Long-forgotten views of 1980s Europe.
Japanese photographer Keizo Kitajima traveled through Europe between 1983 and 1984, visiting both Western countries and states in the Eastern bloc—from West Germany to East Germany, Austria, Romania, Switzerland, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic, Turkey, and more. Kitajima visited Europe not as a tourist but as a photographer; the mission was to photograph what he encountered. For some reason, the photos he took during this trip have never been published—until now. After all this time, Kitajima’s black-and-white images of course take on meaning as historical documents. They are records of a time long gone by, after all. But Kitajima’s photos work on more than this one layer; he did not visit Europe to fix a historical moment for the future, after all, but to document life in places that were strange to him. His street photographs from both sides of the Iron Curtain capture local idiosyncrasies in architecture as well as fashion, but they also take a look at that chaotic universal force of daily life.