Deutsche Demokratische Republik: The Stasi Archives

Adrian Fish
Reception:
Loop Gallery

From 1946 to 1989, the former German Democratic Republic (GDR, or East Germany) was engaged in an extensive intra-civilian surveillance program seeking to expose and incarcerate suspected “class enemies.” The program was administered by over 90,000 employees and agents of the Ministry for State Security (colloquially knows as the Stasi), and over 170,000 ordinary East German citizens “volunteered” as unofficial collaborators—about 2.5 percent of the population. The archives were housed in the sprawling campus of the Ministry for State Security in the former city of East Berlin, which served as the processing centre and warehouse for the volumes of documentation related to Stasi activities. The archives are now searchable for citizens of the former GDR who believe their lives were impacted by this systematic surveillance. Over 2.75 million people (mostly former citizens of the GDR) have since made file requests. In this exhibition, Adrian Fish’s photographs document the extant repository of dossiers collected by Stasi of cials, in addition to the meeting rooms, of ces, and boardrooms preserved after the collapse of the GDR.

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