‘Himmelstrasse’ by Brian Griffin Documents Railway Tracks in Poland Leading to the Nazi Death Camps

Today, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27 2019, seems like a good time to publish a link to the great British photographer Brian Griffin’s book ‘Himmelstrasse’, published by Browns Editions in a limited edition of 500 in 2015. 

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‘Himmelstrasse’ by Brian Griffin.

… In May 1942, Sobibor became fully operational and began mass gassing operations. Himmelstrasse (Heaven Street) was a cynical Nazi joke used to describe the final journey to the gas chambers.

Brian Griffin has documented the railway tracks in Poland that transported approximately three million prisoners from around Europe to the Nazi extermination camps during WWII. From the railway leading to Hitler’s Eastern Front military headquarters at the Wolf’s Lair, to the State Rail System leading to the camps of Belzec, Chelmno, Sobibor, Stutthof and Treblinka. Griffin’s haunting landscapes are an emotional and personal photographic journey that represents the relentless brutality and inhumanity of the Holocaust.

This publication was launched in September 2015 at The Photographers’ Gallery, London. Followed by a launch at the NY Art Book Fair 2015….

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Do Documentaries Matter Anymore?

Simon Kilmurry, Executive Director of the International Documentary Association, asks whether documentaries movies are relevant nowadays in his guest column at The Hollywood Reporter, Why Documentaries Matter Now More Than Ever.

Mr Kilmurry answers in the affirmative:

Documentary film is essential to a healthy and democratic society — that is why it is feared by autocrats.

Stories: Mercury Rises at the Fisk (Wireless) Memorial in Wahroonga

On 22 Seprember 1918, Ernest Fisk, head of AWA (Amalgamated Wireless Australasia) and Raymond E. McIntosh (and a host of other engineers) received a direct transmission from Marconi at his Caernarfon station in Wales. This was cited as the first (major) direct radio communication from Great Britain to Australia, the message received at Fisk’s home, ‘Lucania’ at Wahroonga on Sydney’s north shore. 

Each year, Ku-ring-gai Historical Society (KHS) members celebrate this event at Wahroonga outside the home where a memorial was erected in Fisk’s honour. The weather was not kind today hence the limited photos available. But why mention a moment in history that many have forgotten?…

Stories: Rally to Save Our Sirius

“Save our Sirius,” said the man sitting on the pavement not more than three metres away from Sirius, the social housing icon of Brutalist architecture in Sydney’s historic The Rocks. “Why do they want to save a pub?” 

The Sirius building is anything but a pub, as my first story about it illustrates, a fact that can be easily determined by those who care to glance upwards from their comfy perches.

More than a thousand citizens of all ages, who clearly do know what Sirius is and stands for, took part in a rally on September 17 to protest the imminent eviction of the last remaining longterm residents of Sirius and the planned sale and destruction of their homes.

People from all walks of life took part, including present and past residents of Sirius, Dawes Point and Millers Point, architect Tao Gofers who designed Sirius in the 1970s, local and state politicians, as well as architecture enthusiast and radio personality Tim Ross….

Stories: The Sirius Building, The Rocks, Sydney

The Sirius building is an inner city social housing project in the heart of Sydney’s historic The Rocks district, under threat of destruction. 

It is a rare, iconic example of the Brutalist movement in architecture, extant from the 1950s to the 1970s.

Brutalist architecture, like Brut champagne, is form derived from function, unsweetened with needless ornamentation, constructed with concrete cast into moulds often lined with roughened timber….

Stories: ‘People with Cameras’ in Hyde Park, Sydney

Fujifilm Australia had the innovative idea of inviting photographers to come and hang out together in the centre of Sydney for a few hours, and take on a challenge. Several hundred of them accepted the invitation and turned up, cameras in hands ready to accept Fujifilm Australia’s photographic challenge. Staff members had expected no more than a hundred of them.

Although Australia now has a more photographically active culture than it did when I came up with the magazine about which I write about on the About page, we don’t have the sorts of photographically-oriented events citizens of other countries and cities have come to take for granted. The ‘People with Cameras‘ concept is one of those….