Das gelobte Land der Moderne

Deutsche Reisefotografien zwischen Aleppo und Alexandria

Karin Berkemann


17 × 24 cm

256 pages, 170 col. and b/w ill.


ISBN 978-3-86859-603-8



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Gustaf Dalman did not place much stock in snapshots. When the German theologian traveled between Aleppo and Alexandria beginning in 1899, he took his time. He observed, made use of his notebook and a plate camera: with objectivity and style, always treating his counterpart as an equal, be it a human being or a folding shovel. Until his death in 1941, Dalman collected around 20,000 photographs in Greifswald—taken by himself and by others—of a cultural landscape moving toward modernity. For the first time, the theologian and art historian Karin Berkemann will comprehensively evaluate this collection, unique in Europe, from the perspective of visual studies, comparing it with photographs taken by German travelers from 1948 onwards, afterthe founding of the State of Israel. Some of these photographers used the camera to seek out what was ancient, while others looked for the signs of a new era. Spanning decades, the photographs today form a multilayered topography of a region considered sacred by three world religions and countless others with a belief in culture.

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