Dutch publisher

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, 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 telling detail.

Traces of War

Survivors of the Burma and Sumatra railways

Jan Banning


Text from Esther Captain and Wim Willems
Design by Peter Jonker
ISBN 90-77386-01-7
144 pages

245 x 225 mm
€30,- (ex shippingcosts)


For dutch version click here

Jan Banning

Photographer Jan Banning (b. 1954), living in Utrecht, Netherlands, gained worldwide recognition with “Bureaucratics,” which was shown in museums and galleries in some 20 countries on five continents.  Banning’s other well-known series include: “Comfort Women” (2010) and “Traces of War: Survivors of the Burma and Sumatra Railways” (2005). Among Banning’s many awards is a World Press Photo Award. His documentary artwork has been widely published and is in collections, both private and public, such as the High Museum of Art Atlanta, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.

Merel Bem, De Volkskrant


“The photographer dives right in with the passion of a scientist. … This investigative approach might be an explanation for the fact that the form is a direct, concentrated and controlled result from the content.”



Scott Indrisek, Whitewall Magazine


“While his choice of subjects does suggest a journalist’s wide-ranging curiosity, Banning composes each image with a fine artist’s eye.”


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