Accounting for the absent

Dive into the enigmatic world of „Accounting for Absent“ – a theme that captivated hearts at our recent exhibition.

22 October – 12 November

recount photo agora


The photo essay „Yizkor“ (Yiddish/Hebrew: יִזְכּוֹר May [God] remember) addresses both, the uncountable, unimaginable number of six million Jewish people that were murdered during the Shoah, as well as the concrete case of two very specific people, namely, my great-great grandparents, Ethel and Moishe Lemlech who were killed during that time. The essay aims at giving back the names and the dignity back to them as well as recounting their story. Among other relatives, Ethel and Moishe were either shot or buried alive by Nazis and their collaborators in the former Polish and now Ukrainian Forest Sosenki [Polish: Small Pines] near the city of Rovno. A total number of around 29,000 Jewish people were killed in and around Rovno between July 1941 and July 1942.

Using the few remaining objects and stories that have been passed down to me, I visualize my family’s trauma while intertwining and contextualizing my own heritage with the modern architecture of the Yad Vashem Remembrance Center in Jerusalem and the surrounding area of Mount Herzl. To undergo my personal catharsis of space and time, I draw upon a mixture of the following methods: double and long exposures, cyanotype, analogue and digital projection of archive images.

It is a matter to me to tell the story of Moishe and Ethel by my own means, as part of the third generation after the Shoah — while reminding the viewer of humanity, ethics and justice – values that, in the face of the war in Ukraine, are again of crucial importance in the region today.

Text and images are under copyright @recountphotoaward and Polina Schneider