As I work through the legacy of my grandmother's emotional abuse, my anger has turned to compassion.
Between 1940 and 1943 my grandmother, a young Ukrainian girl, was taken from her family, forced into slave labor.
What I know of her experience is limited to my mother's spotty recollections of stories told and a collection of valued personal photos brought to the US; some roughly halved, erasing the identity of my blood grandfather.
Combining family photos, original photographic work, social media screenshots, and Ukrainian cultural artifacts, this work has been created in conjunction with a documentary film project by the same name. 'Ostarbeiter' examines the effects of transgenerational trauma and Nazi Germany's slave laborer program that impacted the lives of between 3-5 million Central and Eastern Europeans during World War II.
Dedicated to Maria Sywenkyj (Markevych). May she rest in peace.