Nelly Rau-Häring


8. November 2019 19. January 2020

The photographer Nelly Rau-Häring documented life in East and West Berlin from the mid-1960s to the 2000s like hardly anyone else. In doing so, she followed her two great passions: her enthusiasm for photography and her curiosity about the people of Berlin. Together with her virtuoso eye for expressive detail, this makes her a very special chronicler.

Through the eyes of Nelly Rau-Häring we experience contemporary history: We are involved in the political protests of the late 1960s in West Berlin and observe the official celebrations on 1 and 8 May in East Berlin, we take part in popular amusements such as the horse races in Hoppegarten and Mariendorf. We see how Neuberliners of the first migrant generation appear in the cityscape, we accompany war widows to the cafés at Ku´damm and observe the shop window displays in the GDR of the 1980s, we feverishly watch the fans of Hertha BSC in the football stadium, stand in the queue of GDR citizens* waiting for the welcome money, cross the western part of the city with the S-Bahn and experience how the isolated Berlin changes after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

OST/WEST BERLIN is far more than the image of a city and its people in transition. Beyond the factual, the photographs concentrate on moods and feelings, on the joie de vivre and contradictions of the post-war and pre-war years, which Nelly Rau-Häring perceived in divided and later reunited Berlin. It is not a matter of a historical view, but of the personal that shows itself in the social.

In cooperation with Hatje Cantz.

With kind support: Stiftung Berliner Sparkasse.