Perel/Perla/Pola/Paula
Project info

This series attempts to tell the complex story of my grandmother’s life. The recurring subjects represented in these photographs are my grandparents, Paula and Gershon, and my father, Ruby, their son. The title of the series is comprised of all the different variations of names my grandmother had during her lifetime. For me, “Perel/Perla/Pola/Paula” sums up her entire life story.

Paula Taub was a stubborn and indestructible woman, with iron flowing through her veins despite her small, fragile-looking appearance. While the series is focused on my grandmother, I also tried to shed some light on my father’s childhood growing up with parents who were Holocaust survivors. After tales of his childhood are told, it becomes easier to understand where his impatience and sharp gallows humor stem from.

Memory was hard on Paula. She was plagued by memories of loss and suffering for most of her life. From the time her mind began to slowly deteriorate due to Alzheimer’s, I’ve felt a strong obligation not to let a single day go by without thinking about what my grandmother endured. Since her death on my 20th birthday at the age of 95, I’ve struggled with how to keep her memory alive. By telling my grandmother’s story, I am honoring her and all the people whose stories may have been forgotten.