“Black-and-White Forest: Two Journeys to Treblinka”
Ariel Yannay, director of the photography department at Camera Obscura, is the son of Warsaw-born Shmuel “Samek” Yannay, the last commander of the Palyam naval unit, whose family was wiped out in Treblinka. This exhibition contains photographs taken by Ariel Yannay in the forests near the murder sites and a dialogue between Yannay and Chavka Folman-Raban, who had reached Treblinka on a mission as liaison-courier of the Warsaw ghetto’s underground Zionist movement “Dror” to verify rumors about the extermination of Jews there. The exhibition deals with the meaning of the journey and the ability of photography to provide evidence and serve as a channel for memory.
My father, Shmuel (Samek) Yannay, was born Shmuel Poznanski in Warsaw in 1921. On September 3, 1935, holding an immigration permit,
On that railway platform in Warsaw, he saw his mother, his father, his 21-year-old brother and his 16-year-old sister for the last time. They would all be murdered in Treblinka.
Since my father had no specific dates, he decided upon the 22nd of July, 1942, as his family's memorial day. That was the date on which the
In his footsteps, I too went to Treblinka. Once as a visitor, and once as a photographer. When I arrived there, it was a beautiful day. I left behind
When one arrives at Treblinka, one expects to see what had happened. But there is nothing there to see: it's all stones of the monument. But the
I love the woods. Regrettably, there are none in Israel – there's hardly anywhere in which to get lost. Forest and trees are a place’s portrait.
One of the works in this exhibition is a portrait of a tree. It is a young tree. I regard it as our ‘family tree.’ Its leaves are like glittering diamonds.
The forest in my works is a spectrum of tonal values: it is either about to appear, or to disappear. Like figments of our memories.
Between that which no longer is, and those who still are. Still life.