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Seeking Meaning: Stories of Dauntless Resiliency work by Sandra Mayo

Submitted by on October 18, 2018 – 12:00 pmNo Comment

October 9 – November 2, 2018
Reception: Thursday, October 11, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

I consider my art work a practicing in storytelling. I am interested in people, in families and their journey through generations: how families evolve, thrive or collapse; how extreme circumstances can affect them leaving rich stories behind. To tell my stories I use the aesthetic language of genograms. Genograms are pictorial family trees commonly used in medicine, psychiatry, psychology, social work, genetic research and education. They include symbols of hereditary patterns and events like births, deaths, immigration, marriage, divorce, sickness, conflicts, emotionality, dialogue and communication that embody relationships. Genograms can thus be seen as fingerprints of the emotional structure and history of a family. Each family genogram has its own unique pattern built upon the deepest and most basic human relationships. Genograms allow me to explore stories of immigration; to uncover tragedy, addictions and abuse. But I also discover incredible stories of social trauma and resiliency.

In 2016, I was fortunate to meet Sara Russ and hear her testimony. Sara is a Polish Jewish Holocaust survivor, who immigrated to Argentina in 1945. Sara’s son Daniel disappeared in the Dirty War. I was also deeply moved by Ruth Paradeis’ history described in her autobiography book, De Auschwitz al Olimpo, where she narrates her escape from Germany to Argentina in 1939 leaving all her family behind, all of whom perished in the Holocaust. Ruth’s son Marcelo, her daughter-in-law Claudia, and many of their friends also disappeared in the Dirty War. Neither Sara nor Ruth has been able to find any information of what actually happened to their children. Neither they ever found what happened to their loved ones lost in the Holocaust. Sara’s and Ruth’s stories are the motivation for presenting this exhibition about Social Trauma and Human Rights abuses. How Sara and Ruth managed to survive these tragedies is as much a mystery as a testimony of hope and resilience. Seeking Meaning: Stories of Dauntless Resiliency tells Ruth’s and Sarah’s stories while inspiring memory.

Learn more about the artistson the Maud Morgan Arts website.

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