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Photobook: SWISS REBELS Karlheinz Weinberger

Karlheinz Weinberger’s day job may have been relatively uneventful; working in a Siemens warehouse, but the photos he took in his spare time are anything but conformist

Weinberger’s passion and the focus of this book are the rebel youth of 1950s and ’60s Switzerland, who channeled American rock ’n’-roll culture and made it their own with their rolled-up jeans and denim jackets, bouffant hairdos, striped T-shirts, and customized belts boasting images of Elvis and James Dean. Weinberger’s lusty, free-spirited and self-confident portraits posit the defiant attitude of youth as a response to the conservative post-war era.


Swiss Rebels also includes homoerotic images of rockers, bikers, construction workers and athletes, many of whom occupy positions outside of social norms. This publication is the first to present an overview of Weinberger’s provocative oeuvre.


Born in 1921, Karlheinz Weinberger was a Swiss photographer whose work predominantly explores outsider cultures and turns its back on conservative middle-class values. Between 1943 and 1967 Weinberger published photos of male workers, sportsmen, and bikers in the gay magazine Der Kreis under the pseudonym of Jim, taken from Hanns Eisler’s song “The Ballad of Jim.” In the late fifties and early sixties he concentrated on Swiss rock ’n’-roll youth whom he photographed with tenderness and a hint of irony. Although a passionate amateur photographer over six decades, Weinberger placed little emphasis on exhibiting his work; his first comprehensive show took place only in 2000, six years before his death.comprehensive show took place only in 2000, six years before his death.



  • Karlheinz Weinberger: SWISS REBELS
  • Publisher: STEIDL
  • Edited by Esther Woerdehoff and Patrik Schedler
  • Text by François Cheval, Daniela Janser, Patrik Schedler
  • 280 pages
  • 45 color / 120 BW images
  • 9.5 x 13 in. / 22 x 30 cm
  • Four-color process
  • Clothe-bound hardcover
  • £68.00 [tbc]
  • ISBN 978-3-95829-329-8
  • Release Date [US]: October, 2017
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