I remember this summer, I was sitting in the grass, there, just listening to the wind, under the trees. My being, laying on this calm, was resting. I painted the watercolor of this feeling. The sun dazzled my thoughts. As if the place wanted to be forgotten, not to be what it was, a death camp. This was my first visit to Auschwitz. That was nine years ago. From that moment, I have only memories and yet the contradiction of the moment has never left me.

1.4 million people a year come to remember what man is capable of. As many people wish to remember the atrocity, in order to keep it in memory. Yet I can not endeavor to observe the rise of the rejection of the other and of fear, the orgin of such disasters. Just a few days after taking those pictures, I was reading an article about these concentration camps for homosexuals in Chechnya.

I can only wonder about the possible impact of history. Like a picture too long exposed to the sun, the memory of these camps seems to fade away. The colors and contrast disappear. Leaving only traces in a burned image, traces of a child’s pencil, a mountain of objects or the remains of a place. They remain only the gray of the ashes. These ashes were scattered in the neighboring streams and woods. The trees here are living graves, raised to the sky, keeping in memory the history of the place and the people.

“What experience and history teaches is that peoples and governments have never learned anything from history and have never acted according to maxims that could have been withdrawn,” said Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. “Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it,” reminds us Santayana.

- Ymy Nigris

Young, self-taught photographer, Ymy Nigris travels the world’s trails with the gaze of a poet. He spent a year at the Beaux-Arts in Nantes, which he left in order to travel. He mostly lived in Australia and Berlin where he worked as a mixologist. He left this city where he had finally opened a bar, to devote his time and energy to the development of his artistic career. He lives between the roads, a few trips and a small village in the south-west of France.

His work was presented for the first time in December 2016 in Rennes and Lyon, followed by Strasbourg, Saverdun, Tarbes and Arles for the Voies Off festival.

Visit Ymy Nigris’ site