Aliza Augustine’s brings a painter's eye to the narrative photograph. Trained as a painter at the Rhode Island School of Design, she began using photography as her main medium in 2006. Her photographic projects began with socio-political themes which led to addressing the theme most intimate to her, the Holocaust. Her current work, a series of cinema wide portraits, explores aftermath and survival. “Documenting The Second Generation: Children of Holocaust Survivors” combines photographic portraits, European landscapes and vintage family photos melding the past and present. The vintage photos can be seen floating or the people in them walking through the background creating a feeling of magical realism.
An immigrant herself, Augustine’s experience was defined by the Holocaust; she says, “I was born knowing about the Holocaust”. The stories her father and grandfather related to her, shaped her interest in storytelling. The narrative form influenced her early paintings and eventually prepared her to confront this painful and personal subject matter. Today’s worldwide refugee crisis recalls vivid imagery of the early days of flight from Europe in the 1930’s. The rise of the Alt-Right worldwide is a call to remain vigilant. Both exacerbate fear in those affected by the Holocaust. A reminder that genocide is both contemporary and trauma-hereditary.