Time had stood still since 1943 in a small Jewish village in Slovakia, until nearly 10 years ago when Canadian photographer Yuri Dojc returned to visit his family’s former home.
On the eve of World War II, many of the villagers had fled, and those remaining were taken away to concentration camps. Serendipity led Dojc, along with a documentary film team to the local Jewish school, which had been locked since 1943. All the school books were still there; including essay notebooks with corrections—even the sugar was still in the cupboard.
The decaying books, which were lying on dusty shelves, the last witnesses of a once thriving culture, are treated by Dojc like the survivors they are–each one captured as a portrait, preserved in their final beauty, silent witnesses to the horrors of history.
Curated by Melissa Bennett, Curator of Contemporary Art
Header Image: Yuri Dojc Book, Bardejov (detail), 2007, chromogenic print, Courtesy of the artist