"In the nineteen seventies, photographer Esaias Baitel lived in France, in the Parisian suburb of Aubervilliers, for five years, which, among other things, resulted in a book and an exhibition that has toured the world.
Esaias was born in Trelleborg, Sweden, in 1949, where his father, originally from a small Polish town, arrived in 1945 from a camp in Lübeck, Germany. His mother escaped from Latvia. After graduating from Uppsala University, Esaias Baitel has in the ensuing twenty-five years established himself as a world-class photographer. His stories have been published in all the great magazines, like Paris Match, Time and Newsweek.
The Zone describes a neighborhood where motor bikes, rock and roll, and swastikas go hand in hand. In order to get close to these ”Rockers”, Esaias had to tell them that he was a Swede of Walloon origin. To introduce himself as a Jew in this environment would not have been cool. The photos do not show lost or mislead youths, but take us very close to a integrated subculture, with entire families and small children.
There are a lot of films and documentaries about the problems that immigrants encounter in France. Here we get to see the pictures of the other side. Confrontations are not hard to imagine. Esaias Baitel’s photos pointed towards the future. In the nineteen seventies, he documented something that later was to erupt throughout Europe: the different forms and shapes of neo nazism. The photos are accompanied by Esaias Baitel’s texts, describing his experiences living among the Rockers."