‘In 1967, Anders Petersen started to photograph the late-night regulars (prostitutes, transvestites, drunks, lovers, drug addicts) in a bar in Hamburg, Germany, named Café Lehmitz, and continued that project for three years. 88 b&w photographs in his photobook of the same name was published eight years later in 1978 by Schirmer/Mosel in Germany, and then appeared in France (1979) and Sweden (1982). Café Lehmitz has since become regarded as a seminal book in the history of European photography.
‘The people at the Café Lehmitz had a presence and a sincerity that I myself lacked. It was okay to be desperate, to be tender, to sit all alone or share the company of others. There was a great warmth and tolerance in this destitute setting.’
When I looked at Café Lehmitz years afterwards, I suddenly realised it was just like a typical family album. [...] It was a real lesson for me, a young, respectable boy from Sweden. A lesson in how to live.’
... ... “After a while, I did not know what I was doing in Café Lehmitz and that is when I felt at home”
- Anders Petersen
Café Lehmitz [1967-1970] by Anders Petersen