Storytellers: Gillian Laub – Take Care

Gillian Laub is a photographer and multimedia storyteller whose work deserves a wide audience. From striking portraits to documenting the lives of families, she compels us to stop and think as she brings us to places that are often far removed from our own reality.

I am starting a new category- Storytellers- on this blog so that I have a special place to share the work of outstanding artists, writers and filmmakers.

As someone who has worked in television journalism and related pursuits throughout my career, I have a deep appreciation for strong storytelling and especially for the talent of the person looking through the lens. Documentary production is a team sport and the strength of the story is ultimately dependent upon the images that are captured.

The works I intend to feature here will largely be films that bring us a glimpse into the daily lives of ordinary people. I call it social history in the present tense. Most important, these works represent moments that most of us would miss because we don’t know how to see them, or because we don’t go to places like this to meet people like this.

I’ve chosen Take Care, to be the first film to feature because to me, Gillian’s gift is the blend of a fearless approach with a compassionate touch in bringing truth to her audience.

Click on the image below to see the film.

Take Care was produced in a one-week work shop by MediaStorm. The workshop team included Gillian Laub, Henrik Björnsson, Elena Ghanotakis, and Laura Varma, as well as associate producer Brad Horn. It caught my attention because it was selected by Time magazine as one of the best of 2010, in Time’s list of Top 10 Talented Web Videos. Good choice. Great film. I would have ranked it much higher than 9th.

The following bio was written Bernstein & Andriulli, who represent Gillian’s work.

Gillian’s love of storytelling and family narratives led her to begin photographing her own family while studying at the International Center of Photography in New York. 2005 she was the recipient of the Nikon’s Storyteller award for her work in the Middle East. With the support of the Jerome Foundation Laub’s first monograph “Testimony” was published by Aperture to critical acclaim. This body of work is comprised of portraits and testimonies of Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs, and Palestinians all directly and indirectly affected by the complicated geopolitical context in which they live. In 2007, Laub received Aperture’s Emerging Artist Award. Her work is widely exhibited and her gallerist is Bonni Benrubi. Laub graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in comparative literature and lives in New York City. She is currently working on a project in the American South and continues to explore the family with her camera.

To learn more, see Gillian Laub’s website.

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