Algeria

First published in 1961 in Berlin, GDR; Alvermann, a photographer originally born in West Germany, published his book about both sides of the Algerian conflict in East Berlin. The radical design was inspired by Russian film stills. When he went to Algeria in the 1950s Dirk Alvermann was only 18, a rebellious West German teenager thrilled b the struggle for freedom by the Algerian people against French colonial rule. Together with a unit of the Algerian liberation army, Alvermann found a way into the Eastern Algerian war zone, determined to keep a photographic record of the events unfolding there. After returning to West Germany he set about planning the publication of his work in the most accessible form available: the book should go from hand to hand like a political manifesto. In 1950 German publishing house Rowohlt had introduced its paperback series, known by the name of rororo – an ideal format for Alvermann’s book. Rowohlt initially agreed to publish Algeria but later cancelled it when any partisanship with the Algerian resistance seemed inappropriate. The book was eventually published by the East Berlin publishing house Rutten & Loening in 1960 as a hardcover, contrary to Alvermann’s vision for the project. Steidl’s new edition of Algeria gives voice to the artist’s original intentions, adopting the rororo format and softcover finish. The photographs are accompanied by historical documents, and quotes taken from French military sources, pamphlets, newspapers and magazines. More than 50 years after its first publication, the book is as relevant as ever as it tells the story of a people rising up against oppression and despotism: against European colonialism or, like today, against homemade dictatorial regimes.

pp. 224; paperback. Publisher: Steidl Verlag, Göttingen, 2012.

ISBN: 9783869302553 | 3869302550

ID: 14554

Product Description

First published in 1961 in Berlin, GDR; Alvermann, a photographer originally born in West Germany, published his book about both sides of the Algerian conflict in East Berlin. The radical design was inspired by Russian film stills. When he went to Algeria in the 1950s Dirk Alvermann was only 18, a rebellious West German teenager thrilled b the struggle for freedom by the Algerian people against French colonial rule. Together with a unit of the Algerian liberation army, Alvermann found a way into the Eastern Algerian war zone, determined to keep a photographic record of the events unfolding there. After returning to West Germany he set about planning the publication of his work in the most accessible form available: the book should go from hand to hand like a political manifesto. In 1950 German publishing house Rowohlt had introduced its paperback series, known by the name of rororo – an ideal format for Alvermann’s book. Rowohlt initially agreed to publish Algeria but later cancelled it when any partisanship with the Algerian resistance seemed inappropriate. The book was eventually published by the East Berlin publishing house Rutten & Loening in 1960 as a hardcover, contrary to Alvermann’s vision for the project. Steidl’s new edition of Algeria gives voice to the artist’s original intentions, adopting the rororo format and softcover finish. The photographs are accompanied by historical documents, and quotes taken from French military sources, pamphlets, newspapers and magazines. More than 50 years after its first publication, the book is as relevant as ever as it tells the story of a people rising up against oppression and despotism: against European colonialism or, like today, against homemade dictatorial regimes.

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