Written by Jessie Groveman and originally published on

Moroccan photographer Carolle Benitah’s ‘Photos-Souvenirs’ is a powerful exhibition that invokes a deep sense of nostalgia and curiosity about captured memories.  Benitah’s work explores  photography’s ability  to preserve the physicality of a moment on the cusp of nonexistence.

Looking at old photos, even from just a few years ago, often floods me with a wave of emotions. Knowing that the moment in the picture will never happen again makes whatever the moment is, however mundane, seem sacred and mysterious. Seeing images from the past creates a desire to reflect on my life in a meaningful way. I am inspired by  Benitah’s work, which creatively explores and playfully processes her relationship to the past and her heritage.





The artist writes,

“I started to be interested in my family pictures when I was leafing through a family album and found myself overwhelmed by an emotion that I could not define the origin of.  These photographs were taken 40 years earlier, and I could not even remember the moments they were shot, nor what preceded or followed those moments.  But the photos reawakened an anguish of something both familiar and totally unknown, the kind of disquieting strangeness that Freud spoke about.   Those moments, fixed on paper, represented me, spoke about me and my family, told things about my identity, my place in the world, my family history and its secrets, the fears that constructed me, and many other things that contributed to who I am today.  I decided to explore the memories of my childhood to help me understand who I am and to define my current identity.”

See more from  Carolle Benitah.


A great way to explore feelings around the past is through old photos.  Next time you find yourself digging through some photographs, make some art work to help you process whatever comes up for you. You can make a drawing/painting/collage inspired by the photos, or actually use the photos in the artwork. If you want to use the actual photos, make photocopies and then be creative with how you alter the image. If you are more comfortable writing, integrate words into the photo. Remember, there is absolutely no wrong way to make art- allow your instincts and imagination to guide you.

Jessie Groveman has a true passion for healing and all things life enhancing. She is living proof that living a healthy, holistic and balanced life does not mean sacrificing fun, glamour and adventure.   Jessie feels that one's life and body is a work of art that deserves to be nurtured, loved and catered to.   With a masters degree in art therapy from NYU,   a yoga teaching certification from Kripalu, and an Urban Zen Integrative Therapy certification, Jessie combines her passion for creative arts with yoga, aromatherapy, meditation and various healing modalities to create a unique wellness session that nurtures the mind, body and spirit