Portraits of Holocaust Survivors by Dennis Darling

Portraits of Holocaust Survivors by Dennis Darling

These images were taken by Austin-based photographer Dennis Darling. These photos of some of the last living Holocaust survivors are part of his documentary project called Families Gone to Ash. This group of individuals in particular were held at Terezin concentration camp, located in what is now Czech Republic. I would love to see more of his work, but Darling lives under the radar, with very little web presence.

From Dennis Darling:

"There are lessons to be learned from these people and compelling reasons to document as much as possible before the last living memory becomes irretrievable. ... This act of recording living history about to vanish has shaped much of my career as a photographer and has fueled a lifelong interest in history."


I've added more images to the end of this post. The last ten shots are the most recent in this series. I think you can really see how the project has evolved throughout the process. Read more about these images from Wayne Ford's blog.











[Via: NPR]
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Documenting remaining holocaust survivors is a very worthy project. However, his photographic style isn't very interesting.

Osnap ClickClick's picture

I have to agree with John... I didn't find them to be captivating, but definitely nice portraits nonetheless.

Tobias Solem's picture

The images seem forced somehow, like as if they were shot in a rush and without too much thought, or consideration behind them. Some of them would've been better if they were closer in, and some further back. I can't believe someone took several shots of these people and these were "the best". Elderly are very thankful to shoot (imo) due to their great many enhanced expressions, every wrinkle forms a shadow enhancing their mood, that is even further improved with removing the saturation. The B&W conversion is the only thing I really truly like here. 

Half of them seem like they are taken in a nursing home. I do wonder if they have been edited using Silver Efex Pro though, great piece of software.

Drew Morris's picture

again, meh

Spencer Selvidge's picture

I know him personally and he shoots only medium format film on his Rolliflex. Hasn't ever shot a professional image on digital. He believes this particular project is more about quiet, simple portraits. Just some more context to add.

William Kolb's picture

Word. I don't think the goal was to show off the execution of the portraits, rather to display the character of the subjects. I enjoy the set.

I love these portraits ... the depth of feeling in them, the richness of the black and whites, the context, the textures, and the narratives each on evokes.