From Vancouver, Canada

Haya Newman

I am a photographer and documentary filmmaker setting out to make portraits about the human condition; seeking images and stories about human suffering and survival, devastation and resilience. I search for images and stories within close proximity to my own experiences. I offer an autobiographically-etched and intensely subjective perspective on my photographic subjects and how they have grappled with loss and adversity, renewal and reconstruction. Trained as a photographer at Concordia University, immersed in Jewish history at teachers seminary and after a four decade career as a teacher of Yiddish and Hebrew to children and adults, I mainly focus on motifs concerning Jewish life, the Holocaust and its aftermath. I draw my adult experiences in Canada, childhood in Israel and heritage in the shtetls of Poland into my crafting of narrative to afford that intimate connection I share with my subjects. My goal is to afford my audience the opportunity to feel the experience of the loss and adversity that my kin have endured through generations; in particular, to offer my point of view on shattered identities, familial loss and obliteration of community. I then survey the often difficult regenerations of family ties, community affiliations and cultural institutions such as language.

On JFilmBox