Leo Baeck Institute Lecture Series, London 2021

Conceptions of Heimat in Jewish Visual History and Culture


A lecture series organised by the Leo Baeck Institute London in cooperation with the German Historical Institute London.

This season’s series examines the German-Jewish and European-Jewish notion of Heimat and its diverse and changing visual representations and interpretations during the course of history. It looks at the subject through a prism of visual media, such as the arts, photography, film and fashion, as well as literature and social media, etc. 

For more information on the lecture series please refer to the leaflet here.

We are delighted to resume our LBI Lecture Series on Zoom. Dr Daniel Wildmann (Director, Leo Baeck Institute London) has the pleasure of warmly inviting you to the second lecture in this series:  


Prof Jan-Christopher Horak

UCLA, Los Angeles, USA

Helmar Lerski between the Diaspora and a Jewish Homeland

6.30pm, 18th March 2021

The nomadic photographer and filmmaker Helmar Lerski was born in Alsace, raised in Switzerland, began his professional career in Milwaukee, moved to Germany, travelled to Erez Israel and ultimately retired in Switzerland.  Aesthetically, Lerski sought to communicate timeless values through the manipulation of light and the physiognomy of the human face in extreme close-ups. His photo project ‘Jewish Heads’ started his search for a distinct Jewish identity. While advocating a Jewish homeland as a Zionist filmmaker, Lerski remained loyal to his artistic vision. This dichotomy between identifying Jewishness in the Diaspora and a national Jewish identity tied to the land of Israel, between biology and environment, eternal art and propaganda, makes Lerski’s work rich and still contemporary.

Prof Horak is the former Director of the UCLA Film & Television Archive, the Munich Filmmuseum and Curator at the George Eastman Museum. He teaches at UCLA and is the multi-award-winning author of numerous books on film historical subjects.


This lecture will be held online via Zoom on Thursday, March 18th 2021 and will start punctually at 6.30pm (UK time).  

To join the event please click this link: 
https://zoom.us/j/99481520383?pwd=VG4vNUMybkNwdktBTVdEbDBDQThrQT09 at the appointed date and time, wait to be admitted by the host and follow the instructions on your screen. If you have any difficulty joining us on the night, please contact volunteer@leobaeck.co.uk and a member of staff will be able to assist you. 

Admission is free but we would welcome if you could inform us of your intention to participate prior to the event by emailing us on info@leobaeck.co.uk. This would help us to prepare in advance for participant numbers and management.