In today’s nrc.next paper there was a big article about the art photo book I Believe in 88 by photographer Pieter Wisse. He took pictures of a small group of people in a neo-Nazi scene from Weimar last year. The title of the book comes from a shirt that a guy is wearing on a family picture taken by Wisse. The article shows a couple of Wisse’s photographs and I immediately thought of the awesome True Norwegian Black Metal book by Peter Beste (which I own thanks to my friends at Incubate, where Beste had an exposition in 2008).
See more pictures from the True Norwegian Black Metal book here.
I find it fascinating to get a look into the everyday life of (violent) subcultures with strict dress codes, their own aesthetics and almost unimaginable world views. These kind of books give the chance to see how people live on the extreme ideological fringes of Western society.
The a bold and courageous idea to go and live with these kinds of people for a couple of months, just to share these experiences through beautiful pictures with others, has nothing to do with condoning their beliefs in my view. It is about showing how these individuals live and what they stand for. And according to the interview with Wisse, he tried to show a different side of these neo-Nazis than people would expect: family pictures instead of violence. And maybe those pictures are more terrifying to society than when people see their expectations fulfilled.
If you want to see more of, or want to know more about, ‘I believe in 88’ (‘8’ means the eighth letter of the alphabet, being H. So 88 stands for HH, which signifies ‘Heil Hitler’) visit Wisse’s website, where you can get the book for €29,99 or visit his blog.