This is the first book about the history, influences, and impact of the 'Werkstatt für Photography'(Photography Workshop) founded by the Berlin photographer Michael Schmidt at the Volkshochschule Kreuzberg in 1976. In the midst of the Cold War, the Werkstatt initiated an artistic 'airlift' to the United States, a democratic field of experimentation beyond the pale of traditional vocational and political-institutional standards. Those same years witnessed the establishment of infrastructures in West Germany that paved the way for the emancipation of photography as an art form. These included 'documenta 6' (1977), the first photo galleries and photography journals, and a number of pathbreaking exhibitions. Berlin, Hanover, and Essen played important roles in that process. All in all, the picture of a medium in transition emerges, a medium that developed an autonomous form of artistic authorship in the field of documentary. This book presents the story of German photography in the 1970s and 1980s, its international ties, its protagonists, and its networks. Exhibition: Sprengel Museum Hannover, Germany (11.12.2016-19.03.2017) / C/O Berlin, Germany (10.12.2016-12.02.2017) / Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany (09.12.2016-02.02.2017).