Trump’s year almost destroyed Gillian Laup’s family. This is how it survived.


Dad carving turkey in 2019 due to family problems.

Dad carving turkey in “Family Matters”, 2019. (© Gillian Laub via Aperture, 2021)

For photojournalist Gillian Raup Being a teenager, she told her father what was bothering her. He shed tears from time to time as she sat with her.

Its small details reveal why Laub’s family has been together for the past few years through fierce interpersonal conflicts over politics during President Trump’s time.

“Love really connects us,” Laub said in an interview.Long game“Yahoo News podcast.

It’s a story she tells in a recent book through photographs and short essays.Family problems.. This project is also an art exhibition held in New York City last fall and will soon pave the way for some cities.

But it’s the unconditional love of Laub’s father and mother, “the overflowing dedication to friends, family, and ceremonies,” like the glue in her story. “One of the lessons I learned from her parents was the importance of appearing, always appearing,” she writes.

My quarantine birthday, 2020, from Family Matters.

From my quarantine birthday, “Family Matters” in 2020. (© Gillian Laub via Aperture, 2021)

“Family Matters” is a raw self-portrait by Laub who turns the lens himself more than anyone else. She published a very personal photo book about the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, and racism in the Deep South. She also makes documentaries — “Southern ritual— About the shooting of a young black man by an older white man in the Georgia countryside.

However, self-examination was necessary as she focused on their fierce disagreement over Trump with her family.

“These years have brought the worst for everyone, and I’m part of it,” Laub said. “I don’t want to live in anger. It’s not productive. It’s really destructive.”

The book contains screenshots of a family text thread where Laub and her relatives exchanged angry messages, telling Laub’s sister “STOP STOP STOP. Sufficient.” Laub has many American families. He said he could be involved in these toxic debates in recent years.

Ultimately, she said, she needed to understand the differences between families and “think about ways to live in peace” with them.

Mom after yoga, from Family Matters in 2020.

Mom after yoga, from “Family Matters” in 2020. (© Gillian Laub via Aperture, 2021)

“I will wake up with a stomachache. And I wasn’t really practicing what I preached — in all my work — it’s: Listen to others This book was a way to help me hear rather than fight. It forced me to ask questions, listen and not fight. [It] I didn’t like my behavior, so it helped me understand what I needed to solve. “

“I think it’s really listening, open, everyone has their own perspective, and everyone sees the same situation through different lenses,” she said.

“We shrunk and flattened each other, leaving only these polarized one-dimensional humans,” Laub said. “There are so many gray areas and so many nuances … that’s the nuances I wanted to achieve in books and exhibitions. It’s not that clear.”

From my Thanksgiving setting, 2016, Family Matters.

From my Thanksgiving setting, 2016, “Family Matters”. (© Gillian Laub via Aperture, 2021)

She said, “People contacted me … they weren’t talking to their families, and they took their families to an exhibition, and this was finally It was a way to talk to them … it actually did what I wanted, it was to get my family to talk. “

Not everyone loves this book, Laub said. A man told her that her family had fallen apart during her Trump era.

“He seemed to want me to know.’Not everyone is like your family,'” Laub said. “It was a trigger for him. He It upset him because he said, “This is not just a happy ending for me.”

“I’m not bowing to it at the end and saying,’This is a happy ending,'” she said. “I’m lucky that our family didn’t fall apart. I’m lucky.”

Family Matters slater with playing card mask, 2019.

Slater with playing card mask of “Family Matters”, 2019. (© Gillian Laub via Aperture, 2021)