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  • Writer's pictureRachel Grant Waters

BTec Photography - Exploring The Impact Photography Has In History

In this weeks lesson, we took a side step from exploring the practical elements of photography and instead learnt about the impact photography has had in recording history.

We did this through investigating imagery relating to the Holocaust in line with this weeks theme, Holocaust Memorial Day, now in its 21st year.

The archives of photographic, video and physical evidence relating to this dark period in history is as extensive as it invaluable to educating against prejudice and discrimination.

Please note, out of respect and in line with guidance from Yad Vashem, no atrocity images were used in the lesson.

Our lesson began by learning about photojournalism and documentary photography before learning about archives, what they are and the value they have in understanding history.

Using photos from several different archives, the group put together a visual timeline of events beginning with life before 1933, events between 1935-1945, the Nuremberg Trials in 1946 and the protests against antisemitism as recently as 2018. The students discussed why the photos were taken, what it would have been like for the photographers and how those photographers might feel about their photos being used in lessons today.

It’s a huge credit to the maturity and sensitivity of the students in the group that doing a lesson like this was possible, especially as I was able to share with them personal items from my family history and the liberation of Bergen-Belsen.

Ms Grant-Waters

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