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“Returns” is a collection of artistically outstanding photographs, a record of their author's passion and long-standing work, and finally an image of a world that managed to survive, although it was meant to disappear from the surface of the earth forever.
We usually see Hassids from Bobowa, Lelów, Góra Kalwaria, Rymanów or Leżajsk on pho-tographic plates from a century ago. However, Agnieszka Traczewska is a contemporary photographer documenting the descendants of Jews who once lived in these areas come to visit the remains of Jewish heritage: cemeteries, the graves of Tzadikim, and synagogues. Her photographs show the meeting of two worlds: one marked by dilapidated stone graves, and the other – that of living people whose appearance resembles their ancestors, giving the impression that time has shifted back.
The author presents the journeys made by Hassids from all over the world to visit the graves of Tzadikim on the anniversaries of their death (“jorzeit”). They believe that on this special day the Tzadik's soul descends to Earth, and their intercession with God may grant them a blessing. Photographs taken by Traczewska, who – contrary to custom – had been allowed into a world usually inaccessible to strangers, have a historical value but above all they are an intimate portrait of people experiencing the mystery of faith.