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August 1968, Soviet tanks occupy Czechoslovakia and Yuri’s status of a summer student in London changes overnight to one of a refugee. A year later he lands in Toronto where he still lives. Four decades later Yuri Dojc is a major ﬁgure on the global photographic scene. He has earned considerable recognition for both his commercial and artistic oeuvre. His work, ranging from cityscapes to nudes, is exhibited and published regularly. His recent work in Rwanda has appeared in the French daily Liberation under the dramatic headline of “Landscape of Genocide”.
Serendipity led Yuri and the documentary ﬁlm team to an abandoned Jewish school in eastern Slovakia, where time had stood still since the day in 1943 when all those attending it were taken away to the camps… the school books all still there, essay notebooks with corrections, school reports, even the sugar still in the cupboard…
These decaying books lying on dusty shelves; the last witnesses of a once thriving culture, are treated by Yuri like the survivors that they each are - every one captured as a portrait, preserved in their ﬁnal beauty, pictures speaking a thousand words. Amongst these many hundreds of books and fragments photographed by Yuri, one stands out especially - one which miraculously found its way from a dusty pile to its rightful heir - a book once owned by Yuri’s grandfather Jakub.
Katya Krausova, Yuri Dojc
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