The Lonka Project is a photographic tribute to the last Holocaust survivors with us today. Beginning in early 2019 and now, into 2024, over 310 of the world's leading professional photographers, in over 30 countries, have generously contributed their time and talent, each capturing a Holocaust survivor in the context that makes a unique and memorable statement about their lives. Some 450 Holocaust survivors have been photographed.
The results have been presented in exhibitions at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, in the Willy-Brandt Haus in Berlin, in Safra Square in Jerusalem and outdoors in Photo Is:rael in Tel Aviv, and also in the Ghetto Fighter's House Museum in northern Israel, as well as in Plac Solny in Wrocław, Poland, and an outdoor exhibit in Zurich. A show was also held outdoors along the Bondi Beach walkway during the HeadOn Photo Festival 2023. A major exhibition was held in the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center Moscow from February 17, 2022 until May 15th. More may be found, along with photographs in the "updates" page on this website. The project continues.
The last survivors of the Holocaust still live among us.
We photographers - art, portrait and documentary - can do one last thing for them and for us.
We live in a time when the challenge of Holocaust remembrance grows in difficulty.
The new waves of anti-Semitism coupled with studies pointing to a lack of basic knowledge about the Holocaust across an entirely new generation attest to the urgent need for material to illustrate and to educate that darkest period of modern history.
The Lonka Project is an educational and artistic photographic collection created during 2019 that celebrates the resilience of Holocaust survivors and their power to live.
For the photographers involved, this project will enable us to fulfill some of our goals and aspirations as memory keepers for those future generations who will never have known a Holocaust survivor.
Ruby Sosnowicz photographed by Mauricio Candela in Boca Raton, Florida, 2019
GOAL OF THE LONKA PROJECT
The body of work will form a traveling photographic exhibition to be inaugurated in 2020, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Nazi death camps. It will be both a diverse, artistic exhibition as well as a major educational showcase.
A photo book will be printed in conjunction with the inaugural exhibition.
This was written when the website began in 2019.
The book, "The Lonka Project" is now available. Published by Gefen Publishing House, Jerusalem in January 2024, the book contains photographs from 311 professional photographers and has portraits of 439 Holocaust survivors. The book is 510 pages.
See the Updates page for more.
An international collaboration
Hundreds of professional photographers from around the world
The Lonka project was initiated In Jerusalem by Jim Hollander and Rina Castelnuovo as a tribute to Rina's mother Lonka, Dr. Eleonora Nass (1926-2018). As a girl, Lonka survived five Nazi concentration camps, and represents the Holocaust survivors' power to live.
We've watched the project evolve and grow into an international collaboration with so many enthusiastically contributing their talents. It continues and we continue to receive images from photographer as the project now almost celebrates it's first year. We began only in the middle of February 2019.
Below: Dr. Eleonora 'Lonka' Nass and her husband Dr.Jerzy Nass