When I went on a ‘Holocaust tour’ of Poland in the summer of 2017, I knew that I was doing so for personal reasons. As a Jew born in eastern Europe, I wanted to experience first hand the environment that stamped such deep trauma into my cultural roots. However, I was also aware that I was visiting a place identified with very specific imagery and iconography. Capturing it through my own individual perspective became an important goal.
When visiting the sites of ghettos and death camps, I found my mind flooded with different thoughts and questions . How could such horrors have taken place here? How did inmates live in such tightly packed spaces? How could people from the neighbouring areas stand by and do nothing?
I wanted to tackle my feelings head on , through a language that I relate to and trust: architecture and space. Buildings are very challenging to capture, but their textures, layers and geometric patterns can reveal history and culture in very precise ways. As a photographer, I believe that static objects offer me the highest degree of control over what I would like to express, and when it comes to architecture - shooting at a 90 degree angle usually allows me to communicate most clearly. In Poland in particular, I felt that photographing the empty streets and austere, derelict buildings highlighted what I sensed strongly : the sombre energy of war, and remains of a life lived alongside mass murder.