|Dimensions||230 × 210 mm|
80 Pages with 35 duotone plates
with a text by Alexander Kriwat
published by MDV, Halle (Saale)
Between 1979 and 1989, the new Halle-Silberhöhe district was built in prefabricated construction in the south of the city of Halle (Saale). Around 15,000 apartments for around 39,000 people were built on an area of around 200 hectares. This urban development measure became necessary, among other things, due to the additional need for workers in the nearby Leuna works and the Buna chemical works. Halle-Silberhöhe was not built in the spirit of a socialist ideal city, but rather pursued the sole aim of creating living space.
Until 1989 there was a high degree of social mixing in Halle-Silberhöhe. After 1989 there were major changes in the labor and housing markets. Unemployment, social separation and vacancies were observed and young people in particular were leaving the Silberhöhe. Since the mid-1990s, Halle-Silberhöhe has lost more than half of its residents, and by 2004 the average age had risen by ten years. Due to the drastic vacancy rates, Halle-Silberhöhe was partly demolished in certain areas and partly in large areas. The resulting fallow areas should be largely reforested.
Between 2005 and 2007, Robert Schlotter documented the architecture, streets and processes of change in the Silberhöhe and portrayed residents and passers-by.
“In the GDR, new housing estates were built as planned, which, in addition to creating living space, were also intended to offer a socialist alternative to the “bourgeois” old towns. What was sought after back then – also because of the clean district heating and hot running water – has now often degenerated into a problematic peripheral zone. One of these is the Silberhöhe in Halle (Saale). Robert Schlotter visited the Silberhöhe between 2005 and 2007, photographed streets and made portraits of their residents. The black and white of his photos reinforces the structural desolation of the prefabricated buildings, in contrast to the people who live here. In their looks – here Schlotter approaches Helga Paris’s Halle series – the will to persevere is palpable. Silberhöhe has become home to many.” — MDV, Halle (Saale)
Laura J. Padgett
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Comme la proue d’un navire
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