A powerful and haunting visual record, Stephen Shore’s portraits highlight the resilience and hope of Ukraine’s Holocaust survivors.
Stephen Shore, one of the most influential photographers living today, traveled to the Ukraine in 2012 and again in 2013, just prior to the current political upheaval, to visit 35 survivors, most of whom are women. In the photographs of the survivors and their homes, Shore visually explores their collective experience as seen through quotidian details, and leaves open the question as to how the history of the Holocaust informs the viewer’s reception of the portraits.
The book’s 200 digital color photographs are organized to create intimate portraits of their individual and collective experiences whilst maintaining the unsentimental formal order of his photography.
An essay by Jane Kramer, who has written The New Yorker’s Letter from Europe since 1981, will situate the survivors and their stories in the historical context of Ukraine’s modern history with a particular emphasis in the place of Jews within that history.
An important cultural document, Survivors in Ukraine sits between the traditions of the diaristic colour photobook that Shore himself pioneered with Uncommon Places (1982) and American Surfaces (2005), and that of the ‘concerned’ photographer using the camera as witness to conflict and other historic events.