We had the good fortune of connecting with Michal Greenboim and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michal, how does your business help the community?
In 2019 I heard about the Jewish community in Cuba. I heard about the tough conditions they lived in and how they managed to keep their traditions alive despite scarce resources. I was intrigued. I went to Cuba to document the legacy of the last living Jews in Cuba and to see how I can help them. I created a project photographing the Jewish community in Cuba, this gave me the opportunity to have an inside look at how the Jewish people of Cuba lived. Unlike the life that many people are accustomed to, the people of Cuba are sentenced to strict food portions and poor living conditions. Even with the harsh conditions the Jewish community of Cuba endures, I found new friends in Cuba. People that taught me life long lessons about caring for the elders, supporting your neighbors and protecting one another. I came to help and left Cube changed. I started gathering support for the Jewish community in Cuba from around the world after my story was published in the B’nai Brith Magazine.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Photography is an outlet for me, it is a medium I use in order to journal my feelings, but it has not always been this way. For many years, I tried to seek what makes me passionate about photography and what is the meaning behind my art, I spent hours staring at my images, learning from amazing photographers, and speaking to mentors in order to find my internal voice. One day, while looking back on my images I realized how much they reflected my childhood in a small rural town in Israel. My images are filled with my interpretations of the emotions and senses that I grew up with, from the breeze I felt while swinging on a tree swing to the sweet tangy flavor I tasted from our mango tree. These moments are what have influenced my work and continue to be a part of my photography every day such as in the images I took of ballerinas, which represent the motion and serenity of my childhood. Photography has allowed me to process the emotions I feel for my home country and also dig deeper and learn about its history, culture, and people. Gaining a deeper understanding of the meaning behind my art has given me the spark I needed in order to devote myself professionally to a career in photography and is the reason photography still excites me. It is an honor for me that my work has been presented nationwide, including a recent solo exhibition of “Keeping the flame “ at Foto Nostrum, Barcelona, Spain. “Orchard Trail” at The Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester MA. My work has also been shown at the Art of Photography Show in San Diego and at the Los Angeles Center for Photography in California, Photo Place in Vermont, Tilt Gallery in Arizona , Dickerman Gallery in San Francisco, Orton Davis in New York and Fabrik Projects in Los Angeles. The photograph, “Rear Blues,” won third place in the “World in Place” competition in the “Sense of Place” category, PDN Magazine, December 2016. In 2017, I was awarded an exhibition at the Griffin Museum from the Los Angeles Center of Photography.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I will not let anyone miss La Jolla Bay with its the seals and the large birds, We will then have a quality cup of coffee at Pitz Coffee which is in Girad and continue walking around the beautiful art galleries and special shops on GIRARD AVENUE & PROSPECT STREET: the heart of downtown La Jolla.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Dedicate it to my loving family