F O L L O W  M Y  F O O T P R I N T S

Follow My Footprints documents a granddaughter's journey to weave together the thin threads of her family history.

The project is an intergenerational diary of love, loss and the will to move forward in the face of uncertainty.

Author and Photographer : Rachael Cerrotti


The story

In October 1939, Hana, a wide-eyed, 14-year-old girl from Prague boarded a train into the unknown. She was one of the lucky ones. As war took over her newly formed, democratic Czechoslovakia, she had a way out. 

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The Journey

In 2014, 75 years after Hana bid farewell to her family for what would be the final time, her granddaughter embarked on a journey to learn the languages, landscapes and lives of her grandmother's displacement.

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About The Artist

Rachael Cerrotti is an award-winning photographer, writer and educator. Her work focuses on documenting stories of grief and resilience with a unique interest in family history. She holds a degree in Communications from Temple University and is an alumni of The Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In addition, she has completed educator's seminars with Yad Vashem and Facing History & Ourselves.

For nearly a decade, Rachael has been pursuing her long-term project, Follow My Footprints, retracing her grandmother's route of displacement during and in the wake of World War II. The story, which travels through Central Europe, Scandinavia and across the United States, is an intergenerational approach to understanding loss and the will to move forward in the face of uncertainty. She speaks in classrooms and communities worldwide about this story and is now writing her first book.

Her work has been published by Public Radio International, NPR, Cognoscenti (WBUR), The Boston Globe, Images & Voices of HopeYediot Aharonot (Israel), The Times of Israel,  Lidové Noviny (Czech Republic), Vlasta (Czech Republic), Travel & LeisureDiscovery.com, and Rewire amongst many others. In 2017, Rachael, was the subject of an award-winning multimedia series produced by WBUR titled Beyond Sides of History