Here and There

By Jillian Edelstein

This acclaimed photographer discovers a lost branch of her family, drawing her into stories of displacement that we all hold in common.

Friday, 17 January 2020

An Upcoming Exhibition and a Ferry to Athens

An upcoming exhibition at the Jewish Museum in Camden is serving to focus mind and my attention on the closing moments of the crowd fund for my book Here and There: The Search for Great Aunt Minna. The time it has taken to raise the funds, and I am extremely grateful to all of you for your generosity, has helped in the fact that I have been using the time to rewrite the narrative and to enhance the imagery for the book.

I hope that you will have a chance to visit the museum to see Life Seekers [working title] which will be featured  in the  Welcome Gallery from the 23rd of April to early June 2020, accessible to all visitors free of cost. 

The attached images is my diary piece and image from the ferry journey Mytilene to Athens 2015:


 

 

On the ferry it is clear the refugees are shattered. They pass out on the banquettes in the canteen. There are bodies under tables, in the aisles, propped up aerodynamically between two chairs. There are babies on the top of tables, their arms and limbs splayed in baby sleep. They have a roof over their heads finally, The constant whir of the ship's engine lulls them into an erratic sleep. 

I sleep on the deck. The surface is hard. It's warm and the wind whistles past as the ferry plows it's way towards the island of Chios, the stop before Athens, our final destination. It's an eight and a half hour journey. A young Greek man offers me a swig from his bottle of retsina. By the end of his journey he has confessed to having a drink problem, not to mention his addiction to cocaine which cost him the relationship he held dear. 

Here on the ship there are people struggling with the world of choice and privilege and the abuse of that choice; and there are those who have taken a choice they may not have wanted to be forced into taking in the first place... Either way it is the human condition of life and how to live it given our choices. In sleep, if we are not damned by our nightmares, we have some respite and we embrace it for all it's worth. 


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