Leica Gallery Salzburg: Faces of Africa

Leica-Gallery-Salzburg-Faces-of-Africa

The Leica Gallery in Salzburg is currently displaying the work of Mario Marino "Faces of Africa":

German-based photographer Mario Marino has now been immersed in his “Faces of Africa” taking pictures for two weeks, producing powerfully sensitive portraits of South Ethiopians. His first show, opening at Galerie Brockstedt, Berlin,after in London, Munich, Amsterdam, Gent, Brussels, Nijmegen and Salzburg focuses on the area’s children, who have inherited the tradition of wearing the leaves, chalk, and branches of the landscape as ornaments. Marino’s goal of capturing the extraordinary artistry and individualism of this practice has always existed under the threat of time—as with so many others, the regional custom recedes as tourism and technology increase their presence. But Marino’s portraits show a cultural heritage alive and well in Ethiopia (source: Chloe Eichler, Planet Magazin New York).

Leica Gallery Salzburg Faces of Africa 2

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  • bob

    photos taken with Nikon D7000

  • fjfjjj

    Beautiful subjects, unique opportunities, quasi-studio setting. Should have used medium format. (Assuming these pictures were [allegedly] made with a Leica.)

  • mikeswitz

    I know this is off topic and there has been alot of well desevered Leica bashing, but this is about the original company and its owners–
    LEICA AND THE JEWS
    The Leica is the pioneer 35mm camera. It is a German product – precise, minimalist, and utterly efficient.

    Behind its worldwide acceptance as a creative tool was a family-owned, socially oriented firm that, during the Nazi era, acted with uncommon grace, generosity and modesty. E. Leitz Inc., designer and manufacturer of Germany ‘s most famous photographic product, saved its Jews.

    And Ernst Leitz II, the steely-eyed Protestant patriarch who headed the closely held firm as the Holocaust loomed across Europe , acted in such a way as to earn the title, “the photography industry’s Schindler.”

    As soon as Adolf Hitler was named chancellor of Germany in 1933, Ernst Leitz II began receiving frantic calls from Jewish associates, asking for his help in getting them and their families out of the country. As Christians, Leitz and his family were immune to Nazi Germany ‘s Nuremberg laws, which restricted the movement of Jews and limited theirprofessional activities.

    To help his Jewish workers and colleagues, Leitz quietly established what has become known among historians of the Holocaust as “the Leica Freedom Train,” a covert means of allowing Jews to leave Germany in the guise of Leitz employees being assigned overseas.

    Employees, retailers, family members, even friends of family members were “assigned” to Leitz sales offices in France, Britain, Hong Kong and the United States, Leitz’s activities intensified after the Kristallnacht of November 1938, during which synagogues and Jewish shops were burned across Germany ..

    Before long, German “employees” were disembarking from the ocean liner Bremen at a New York pier and making their way to the Manhattan office of Leitz Inc., where executives quickly found them jobs in the photographic industry.

    Each new arrival had around his or her neck the symbol of freedom – a new Leica camera.

    The refugees were paid a stipend until they could find work. Out of this migration came designers, repair technicians, salespeople, marketers and writers for the photographic press.

    Keeping the story quiet The “Leica Freedom Train” was at its height in 1938 and early 1939,delivering groups of refugees to New York every few weeks. Then, with the invasion of Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, Germany closed its borders.

    By that time, hundreds of endangered Jews had escaped to America , thanks to the Leitzes’ efforts. How did Ernst Leitz II and his staff get away with it?

    Leitz, Inc. was an internationally recognized brand that reflected
    credit on the newly resurgent Reich. The company produced cameras, range-finders and other optical systems for the German military. Also, the Nazi government desperately needed hard currency from abroad, and Leitz’s single biggest market for optical goods was the United States .

    Even so, members of the Leitz family and firm suffered for their good works. A top executive, Alfred Turk, was jailed for working to help Jews and freed only after the payment of a large bribe.

    Leitz’s daughter, Elsie Kuhn-Leitz, was imprisoned by the Gestapo after she was caught at the border, helping Jewish women cross into Switzerland . She eventually was freed but endured rough treatment in the course of questioning. She also fell under suspicion when she attempted to improve the living conditions of 700 to 800 Ukrainian slave laborers, all of them women, who had been assigned to work in the plant
    during the 1940s.

    (After the war, Kuhn-Leitz received numerous honors for her humanitarian efforts, among them the Officier d’honneur des Palms Academic from France in 1965 and the Aristide Briand Medal from the European Academy in the 1970s.)

    Why has no one told this story until now? According to the late Norman Lipton, a freelance writer and editor, the Leitz family wanted no publicity for its heroic efforts. Only after the last member of the Leitz family was dead did the “Leica Freedom Train” finally come to light.

    It is now the subject of a book, “The Greatest Invention of the Leitz Family: The Leica Freedom Train,” by Frank Dabba Smith, a California-born Rabbi currently living in England .

    Thank you for reading the above, and if you feel inclined as I did to pass it along to others, please do so. It only takes a few minutes.

    • http://leicarumors.com/ Leica Rumors

      I have covered that already on the blog, there is also a nice video: http://leicarumors.com/2010/04/03/leica-related-links-2.aspx/

      • mikeswitz

        sorry, I didn’t know

        • http://leicarumors.com/ Leica Rumors

          No problem, we are all here to share information, thanks for your post.

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