Relics of the Cold War. Photographs by Martin Roemers

4 March to 14 August, 2016

What is left of the Cold War? Dutch photographer Martin Roemers gives a clear answer: the structural and topographic relics of the conflict between East and West in Europe. He has tracked down and, so to say, preserved its traces.

His impressive photo series titled 'Relics of the Cold War', which is on show as a whole for the first time in Germany, comprises photographs taken between 1998 and 2009 in ten European countries: Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Latvia and Lithuania from the former Eastern bloc; Great Britain, the Netherlands and Belgium from the West, and finally both parts of once-divided Germany. The shots of the twice winner of the World Press Photo Award and the 2015 Series Winner of the Street Photography Award take us to abandoned army bases and bunker complexes, military training areas, technical installations, monitoring facilities and memorial sites.

The exhibition sets the photo series in its historical context. Themed sections examine the arms race in the nuclear age, the defensive measures and preparations for the eventuality of a third world war, the role of technology, the rise of the intelligence services and the instrumentalisation of history in public commemoration. They reveal that the Cold War was both a confrontation between two systems and a system in itself: one that has left similar, once functional remains on both sides of the ‘Iron Curtain’.

This exhibition takes place in the German Historcial Museum.

In two video-installations, Martin Roemers provides background information on his work and Bernd Greiner, Director of the Berlin Center for Cold War Studies, provides historical details on the Cold War era.

Kindly supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.


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