The book is surprising. Its title: Embrace. Its author: Rohina Hoffman.
Isolated in the confinements of her Los Angeles home during the covid lockdown, Rohina Hoffman takes a metaphorical journey of connecting her roots to food through the rituals of daily meal .
For Hoffman, photographing family members holding dinner ingredients turned into a tool of expressing new deep gratitude for the food. She often thought of all the effort and the hands that had touched the produce before it ended up with her family. The food also became the means of connecting with her family members and reconnecting with her Indian roots in a more profound way. As part of Generation 1.5/1.75 (a term coined by Professor Ruben Rumbaut in 1969 to distinguish those who immigrate as children from their parents who immigrate as adults), Hoffman has struggled with issues of identity and the feeling of “Otherness”.
The photographs of food and family are seasoned with Hoffman’s poetry. Her essay, ‘Not All Peacocks are Blue’, published in English and Hindi, provides a deeper look into the photographer’s background and serves as a bridge between the two projects. Embrace is a visual examination of how life’s simple pleasures expand the quality of human existence and how that expansion helps an individual to secure their identity isolated in the confinements of her Los Angeles home during the covid lockdown, Rohina Hoffman takes a metaphorical journey of connecting her roots to food through the rituals of daily meals. In Embrace she combines two photographic projects. In Gratitude showcases the food she used to make dinners for her family. Generation 1.75 is a visual memoir of identity, belonging, and the complexities of acculturation.
“The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live. The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on. We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees under it. It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it. We make women.” —Joy Harjo
Rohina Hoffman : Embrace
Design: Caleb Cain Marcus, luminositylab.com
Essays by Paula Tognarelli and Geeta Kothari
Format: 19,9 x 25,4 cm. portrait
144 pp with approx 50 photographs
October 2022: Europe and all other countries
January 2023: U.S.A. and Canada
$60 | €60 | £55