Students bring in a family photograph they like. This can be from a vacation, a holiday celebration, a family life cycle event, any photograph that includes the student. In class, students look through the Centropa database to find a photograph that looks similar to the one they brought in – people might be posed similarly to the people in their picture, or doing the same thing, etc. Then they read about that photograph, as well as the Centropa interview to find out about the life of that survivor.
The class watched Centropa’s film Love on a Paper Airplane as an introduction to the love story of Judit Kinszki’s parents, and the early modern photography of Imre Kinszki (Judit’s father). We then explored the images in Kinszki’s work and examined what made them modern and how they were characteristic of modern photography and art in Europe in the early 20th century.
Interwar Hungary produced some of the best modernist photographers: Imre Kertesz, Robert Capa, and Laszlo Moholy Nagy. All were Jewish. Another great Jewish Hungarian photographer of the period was Imre Kinszki, whose life and career was cut short when he vanished in the last months of WW2 during a death march. His reputation faded. In this project, students learn about the modernist artistic styles of these important photographers, and research their life stories.