Hello online world! Sorry I have not posted in a while. To give you a sense of what I’ve been up to, I just finished a whirlwind 2 week field research trip in Israel. Laura (my photographer) met me on Friday, March 2, and we began two incredible weeks of work, interviews, meetings, and also getting to see Israel a bit. We stayed with a good friend and his family, who took amazing care of us the whole time. In total, I conducted 12 interviews with child survivors living throughout Israel, in Jerusalem, the Tel Aviv area, and even up north on Kibbutz Lehavot Habashan. Laura took photos of each of the survivors, and documented the process of interviewing in addition to the profiles of the survivors themselves. Overall, it was an incredible trip, albeit exhausting. We woke up at or before 7 every day, traveled on multiple buses, navigated multiple cities, and conducted 2-4 hr interviews, only to return at around 11 pm and get into bed at 1-2. It was quite exhausting, but worthwhile in so many ways!
I was also able to make some contacts at Yad Vashem, and with other historians, filmmakers, and scholars, which was an amazing opportunity. Each of the survivors had an amazing story to share, and was very receptive to the project and what I’m trying to show through my research.
It was Laura’s first time in Israel, and she had an amazing time as well. We got to spend a lot of time in the Old City, the Negev, Dead Sea, and on the Kibbutz. I can’t wait to see her photos from the trip! Check out facebook for some that I’ve already posted, mostly of the two of us together in Israel.
Some really special things- spending Shabbat with Amichai’s family, finding a creative mind to help me make my video for the presentations, swimming in the Dead Sea for the first time in 5 years, driving through the Negev, coming full circle and seeing friends from all parts of life- the Ziv internship, the Warsaw conference, and others, making two very close friends, having prayers said for us back in CT, spending Purim and my birthday in Israel, and overall feeling that I’m doing a good thing, for me and for the survivors.
After Israel, I traveled to London to give a lecture at the Wiener Library in conjunction with their exhibit for International Women’s Day, “The Space Between”, which documented the stories of four refugee women in the UK through photography. The lecture went well, about 40 people in attendance with a very diverse and interested audience. I’m glad to be back home, though, as field research is exhausting!
Presentation with Laura at the US Embassy in Bern, working out details for a presentation/exhibition with the Swiss Embassy in DC, and getting funding for the post-production of the photos!
I am thankful for all of the lessons I learned in Israel, and for everyone who came through and helped Laura and I have such an amazing trip. We couldn’t have done it without you!