Dear friends,
In 2021, Daylight Books released my book Alive and Destroyed:  A Meditation on the Holocaust in Time, a ten year photo-text work that wrestles with the complications of remembering genocide. 

Alive and Destroyed is the most ambitious and difficult work I have ever undertaken—difficult artistically, intellectually, psychically.  It is the innermost project from which I have done many other things, from photo essays and critical studies to my deep work with the Galicia Jewish Museum in Kraków and FestivALT Kraków.  Part report and part visual poem, the project looks into the complex forms the Holocaust has assumed in the places where it actually happened—a simultaneously calm and turbulent mixture of presence and absence for which there are no ready words, hence the need for images.  Menachem Kaiser, author of the 2021 New York Times-selected memoir Plunder, who has contributed an afterword to my book, writes that “Alive and Destroyed …is an argument-in-images, a startling confrontation of the mandate, burden, and limitations of Holocaust memory.”  

Even in an age of hyper-accessibility, when creative content of seemingly every kind is available in a few clicks, books remain a uniquely powerful mode of cultural production for artists.  Slower paced than the internet, more enduring than an exhibition, more physically immediate and tactile than either one, photographic books remain irreplaceable forms of photographic artistry.  Many of you know that we are currently in a golden age of photobooks, both in terms of artistic sophistication and technical quality, the latter having reached astonishing levels of beauty and refinement.  If I could choose any era of photography’s history for Alive and Destroyed to appear, I would certainly choose this one.

However, if photographic books are a form of original art available to the public at comparatively modest prices, this is not because high quality book publishing is inexpensive.  On the contrary, Alive and Destroyed has required of me over $37,000 in subvention.  I am an artist and not a fundraiser, and I have scrambled to figure out how to pay for the publication of this work.  If you are so moved, I offer the following two ways that you can help to support it.
1.  The retail value of Alive and Destroyed will be approximately $50.  For $125, you will be able to buy a signed book directly from me, together with a signed original archival pigment print.  I will be glad to print you a photograph of your choice, from the options below, numbered 1-10 (the default option will be no. 1).  To preorder, please email me at, with the subject heading “Alive and Destroyed Deluxe Edition.”  Be sure to specify the street address where I can mail your book, which print you would like, and an email address where I can send you a PayPal invoice.  If you prefer to pay by check, my address is below.  All shipping will be by USPS, with tracking.  I will send you a confirmation email after I have shipped your book plus print. 

2.  For $500, you will receive a deluxe edition of the book, with all ten photographs below, in signed original archival pigment prints made by me.  Instructions for ordering are the same as above.

Let me say the most essential point:  your support for my book is not support for me only.  It is also support for the nexus of artists, writers, researchers, teachers, activists, musicians, performers and others whose work flows through my own.  It is support for those whose minds and hearts my book may reach.  Call me foolish:  still I do not doubt the power of a book to change a life.

Not least, I am all too aware of the career impediments that visual artists face, especially those whose concerns are ethically freighted, even more so for political artists who resist didacticism.  It seems to me that we live in a time that asks comparatively little of its artists.  Rather it is up to artists to ask much of themselves, and if they dare, of the world in return.  By definition, I suppose, to sustain a long term project like Alive and Destroyed is already to have figured out something about the value of daring to try and daring to fail, but success worth the name comes when it does not belong to the artist alone.

With thanks and gratitude,
Jason Francisco

1.  Kazimierz, Kraków, Poland, 2017—view of the famous courtyard between ul. Meiselsa and ul. Józefa.

2.  Katowice, Poland, 2016—the site of the city's erstwhile Great Synagogue

3.  Tyszowce, Poland, 2017—view of the the Jewish cemetery

4.  The Rumbala forest, near Riga, Latvia, 2017—the pits into which the city's Jews were murdered.

5.  Liuboml, Ukraine, 2017—the pit into which the town's Jews were shot.

6.  Mir, Belarus, 2017—the killing ground of the town's Jews.

7.  Sejny, Poland, 2016—the town's Great Synagogue

8.  Vilnius, Lithuania, 2017—view of a courtyard in the former Nazi prison ghetto for the city's Jews.

9.  Orhei, Moldova, 2018—view of the Jewish cemetery in one of my own family's ancestral shtetls.

10.  Buchach, Ukraine, 2014—view of the Jewish cemetery.