GDR. Stories from a vanished country

International Cultural Centre Gallery, Krakow
Until 2 September

The monument of Marx and Engels, Berlin, Gummlin, 1984 © Werner Mahler /

Five eminent photographers connected with the prestigious OSTKREUZ photographic agency – Sibylle Bergmann, Harald Hauswald, Ute Mahler, Werner Mahler, Maurice Weiss – documented the drab existence of the citizens of East Germany. The black-and-white photographs, rich in irony, expose the absurdity and sham of the communism system. Trabant and Wartburg cars dominating the streets and roads, people queuing for food, and everyday entertainment – café meetings, dance parties, concerts, and family scenes in front of the television – create an extraordinary story about a country which no longer exists.