Little Man was Zofia Rydet’s first exten­ded photographic series, which she worked on in 1952–1963. The sub­jects of the photos taken in Poland, and in her travels around Europe and the Middle East (Albania, Bul­garia, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Egypt and Lebanon), are chil­dren, cap­tured in the conven­tion of humanist photography. The psychologically deep por­traits of “small people” document both the first post-​war decades and the hopes placed in the new generation born just after the Holocaust and the end of the Second World War. The series cul­minated in a photo album under the same title, published in 1965 in the original graphic layout by Woj­ciech Zamecz­nik. Rydet’s photos are accom­panied by pas­sages chosen by Rydet her­self from the writings of Janusz Kor­czak, the distin­guished Polish-​Jewish educator and children’s rights activist, who was mur­dered along with the chil­dren in his care in the Nazi camp at Treblinka in 1942.

from the Little Man series, 1961, gelatin silver print, 23.6 × 17.9 cm


from the Little Man series, 1959, gelatin silver print, 23.7 × 18 cm


from the Little Man series, 1958, gelatin silver print, 18 × 23.7 cm


from the Little Man series, 1959, gelatin silver print, 18.1 × 24 cm

Zofia Rydet
Little Man