79: We carry one another
My grandmother Janine was my best friend. I was her only grandchild, and when I became pregnant with my first child, she was beyond excited for her great-granddaughter. However, shortly after my daughter, Ala, was born, my grandmother fell ill and died. She never had a chance to meet the girl she already loved. Years later, I started this project to honor her.
“79: We Carry One Another” consists of 79 photographs and stories, one for each year of my grandmother’s life. The photographs display women of different ages and from various backgrounds carrying a photograph of their grandmothers. The accompanying texts come from memories the women I interviewed shared with me. They tell who their grandmothers were and what imprint they left on their families and communities, as well as how the presence or absence of grandmothers affects women’s’ lives.
These are stories of love, persistence and the determination of women, who often overcame great deprivations, but survived, lived their lives, and carried us to where we are now. Nevertheless, during their own time, these women stayed in the shadow and their voices were muted. With help from their granddaughters, my project brings them to light and returns their voices to them. It is a tribute to our grandmothers as we now carry them.