To celebrate International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) in Bristol will open Generations: Portraits of Holocaust Survivorsa collaborative project consisting of 50 photographs of different survivors around the world.
Tracy Marshall-Grant, RPS Project Manager, said: “The exhibition is set to open in 2020 with 75 portraits to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. When the UK went into first country lockdown like many others in March 2020, the exhibition was updated and postponed until this year.
Opening on Thursday, the show features images taken by 13 different photographers, including those taken by Kate Middleton aka the Duchess of Cambridge. RPS worked with partners including the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust to match survivors and their families with photographers. Each photographer is encouraged to treat the project as if it were their own, resulting in photos of a variety of styles.
While a select few photos were taken before Holocaust Memorial Day in January 2020, most of the photos on display as part of this exhibit were taken in spring 2021. For your protection. Vulnerable survivors and their families, both custodians and photographers, received dual vaccinations against COVID-19 prior to the photo sessions. Photographers also work in gardens and digitally edit photos to ensure that people in photos can maintain social distancing when necessary.
When Zigi Shipper and his 20 family members were photographed by Arthur Edwards, the images were taken at intervals of two hours, then stitched together to ensure that no more than six people exercised. in the Shipper’s garden at the same time. One of Shipper’s nieces living in Spain was unable to attend the shoot due to travel restrictions, but her portrait was stitched from a distance.
The people in these images are older, so this may be the last time they are photographed in such large numbers. Grant says the exhibition was founded for this reason: To showcase and share the very powerful stories of survivors. The photos show how their lives and legacy are being passed down through the generations, reminding us of how important it is for them to be remembered.