You may remember the incredibly touching story of Sacha Goldberger and his depressed 91-year-old Hungarian grandmother, Frederika. To cheer her up, Sacha suggested that they shoot a series of outrageous photographs in unusual costumes, poses, and locations. Grandma reluctantly agreed, but once they got rolling, she couldn't stop smiling.
Frederika was born in Budapest, 20 years before World War II. During the war, at the peril of her own life, she courageously saved the lives of ten people. When asked how, Goldberger told us "she hid the Jewish people she knew, moving them around to different places every day." As a survivor of Nazism and Communism, she then immigrated away from Hungary to France, forced by the Communist regime to leave her homeland illegally or face death.
Now, over half-a-million pageviews later, Sacha and his grandmother are back with a whole new series, which they just sent exclusively to us. With all this fame, it looks like Super Mamika has a new suitor - Meet Mr. Papika!
I interviewed Sacha about the new series and asked him some questions about all the attention they've received since our first post. Be sure to catch that interview, below.
Since the first Super Mamika post what kind of response have you gotten?
It's been crazy! We've been in so many papers from all around the world. I wanted everyone to get to know my grandma because I wanted her to be immortal, but I never imagined that she would become so popular!
How has the Super Mamika series changed your grandmother's life? How has it changed your life?
We still do the same things together, but now, she's sometimes busy doing an interview or TV show. My life is a little more difficult because sometimes she acts like she is a star (often when she asks me for some bread).
We are doing a short movie soon with Canal Plus, and another exhibition in September in a really nice gallery, Bailly Contemporain (38 rue de seine), in Paris. Another book is also coming in September titled Mamika & co with lots of new images.
What inspired you to find Mister Papika? Who is he and how did you find him?
Mamika had to have a boyfriend, someone she could make fun off and play jokes on. He is the father of my best friend. I was looking for Papika for two years. I went in holiday with him. I asked him to sit on my Harley Davidson with my yellow helmet and pose. He was so perfect, I immediately asked him if he wanted to be Mamika's boyfriend. He accepted. He is a little younger than Mamika, but Mamika is a cougar... :). He is so good at acting, I don't know why he didn't do it before.
Most of these shots appear to be taken on the side of a building. How did you create that effect?
I went to different cities like New York, London, and Paris, and I shot the buildings first. Then we created the same light on Mamika and Papika. The side of the buildings allowed me to create strange and different images, and tell lots of new stories. I really enjoyed producing these images, and I think Mamika and Papika did too...
What's next for Super Mamika and you?
Another character is coming: Dark Papouka (the dog). Also, two new series: One on the siide of buildings in London, and next week, I shoot Dark Papouka and Darth Vador in NY....
Thank you Sacha, Super Mamika, and Mister Papika for the great photos and interview. You've inspired all of us with your story. Keep up the great work!
Sacha Goldberger's website