to 5pm on Fri and Sat.

A Radical Tradition – Heimat Photography
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