imago/Rolf Zöllner

A City in Frames: Rolf Zöllner’s Berlin Journey from the 70s to Today

Observe Berlin's history and transformation from the late 1970s through the dramatic changes of the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall to the city's current state via the lens of IMAGO photographer Rolf Zöllner.

Observe Berlin’s history and transformation from the late 1970s through the dramatic changes of the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall to the city’s current state via the lens of IMAGO photographer Rolf Zöllner.

IMAGO/Rolf Zöllner
 
IMAGO / Rolf Zöllner | Berlin, 2023.

It was in the late ’70s that Rolf Zöllner began capturing the streets of Berlin. Since then six decades have passed since he first photographed the heart of Berlin’s history and its transformation from the late 1970s through the tumultuous changes of the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall to the city’s current state.

Born in Chemnitz, Germany, in 1953, Zöllner’s journey into photography began with casual snapshots and darkroom experimentation while living in East Germany. However, his true passion for photography blossomed when he moved to Berlin in 1978, where he became involved in the city’s evolving cultural landscape.

What makes Rolf Zöllner special is his remarkable ability to document Berlin’s dynamic evolution over several decades. His extensive archive of black and white film photography is a visual time capsule that provides a unique perspective on the city’s history, politics, culture, and everyday life.

He lived through the fall of the Berlin Wall and its aftermath, capturing moments of social and political significance, as well as the city’s cultural changes. Zöllner’s work is not only a personal artistic endeavor but also a historical document that offers a window into Berlin’s past and present.

In this article, you can see Rolf Zöllner’s visual documentation of Berlin. His career as a photojournalist and street photographer capturing significant events and people adds another layer to his contribution, highlighting his versatility as a photographer who has witnessed and recorded the city’s transformation over the years.


Berlin: 1970s


imago/Rolf Zöllner
 
IMAGO / Rolf Zöllner | Berlin, 1979.

imago/Rolf Zöllner
 
IMAGO / Rolf Zöllner | Berlin, 1978.

imago images/Rolf Zöllner
 
IMAGO / Rolf Zöllner | Berlin, 1978.

Berlin: 1980s


imago images/Rolf Zöllner
 
IMAGO / Rolf Zöllner | Berlin, 1987.

















imago/Rolf Zöllner
 
IMAGO / Rolf Zöllner | Berlin, 1986.

imago/Rolf Zöllner
 
IMAGO / Rolf Zöllner | Berlin, 1986.

Berlin: 1990s


imago images/Rolf Zöllner
 
IMAGO / Rolf Zöllner | Berlin, 1990.

imago/Rolf Zöllner
 
IMAGO / Rolf Zöllner | Berlin, 1999.

imago images/Rolf Zöllner
 
IMAGO / Rolf Zöllner | Berlin, 1991.

imago/Rolf Zöllner
 
IMAGO / Rolf Zöllner | Berlin, 1999.

Berlin: 2000s


imago/Rolf Zöllner
 
IMAGO / Rolf Zöllner | Berlin, 2000.

















Berlin: 2010s


imago images/Rolf Zöllner
 
IMAGO / Rolf Zöllner | Berlin, 2019.

imago/Rolf Zöllner
 
IMAGO / Rolf Zöllner | Berlin, 2018.

imago/Rolf Zöllner
 
IMAGO / Rolf Zöllner | Berlin, 2011.

imago/Rolf Zöllner
 
IMAGO / Rolf Zöllner | Berlin, 2015.

Berlin: 2020s


IMAGO/Rolf Zöllner
 
IMAGO / Rolf Zöllner | Berlin, 2023.

















IMAGO/Rolf Zöllner
 
IMAGO / Rolf Zöllner | Berlin, 2023.

You can see Rolf Zöllner’s photos with IMAGO from the late 1970s to the present here.