Tell me her story because War is only the half of it

 

Dorothée Nowak

Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Tell me her story because War is only the half of it is a documentary project based on my family immigration history from Poland to France in 1938.

The project focuses on the journey my grandmother, Teresa, began with her family when she was 11 years old. Born in 1927, she was raised in Ostrow Wielkopolski (Poland) which was, before the end of World War II, in the territories of the Republic of Germany. Her family left on the eve of the Second World War and arrived first in Belgium before establishing themselves in France. No one in my family talked about the past and how the Witkowski family ended up in France instead of going in the United States like one of my Grandmother’s uncle.

Tell me her story because War is only the half of it is about my quest in order to find out more about her. Teresa's story is not as obvious as it seems to be and I believe there is more. Yet, the research done in Poland has not been successful and the story of Teresa and her mother, Jozefa, still remain hidden.

The documentary project focuses on known places in France as I took my father to re-visit places of his childhood with his mother, as well as the birthplace of Teresa in Poland. The series mixes portraits of family member and archives in order to create a linear yet nonchronological portrait of a family whose descendants escaped their homeland on the eve of the Second World War.

dorotheenowak.com