© Sanna Sjöswärd Bela Citrom Fotografiska

28 August — 20 October, 2019

Sanna Sjöswärd

Fading Stories – pass them on

The new Fotografiska For Life exhibition Fading Stories – pass them on exhibited at Fotografiska Stockholm uses an app to display the portraits of 23 different holocaust survivors that have been photographed and interviewed by photographer Sanna Sjöswärd. 15 of the portraits are shown on screens in the exhibition, and the remaining eight are displayed on TVs. Combined, the photographs strike the beholder with a troubled message, and all the material can later be found in the app.

we must all help to ensure that history is not repeated

In the exhibition material, survivors talk of their memories of the Holocaust. Some of them have hardly ever shared their stories before, while others went public with their horrific experiences several years ago – in order to share their knowledge and the insight that we must all help to ensure that history is not repeated.

The exhibition is a collaboration with the photographer Sanna Sjöswärd and Raoul Wallenberg Academy and will also include teaching material for schools to share these stories with current and future students.

“Early on in my life I experienced injustices as I came to Sweden, I was deemed different. There was a form of passiveness in the schoolyards of 80s Sweden. And that people stand idly by with their arms crossed is something I’ve come across plenty during my conversations with some of the last survivors of the holocaust. I strive to create a lasting impact by retelling these powerful stories. Not only does it give us insight into the minds of the last witnesses of the holocaust, it also provides us with an internal moral compass that directs us to how we can achieve a better society for our fellow people and for ourselves,” says Sanna Sjöswärd.

Seven portraits of Holocost survivors taken by Sanna Sjöswärd was displayed during Almedalen Week 30 June–7 July. This to highlight the need to ensure that survivors’ stories continue to be passed on once they themselves no longer can. The exhibition gained a lot of attention. The neo nazist group NMR tried to block the entrance and went into the exhibition hall with the seven old survivors of the Holocost screaming “history-liers”. Hundreds of visitors and thousands followers in social media very active show their support and wish to share the democratic values with us and pass the survivors stories on.

Fotografiska For Life exhibitions highlight important social issues and it’s frightening that we are once again living in an era where the idea of universal equality is being challenged and a greyscale of alternative histories are emerging...

...Fading Stories - pass them on makes it very apparent just how important moral courage and compassion are to all of us, says Per Broman, founder and General Manager of Fotografiska Stockholm.

What humane values are important to me?

Today, increasing polarisation in which different groups are pitched against each other means there is a desperate need for compassion and moral courage in the spirit of Raoul Wallenberg. Accordingly, the exhibition will open at Fotografiska on 27 August, Raoul Wallenberg’s Day the Swedish national day for equal rights, and civil courage.

“It is our responsibility to listen. The project “Fading stories – pass them on” connects history to the personal duty we have today in determining questions such as: What is my responsibility as a fellow human being today? What humane values are important to me? How can I act on my values through action? Raoul Wallenberg Academy equips young individuals with moral courage, and adds it to the project as partner for this exhibition,” says Johanna Westien, tf secretary general of Raoul Wallenberg Academy.

In the exhibition these old and wise women and men use their life experience to answer the following questions: What message would you offer the youth of today? How do you think we can act today to prevent hate?

Answers that inspire both reflection and the will to act…

© Sanna Sjöswärd Livia Fränckel Fotografiska
© Sanna Sjöswärd Livia Fränckel