Survivor is a series of portraits of Holocaust survivors photographed by acclaimed British photographer Harry Borden. I partnered with Harry halfway through the project in 2009 and traveled to Israel and New York with him to photograph survivors. I coordinated both trips, located and contacted the survivors to participate in the book and I also documented the process and journey, as well as interviewed each survivor about how to live after surviving trauma. The book of photographs has now been published by Octopus Publishing Group in the UK and was released worldwide in April 2017.
Here is a short video and brief explaining the project:
From surviving the most extraordinary circumstances during WW2 to later returning to living ordinary lives, Holocaust survivors are a unique generation of human beings. With the majority of survivors no longer with us, it is imperative that we take this last moment to photograph and engage with this group of extraordinary people.
Over the course of five years, acclaimed photographer Harry Borden has travelled the globe photographing survivors of the Holocaust. The people featured vary in age, gender and nationality, but are all tied together by their experience and survival of one of the darkest moments in human history.
Each photograph is accompanied by a handwritten note from the sitter, ranging from poems, to memories, to hopes for the future, creating a strong sense of intimacy between sitter and reader. This intimacy is amplified by the home settings of many of the photographs, along with the photographer’s use of available light at each scene. At the end of the book is a section providing more information about the person in each portrait, and about how and what they survived, together with the historical context of the events they lived through.
Thought-provoking and touching, this book conveys the dignity and humanity of each subject’s character. Survivor is a unique and powerful testimony of what it is to live with memories of the Holocaust.