August 1968, Soviet tanks occupy Czechoslovakia and Yuri’s status of a summer student 

in London changes overnight to one of a refugee. A year later he lands in Toronto 

where he still lives. 


Four decades later Yuri Dojc is a major figure on the global photographic scene. He has 

earned considerable recognition for both his commercial and artistic ouvre. His work 

ranging from cityscapes to nudes is exhibited and published regularly. His recent work 

in Rwanda has appeared in the French daily Liberation under the dramatic headline of 

“Landscape of Genocide”. 


Serendipity led Yuri and the documentary fi lm team to an abandoned jewish school in 

eastern Slovakia, where time had stood still since the day in 1943 when all those 

attending it were taken away to the camps… the school books all still there, essay 

notebooks with corrections, school reports, even the sugar still in the cupboard… 


These decaying books lying on dusty shelves; the last witnesses of a once thriving culture, 

are treated by Yuri like the survivors that they each are - every one captured as 

a portrait, preserved in their fi nal beauty,  pictures speaking a thousand words. 

Amongst these many hundreds of books and fragments photographed by Yuri, one 

stands out especially - one which miraculously found its way from a dusty pile to its 

rightfull heir - a book once owned by Yuri’s grandfather Jakub.  


About Katya Krausova 

About Yuri Dojc