In 1987 photographer and filmmaker Ernst Lalleman (b. 1965) found six boxes containing 234 colour negatives among the rubble and litter in a vacant building in The Hague. For years he treasured these negatives, which turned out to be portraits taken at the Foto Americain studio in 1959 and 1960. The subjects all turned out looking their very best for their portraits. They include newlyweds, young families with children in their smartest suits, women dressed in the latest fashion standing beside festive floral displays, and even pets. Together, they bear witness to life in The Hague during the reconstruction era. Decades after he found the negatives Lalleman decided to digitise them, and to try to find the people in the portraits. He has managed to identify 48 of them so far. In Foto Americain – Who Are We? Lalleman will show the entire collection alongside work of his own related to his fabulous find, bringing this small piece of history to life again.

Foto Americain – 098 © Ernst Lalleman
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