Annemarie Schwarzenbachs Straßenszene in Moskau 1934. Antifaschistische Bildästhetik zwischen fotografischem Konstruktivismus und sozialistischem Realismus

Elisaveta Dvorakk


Looking closely at two photographs from Annemarie Schwarzenbach’s journey to Moscow in 1934, during which she attended the First General Assembly of Soviet Writers together with Klaus Mann, this article follows a two-pronged argument. First, it investigates the impact the rivaling styles of Soviet constructivism and Socialist realism had on Schwarzenbach’s photographic aesthetic, suggesting that her understanding of photography as a form of social engagement and critique preceded her trip to the United States and her encounter with the photographic program of the Farm Security Administration in 1937. Second, the article borrows the image studies’ concept “Bildträger” (the base or support of an image, or literally that which carries the image) from Gottfried Boehm and suggests it as a crucial method for approaching Schwarzenbach’s photographic practice. Bildträger are those archival materials which are not photographs themselves but carry information for understanding content and context of an image, including letterheads, envelopes, and hand-written notes. Taken together, these two approaches allow for new insights into Schwarzenbach’s photographic oeuvre, particularly concerning her trip(s) to the Soviet Union and her political engagement through the medium of documentary photography. (ED; in German)

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