Searching for Great Aunt Minna was inspired by a photograph and a commissioned photo essay for the London Sunday Times Magazine about the Sangoma, the traditional healers, (shamans) who are called by their Ancestors to heal. For Who Are We?, Jillian Edelstein was in conversation with Liz Jobey, an associate editor of the FT Weekend Magazine. Jillian’s story takes in the history of Eastern Europe and the solid immigration drive to Southern Africa from Eastern Europe. Photography, film interviews and diary pieces are used to illustrate her family’s search for stability due to forced removal. This story echoes the lives of everyday migrants and asylum seekers today coming to Europe from the challenged parts of Africa, and the conflict zones of the Middle East.
Jillian Edelstein is a London-based, award winning photographer. She began working as a press photographer in Johannesburg, South Africa and her portraits have appeared in many publications including The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The FT Weekend Magazine, Vanity Fair, and Interview, L’Uomo Vogue, Port, The Guardian Weekend, The Sunday Times Magazine, Time Magazine, Fortune, Elle, W Magazine, GQ and Esquire. Jillian has exhibited internationally at venues including the National Portrait Gallery, The Photographers’ Gallery, Tom Blau Gallery, The Royal Academy, OXO Gallery in London, Les Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie in Arles, France, Bensusan Museum, Johannesburg, Robben Island Museum in Cape Town, South Africa and Dali International Photography Festival, Yunnan Province, China. In the run up to the Olympics 2012 Edelstein was commissioned by The National Portrait Gallery and BT to produce a series of 17 portraits of those working to make the Olympic and Paralympic Games happen. The Road to 2012: Aiming High was opened by the Duchess of Cambridge at the start of the Games.
Liz Jobey is a writer and editor with a special interest in photography. As an editor she has worked at the Sunday Times, the Independent on Sunday Review, the Guardian, and Granta. As a writer she has contributed to the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Art Newspaper and the London Review of Books, principally on subjects related to photography. She also works as an editor of photographic books, including Nigel Shafran, Dark Rooms (MACK),Fazal Sheikh, the Erasure trilogy (Steidl), Tony Ray-Jones, American Colour (MACK), Donovan Wylie, The Maze, (Steidl), Jillian Edelstein, Truth & Lies (Granta). She has been a Trustee of the John Kobal Foundation since 1993. She is currently an Associate Editor at the Financial Times Weekend Magazine.
Read the conversation Searching for Great Aunt Minna, between Jillian Edelstein and Alena Pfoser.