Jordis Antonia SchlösserThe Unexpected Generation - New Jewish Life in Eastern Europe

Jordis Antonia Schlösser

The Unexpected Generation - New Jewish Life in Eastern Europe

2016 – 2018

A young woman amid the weathered tombstones in a cemetery in Łódź. A wedding in Kraków. A Hassidic school in Kyiv. A summer camp for teens in Sanok, in southeast Poland, formerly a lively shtetl. Jordis Antonia Schlösser went on the search for Jewish life in Poland today — and found much more than just the traces of the old culture destroyed by the Holocaust. Poland and Ukraine, once the heartlands of European Judaism, are experiencing a cautious, tentative Renaissance in Jewish life, a life that barely existed in Poland for decades. The few survivors of the Holocaust who did not leave the country during the communist era often kept their Jewish identity a secret, out of fear. Only now are increasing numbers of young people discovering that they have Jewish roots.

It is the “unexpected” generation, as they are known in Poland. They do research and make inquiries, rediscover old rituals; they find each other, even though it is sometimes difficult. They are experiencing the euphoria of a new beginning, a new sense of community once thought to have been forgotten. But they are also experiencing a growing sense of nationalism and antisemitism, especially in Poland. Schlösser’s photographs welcome the viewer as a guest in a mostly unfamiliar world, one that everyone thought had been lost.

Jordis Antonia Schlösser

Born in Göttingen, Germany, in 1967.
1988–96: Studied photography design at the Fachhochschule Dortmund under Arno Fischer and Gisela Scheidler.
1997: Joined OSTKREUZ.
1999: Master class with Joop Swart, World Press Photo Foundation; DAAD grant; finalist, Grand Prix Care International du Reportage Humanitaire;
1999–2002: Hansel Mieth Prize.
2001: World Press Photo Award, category Arts and Entertainment, second prize.
2003: Havanna zwischen den Zeiten (solo show), National Museum, Wrocław.
2004: Eine Stadt verschwindet (solo show), Biel/Bienne Festival of Photography, Switzerland.
2008: Am Rande Europas, Abschied von Gestern (solo show), Goethe Institute, Paris and Bordeaux.
2009: Auf der Kippe (solo show), Clervaux—Cité de l’Image, Luxembourg.
2016: VG Bild-Kunst-Stipendium (grant).
2017: solo show, Katara Photography Festival, Qatar.
2020: Der Abgrund, der mal Heimat war (solo show), Open Air travelling exhibition in 21 german cities, organised by Greenpeace.
Jordis Antonia Schlösser lives in Berlin.