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Monday 31st January | 7:30 pm 9:00 pm


Under Newborn Stars tells a story of migration, loss & triumph.

Photographer Maja Blumenfeld’s collection of previously hidden and largely unpublished photographic negatives capture the faces, landscapes, architecture and lifestyles of interwar Berlin and mid-twentieth-century Auckland, New Zealand. The archive of glass plate and Kodak negatives resurfaced in 2014 still in its original packaging alongside handwritten notes.

Maja’s granddaughter Roshannah Bagley has spent the last five years discovering the names and stories with Maja to preserve and eventually share with the world for the first time.

Born in Berlin in 1919, Maja trained as a photographer in her teens before being forced to flee Nazi Germany in 1938 with her family to Auckland, New Zealand.

On arrival she took on a role at the local newspaper The Auckland Star as a photographer until her career was cut short due to the war. After moving back to Europe in the late sixties, she settled in London with her New Zealand husband and children in 1970.

Now at age 102, Maja still lives an independent life in northwest London. 


Under Newborn Stars tells the story of photographer Maja Blumenfeld – From her upbringing in Berlin to her
escaping Nazi Germany and resettling in New Zealand.

The film provides insight into her journey, her view on photography and the importance of objects connected to
people and significant moments in her life.

The film was shot in September 2020 at Maja’s home in North London and Kasia Wozniak’s photography studio in
South London. It was created by Hedvig Ahlberg and Roshannah Bagley, and supported by Something’s
Pioneers initiative.

Roshannah is a multidisciplinary creative and curator. She spent a decade working in fashion before moving into
advertising and the creative industries. She is currently a Studio Manager at Something and dedicates her spare
time to curating and producing projects and events that champion underrepresented creatives.

Hedvig is an independent director and editor with a focus on telling stories about women. She also works as a
producer at Something where she has worked on a wide range of productions from short form to feature series and documentaries. 

Tal Janes – multi-instrumentalist and composer, wrote and performed the music that features as the documentary’s soundtrack. Using his virtuosic skill as a celebrated musician combined with his knowledge of Jewish Music, has created a sensitive and emotive soundtrack.


1. This programme will begin with a welcome introduction.

2. Screening: Under Newborn Stars – Documentary

3. Interview with Roshannah Bagley and Tal Janes

(Photographs – Maja Blumenfeld)

Maja Blumenfeld Herself

Director / Editor- Hedvig Ahlberg
Producer / Creative- Roshannah Bagley
Art Director- Tom Haswell
Photographer / Production Assistant – Beth Carpenter
Portrait Photographer -Kasia Wozniak
Composer / Musician – Tal Janes
Supporting Musician – Joseph Costi
Photographic Archive -Maja Blumenfeld
German Subtitles – Clarissa Onnertz
Additional Archive images – Alexander Turnbull Library, National Archives of Australia, Passengers in History
Special Thanks – Something™, Kasia Wozniak