PHOTOGRAPHER Larnce Gold instantly knew he’d captured a powerful bird’s eye image of Holocaust remembrance at Bondi Beach just after dawn.
What surprised him was the effect it had on the 28 volunteers on the ground who helped shape it.
Using a camera attached to a drone flying overhead, Gold snapped them dressed from head to foot in black, lying in formation to create a giant replica of the Auschwitz prisoner number tattooed on the arm of Holocaust survivor Joseph Pakula, the late father of Gold’s friend Robyn Pakula.
The striking formation of the group – made up mostly of descendants of Holocaust survivors – contrasted dramatically with the softness of the early morning light and the peaceful setting of sand and sea.
The photograph forms the beginning of Gold’s RememberTheYom project he launched on Facebook and Instagram on April 13 ahead of Yom Hashoah, which begins on the night of April 23.
It began when Robyn asked him to create a meaningful image to commemorate Yom Hashoah in honour of Joseph, who had lived in the Lodz ghetto in Nazi-occupied Poland.
Gold – whose late grandmother Dora Goldbaum also survived the Holocaust – said, “For me, it wasn’t just about taking a photo – it was what happened in the process.
“I was really blown away by how much it meant to the people that were lying there on the sand at the crack of dawn, in silence and stillness,” he said.
“The feedback I got was that it was a special experience for them to reflect in that way.”
Robyn Pakula told The AJN that being part of the formation, alongside her two young children, was “an unbelievable experience”.
“Everyone in the group just ‘got it’ and I think were equally moved,” she said.
“I just think we have so much to be thankful for about that generation of Holocaust survivors, who came here and rebuilt their lives,” she said.
Gold hopes people will view the photo, share it and be inspired to create their own images for Yom Hashoah that are relevant and meaningful to them.
View the photo on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #remembertheyom. To submit images for consideration, email Gold at [email protected].