During the late 1970s and early 1980s, new movements within the German punk scene, led by labels such as Hamburg’s ZickZack Records. Alfred Hilsberg, the owner of ZickZack Records, coined the term Neue Deutsche Welle (New German Wave) during this Period. The bands often used synthesizers and computers to make their experimental post-punk.
The 1980s saw numerous punk bands flourish on the scene, developing an international punk music style that included primitive songwriting, fast rhythms, and politically radical left-wing lyrics influenced by the Cold War.
East Germany was only able to develop an underground punk scene due to state repressions. Schleim-Keim, who became famous in West Germany, was probably one of the most popular bands. In the German Democratic Republic (GDR) last years, the government allowed some bands from East Berlin, such as Feeling B or Died Skeptiker. Still, they were criticized for cooperating with the government. The bands in question applied for and were granted amateur licenses to perform in state-sanctioned venues while still maintaining connections with the underground East German punk community.
Hauswald’s photographs portray all aspects of everyday life in the former GDR, from the SED dictatorship to underground opposition. He became part of the East Berlin scenes he documented after completing an apprenticeship as a photographer in Radebeul. Hauswald has captured, in his photographs, the dignity of those portrayed, the transformation of the city of East Berlin, and the work of oppositional groups and youth cultures in an East German republic marked by decay.