A chilling description of Loli Kantor's photo-essay book, Beyond the Forest, describes it as "exploring the subject of Jewish presence and absence in Eastern Europe."
Presence and absence. Echoes of an awful time. Generations lost. Survivors carrying on with new life.
For the Fort Worth-based photo-essayist, this project of recording Jewish life in Poland and Ukraine is a family history. A photo inside a synagogue in Bershad, Ukraine, shows seven people at worship and carries the information that "The Jewish population which numbered 7,000 before the Holocaust is now around 50."
Kantor was born in Paris to Holocaust survivors from Poland who'd lost most of their families. She was raised in Tel Aviv and for three decades has made her home in Fort Worth, working as a fine art photographer and a freelancer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Kantor will discuss Beyond the Forest and the story behind her years-long project in a Council program on Tuesday, September 29, at HKS Inc. in Dallas.
In Beyond the Forest, she demonstrates both the art photographer's eye for composition and the news photographer's ability to capture a moving scene to tell a story. In combining black and white photography on film with color digital photography, Kantor turns the collection of single frames into a drama of survival and restoration.
Kantor explained that the title Beyond the Forest "celebrates the presence of Jews in Eastern Europe, beyond the darkness of the forests where in the 20th century many thousands were mass murdered and where others found their refuge in hiding."
Kantor's work includes a Fort Worth-focused book titled Heaven on a Biscuit about the legendary Hip Pocket Theatre. In addition, her award-winning photography is in collections at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Lviv National Museum in Ukraine, Drohobych Palace of Art in Ukraine, the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin, Lishui Museum of Photography in China and The Center for Fine Art Photography in Colorado.
$15 for World Affairs Council members, $30 non-members