Documentation, through photographs and interviews, of those who survived the unique Nazi ghetto/camp located at Terezín, Czech Republic.
Dennis Carlyle Darling has photographed and interviewed hundreds of Holocaust survivors who spent time at the German transit camp and ghetto at Terezín, a former eighteenth-century military garrison located north of Prague. Many of the prisoners were kept there until they could be transported to Auschwitz or other camps, but unlike German captives elsewhere, they were allowed to participate in creative activities that the Nazis used for propaganda purposes to show the world how well they were treating Jews. Although it was not classified as a “death camp,” more than 33,000 prisoners died at Terezín from hunger, disease, and mistreatment.
In Borrowed Time, Darling reveals Terezín as a place of painful contradictions, through striking and intimate portraits that retrace time and place with his subjects, the last remnants of those who survived the experience. Returning to sites of painful memories with his interview subjects to photograph them, Darling respectfully depicts these survivors and tells their stories.
Dennis Carlyle Darling is a retired professor at the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Journalism and Media. His work has appeared in numerous publications and has been exhibited internationally at over 150 venues. He has published two previous books, Desperate Pleasures and Chameleon with Camera.
In 2012, Dennis Darling began photographing the aging and rapidly vanishing population of Holocaust survivors of Terezín, located north of Prague. Many of the Terezín imprisoned were awaiting transport to certain death at Auschwitz and other extermination camps. Since the beginning of his self-assigned series, Darling has photographed more than 150 portraits in seven countries. His sitters are sometimes asked to accompany him to the location of the painful memory to make the picture. Many are photographed within personal spaces and against environmental backdrops that Darling uses to create an intimate and evocative portrait, many in a panoramic format. Each vulnerable face exposes a shared history of a horrendous past with a photographer sensitive to their experience. Darling captures a sense of 'knowing' in the survivors; the images give life to virtues like honor, integrity, and courage in the expressions of the victims. They are not portraits of a defeated people, but rather, images of triumph. Darling has undertaken a profound and significant responsibility in the Holocaust Survivors project and exercises a quiet respectfulness in a portrayal of a persecuted people linked by brutalities of war for the necessity of history and humanity.
~Polly Gaillard, writer, photographer, educator, for Lenscratch
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