“My life is not simple,” says a beaming Yishay Garbasz while flashing a cute V-sign pose for my camera. As a child of Nazi Holocaust survivors, Garbasz has endured a life seeped in trauma, so the blissful persona on show seems incongruous at best. But for the 38-year-old Berlin-based British- Israeli photographer with two ongoing Tokyo exhibitions, a recent book release and successful transformative surgery last year, life is finally feeling very good.

Garbasz’s own story is a page turner that is hidden between the lines of her mother’s narrative in the new book and exhibitions. All titled “In My Mother’s Footsteps,” they chronicle her mother’s extraordinary survival through five Nazi concentration camps. Garbasz, however, is the true protagonist, as her mother’s journey has also been her own.

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