Generations: Portraits of Holocaust Survivors

In this set of six mesmerising video portraits, Holocaust survivor poses for the camera for several minutes, remaining as still as possible in a similar fashion to mid-19th century photographic portraits. Initially the videos appear as still photographs, however, on closer inspection the viewer can see subtle movements, such as a blink of an eye or the movement of vegetation. Each portrait is accompanied by a monologue read out by a younger family member, each of whom describes the legacy their relative’s experience of the Holocaust has had on their own lives and upbringing. These family members are revealed later in each video portrait, as is an object the survivor sees as particularly significant, such as a tattooed identification number, religious text or family photograph.

The work formed part of a wider exhibition organised by the Royal Photographic Society (RPS), Jewish News, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and Dangoor Education, which showcases new works from 13 contemporary photographers, all members and Fellows of the RPS, alongside photography by RPS patron, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge. Through a series of individual and family portraits, the photographs in this exhibition present a group of survivors who made the UK their home after beginnings marked by unimaginable loss and trauma. While offering a space to remember and share their stories, these portraits are a celebration of the rich lives they have lived and the special legacy which their children and grandchildren will carry into the future.

The exhibition was first shown at the Imperial War Museum London in 2021 before touring to the Royal Photographic Society in Bristol (2022) and Imperial War Museum North in Salford (2023).


View installation shots here

View an installation video here.