Nancy Baron: Into the Light
This Sunday, January 27, 2019, is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, an international memorial day for the victims of the Holocaust and a time to remember the genocide that resulted in the annihilation of six million European Jews as well as millions of others by the Nazi regime. January 27 is the date, in 1945, when the largest Nazi death camp (Auschwitz-Birkenau), was liberated by Soviet troops.
In honor of this day of remembrance, we share photographer Nancy Baron’s project, Into the Light. Nancy is known for her three books on Palm Springs and her investigations into a wide range of cultures and communities. Into the Light is a significant portrait project that features Holocaust survivors who now live in the desert regions around Palm Springs. As Nancy has seen the number of Holocaust deniers grow, she recognizes the importance of documenting and celebrating the last generation of survivors that saw first hand the atrocities of World War II.
Born in Chicago, Nancy Baron is now based in Los Angeles and Palm Springs, California. In her fine art documentary photography she uses portraits, landscapes, and architectural photographs to capture the majesty of the world nearby with a hopeful bias.
Nancy’s prints have been exhibited in group and solo shows internationally and are held in public and private collections. Her photography has been published in notable magazines and newspapers worldwide, including The New York Times, Madame Figaro, W Magazine, Architectural Digest, Conde Nast Traveler, Fast Times, Mother Jones, and on the Apple, CNN, and BBC websites.
Baron’s two monographs, The Good Life > Palm Springs and Palm Springs > The Good Life Goes On are published by Kehrer Verlag and are held in various museum libraries, including MOMA, LACMA, the Getty, The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, and The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, Austin.
Into the Light
Since 2010 I’ve volunteered to make portraits of Holocaust Survivors participating in The Sunshine Circle Foundation (headed by my friend, Shaindy Friedman) in the Palm Springs area.
In recent years I’ve been horrified to see intolerance and the numbers of Holocaust deniers grow and I’m grateful to bear witness to these inspirational people and to learn about each person’s journey from the light to the bleakest dark and, at the end of their days, to the beautiful desert light.
It’s been a privilege to meet these desert dwellers – not only survivors of the Holocaust but also members of a dwindling generation of American immigrants. They love their country and don’t miss an opportunity to express their appreciation for the American forces that liberated the camps that imprisoned them as well as the sanctuary and opportunity that America has offered them since that time.
In conversations about the Holocaust they often say, “I survived because I was lucky.” Listening to them tell their stories, or even a great joke, I believe they are here because they are Survivors in the truest sense of the word. – Nancy Baron
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