Traces of WarJan BanningText by: Esther Captain and Henk Hovinga
Price: £19.99
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During the Second World War, thousands of Dutch, British, Australian and American POWs were forced by the Japanese to work on the railways in Burma and Sumatra. 50-80 per cent died under such terrible conditions. Photographer Jan Banning photographed 24 Dutch and Indonesian survivors, bravely revisiting this horrendous ordeal.
Victory for the allied forces in the Pacific theatre of the Second World War will be celebrated in August, 60 years after the Japanese Emperor Hirohito conceded defeat. There will be among the celebrants a small, largely forgotten group who will once again have to relive their nightmares of the war in the Pacific.

Dutch, English, Australian and American POWs were among more than a quarter of a million Asians - so called romushas - forced by the Japanese to work on railways in Burma and Sumatra. They worked in desperate conditions. Between 50 and 80 per cent of the romushas did not survive the regime, not least as a result of being torpedoed in transit. The sinking of the Junyo Maru, for instance, resulted in the deaths of 4000 romushas and 1500 prisoners of war.

Traces of War the Dutch photographer Jan Banning has interviewed and photographed just 24 of the Dutch and Indonesian survivors. The haunting images show them as they worked, naked from the waist up. The words elicit, with a matter-of-fact disinterest, the misery of their constant understanding of death. Unsurprisingly, after their experiences, they have hitherto been loath to discuss their ordeals.

Jan Banning's Dutch publication of
Traces of War has all but sold out. Trolley presents the English language version for the many thousands of relatives and children, and the few survivors, who want to know the truths of what happened in Burma and Sumatra.
ISBN: 978-1-904563-46-4
Publication Year:
Binding: Hardback
Pages: 144
Format: 225 x 245
Illustrations: 24 duotone B/W
Retail Price: UK £19.99 \ US $30.99 \ EURO €24.00 \ CAN $38.95 \ AUS $
Designer: Peter Jonker
Jan Banning was born in Almelo, Holland, in 1954, of Dutch-East-Indies parents. At university he studied social and economic history, and has been a photographer since 1981, concentrating on reportage. A significant theme of his acclaimed work has been the aftermath of war - his highly personalized coverage of, for example, the affects of Agent Orange in Vietnam, the crippling land mines in Cambodia, "Arms into Art" in Mozambique, and the tentative and brittle relations between Croat and Serb in Vukovar, have all been internationally recognized.

In 2003 he founded the publishing house Ipso Facto, which published his book
Sporen van oorlog (Traces of War) in which he portrayed and interviewed 24 old men (among them his father), former forced labourers on the Burma and the Sumatra (Pakanbaroe) railways during the Second World War. The English language version was published by Trolley in 2005.

Banning also has a pervasive interest in bureaucracies and how they affect the societies which they dominate. Comprehensively unravelling the strands and structures of these behemoths, he has produced revelatory work in Mozambique, India and Indonesia. He will not stop there.

Awards include:
2004 World Press Award, Portrait Series
2003 Icodo Price
2001 Unicef Photo of the Year, honorable mention
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