Kantor's project about Jewish presence and absence in Eastern Europe has evolved from personal biography to subjective documentary and consists of work created between 2004 and 2012. Over the course of these years, Kantor traveled repeatedly to Poland and Ukraine to photograph Jewish life there, at first with a focus on her own roots, her parents who were born and raised in Poland and suffered the tremendous losses of the Holocaust, and later she continued to work mostly in Ukraine.
During the first three years, Kantor used mainly black and white film. The places she observed during this period were mostly representative of loss and memory. Later in the process, she began to use color, making the works vivid and highly saturated in order to convey the tangible reality of place and provide a full palette of the region’s hues and representing current times.
Kantor printed a part of this project using the palladium process, creating contact prints from the original un- enlarged black-and-white negatives, printed on 11 in. x 15 inch paper. Some are single images and others are diptychs and triptychs which tell little stories through a sequence of images. This photographic language in the multi and single frames, juxtaposed with the color and B&W works lends itself for a dialogue between past and present and allows for a wider look at a people and a culture. Being small scale - they are reminiscent of snapshots, and read as a family album.
Although this photographic story invokes memory, grief, and loss, it also portrays strength and survival. Providing a unique perspective on what these communities look like today, It is a testament to how Jewish traditions and identity have endured and are continuing to evolve in East and Central Europe.