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A Wounded Landscape by Marc Wilson

Sat 4 February 2023 @ 11:00 am Sun 9 April 2023 @ 5:00 pm


Side Gallery is honoured to showcase the first major UK exhibition of photographer Marc Wilson’s personal journey, bearing witness to the Holocaust.

 ‘A Wounded Landscape’ is a reminder of how this atrocity was perpetrated over a vast landscape in radically different environments and how experiences of persecution usually started in places that the persecuted called home.

At nearly 40,000 sites across Europe between 1939-1945, the Nazis and their collaborators systematically murdered almost six million Jews and many people from other groups whom they considered racially inferior or for ideological and political reasons. They included Roma, homosexuals, the mentally and physically disabled, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Communists, and more than three million Soviet prisoners of war.

The European landscape is scarred by the physical traces of the Nazis’ campaign of destruction. Some of these traces are conspicuous, bearing names recognised worldwide: Dachau, Belsen, and Auschwitz, but most are far less known, having been reabsorbed into our everyday world via the passage of time. They are in cities, towns, villages, fields, and forests. They were sites where individual killings and slaughter on a mass scale took place; the numbers involved almost beyond our understanding. Together they formed a pathway to genocide: destroyed communities and ghettos, internment camps, transit camps, labour camps, sub-camps, concentration camps, displacement camps and extermination camps. The surrounding landscapes are connected by the forced journeys made between. They were places where literal life-or-death decisions were made but also sites of hope, survival, and memory.

For Six years (2015-2021), Marc Wilson journeyed across 130 locations in 20 countries, documenting the physical traces of the Holocaust and the stories of 22 survivors and their descendants. Their experiences are recounted in English, French, Hebrew, Polish, Dutch and Russian.

Please be advised that the subject and content of this exhibition may cause distress. In particular, we recommend that all children under 16 are accompanied by an adult, and that parents / guardians use their discretion regarding suitability. We have sofas on the Ground Floor if you wish to take some time to reflect.

This exhibition was made possible with the support of Arts Council England, Community Foundation, NCIF, Newcastle City Council & Digitalab.