ans Schneider’s (born in 1925 in Berlin, Germany) interest in photography goes back to his childhood in the Berlin of the 1930s when someone gave him an AGFA box camera using 6 x 9 cm black and white 120 film rolls. His weekly allowance was $0.25 Deutsche Mark so he had to badger for more money. With a primitive developer box, he could process his films without need for a darkroom and learned soon to develop and copy.
Fast forward and several generations of cameras later, his wife, Christina, and he arrived in Beijing in 1963 on a sunny but cold March morning after a long flight from Moscow through Siberia on Aeroflot. They soon moved around freely in Beijing. Although living in a gated compound with guards at the entrance, once they went out, by car or later with our bicycles, they were on their own. In general, in Beijing itself, he saw very few signs that said “No Photographs,” only on some excursions to the countryside when passing military installations.
At the end of their one-year stay, they traveled by train from Beijing to Guangzhou, with stops in Nanjing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Suzhou. The few photographs here are part of a larger archive, still in the process of being processed.
Photography Friday is a regular feature from Shanghaiist in association with Photography of China, Marine Cabos’s fantastic platform about photography and photographers in China.