Jan Banning: Traces of War – Survivors of the Burma and Sumatra Railways
In Traces of War, photographer Jan Banning takes 24 men back to World War II. Under the yoke of the Japanese military, they performed forced labor on the Burma and Sumatra Railways. Sixty years later, the scars of that past are still visible.
Fifteen Dutch former allied POWs, Banning’s father among them, and nine Indonesians posed for black and white portraits. Banning photographed the men with their chests bare, the way they labored back then. The men also relate the story of their experiences during the war and how these have affected their lives, hesitantly, at times, but with census detail.
An introduction and epilogue by experts on Dutch colonial history place these interviews in a larger,