Portraits of Swiss Rebels and Their Crotches from the 1950s
All photos by Karlheinz Weinberger

Portraits of Swiss Rebels and Their Crotches from the 1950s

Photographer Karlheinz Weinberger was one of the first to capture Switzerland's post-war countercultures.
July 11, 2017, 7:00am

This article originally appeared on VICE Switzerland.

Switzerland may be widely known for clocks, chocolates, and other things that make great gifts for grandma, but that doesn't mean the country's lacking in terms of countercultures. When, for instance, the influence of the beat generation hit Zurich in 1958, photographer Karlheinz Weinberger was there, camera in hand, to capture all that it entailed. Weinberger didn't just focus on beatniks—he also documented the birth of Switzerland's Hells Angels, the burgeoning Swiss gay scene, and everything punk or rock 'n' roll.

Before his death in 2006, Weinberger donated his entire archive to a foundation set up in his name. At the time, however, his collection of photographs was a mess—tens of thousands of unsorted images dominated his home, a lot of which were even hidden under his bed. Thankfully, Reto Caduff, from the Zurich publishing house Sturm & Drang, took it upon himself to sort through Weinberger's legacy.

The result is a photo book series in five parts, each issue focusing on a different theme in Weinberger's body of work. "We could have published just one big book," says Caduff, "but that would not have properly expressed the diversity of his work."

Scroll down to see a selection of photos from the first issue, "Halbstarke" ("Beatniks").