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Chargesheimer – The discovery of the Ruhr valley

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"The Ruhr valley has not yet been discovered." Such were the opening words in Heinrich Böll's introduction for the photo book Im Ruhrgebiet, which he co-published with photographer Chargesheimer in 1958. When Böll and Chargesheimer documented the Ruhr area in the year of 1957 – one with a pen, the other with a camera – the area had just reached its industrial peak.

In the late fifties, the Ruhr area was Germany's industrial heartland of coal and steel production, marked by landscape destruction, faceless cities and the dominance of working men.

Chargesheimer's photographs set a precedence for a visual commentary on this part of the country, inspiring an entire movement of reportages and other photographic projects around the Ruhr area. Although a selection of his Ruhr valley images was exhibited as part of the Chargesheimer Retrospective at the Ludwig Museum in 2007/08, they have never been shown in their entirety.

For further information visit Ruhrmuseum

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