A Stolen Archive of Otto Steiner (2013)

Otto Steiner was a Swiss photographer, socialist. He took part in an expedition of foreign writers to Ural (Russia) together with Louis Aragon in 30’s. There is almost no evidence of him taking part in this expedition, after Soviet government realized what kind of photographs he made, all information about him was deleted.
In summer 1932 an international group of authors (Hungarian Alexandr Barta, Dutch Last Ief, American Alexander Platner, French Louis Aragon and Swiss Otto Steiner) spent forty days in Soviet Ural. They visited Sverdlovsk (nowadays Yekaterinburg), Nizny Tagil, Nadezdinsk, Chelyabinsk, Zlatoust, Magnitogorsk and others. They took part in meetings with Soviet writers and workers, shared their experience and knowledge, declaimed their poems in which they glorified USSR…

Otto Steiner photographed a lot, especially unofficial ordinary life. However, his negatives and few printed photos were mysteriously disappeared soon after he went back home from the trip. His daughter – Anna-Maria Steiner, who was a kid when she and her family traveled to Ural, tells this story in the interview. According to her descriptions the lost archive was recreated in drawings by Natalya Reznik.