A Tyranny of Intimacy: Photography & Stasi Surveillance

Barber Lecture Theatre
Wednesday 14 June 2023 (16:17-17:30)

In what has been described as a ‘tyranny of intimacy’ in their heyday of the 1970s and 80s, the Stasi actively infiltrated private lives and domestic spaces with listening devices, video surveillance and house searches.

Furthermore, as part of their observation they recorded suspicious activities in public places, those attempting to escape across the Berlin Wall, and documented evidence of failed and successful escapes to the West. As such, the surveillance regime both undermined and reinforced a sense of private and public life for GDR citizens. This paper considers the use of photography as a means to undertake mass surveillance of GDR citizens.

  • Donna West Brett (University of Sydney)

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