Are there any people here?” was six years in the making. When I stumbled across the concentration camp at Rivesaltes, I was shocked to hear its history: 2,313 Jews were sent to Auschwitz from there during 1942. It’s a really important project; not much is known outside France about the camps there, especially the ones run by the French authorities in Free France. The Nazi regime was not involved.
During the project I made several video walks through the camp, including RQV2.
To draw the project to a conclusion, I decided not to use these abstract images, rather photographs that are more accessible. I created a book of photos of the camp as it stands today, more an artist’s book than an academic history text and I explore the past and present feelings towards the Holocaust in this part of France through my journal which accompanies the images. “Are there any people here?” seems an obscure title, but it was my son Louis, four at the time, who repeated the phrase over and over again when he visited the ruins with me. Quite profound from a child so young I thought.
‘Are there any people here’ is a high-quality limited edition artist’s book (50 hand numbered and signed copies) and has been distributed to galleries, museums and is available to buy online.