Exhibition of Jewish images from around the world

March 15, 2012 by Henry Benjamin
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An exhibition by renowned photographer Emmanuel Santos featuring Jewish images from around the globe has opened at he Sydney Jewish Museum.

Emmanuel Santos Allpix: Henry Benjamin

Santos, who lives in Melbourne but was born in the Philippines has spent three decades traveling around the world photographically documenting different ethnic groups.

His Sydney exhibition, “Observances” is a collection from the Jewish Diaspora reflecting communal life, cultural rituals and religious practices.

Curator Shannon McGuire and Emmanuel Santos

Well-known photographer Moshe Rosenzveig said the exhibition highlights the richness of Jewish life by showing its history and culture both here in Australia and overseas. Both of these objectives are encompassed by Emanuel’s work. He said that permanent collections which feature his work can be seen at the Melbourne Holocaust Centre, The Australian Jewish Museum, the Immigration Museum, the Israel Diaspora Museum in Tel Aviv  and the Musee d’Histoire de Judaisme in Paris. He said that Santos who comes from a non-Jewish background has produced a work of remarkable enthusiasm and sensitivity.

Emmanuel Santos said the project began 25 years ago when his interest was aroused in “the world of the Children of Abraham”. I was asked why I wanted to do this as I have nothing to do with Judaism. But he said his grandmother celebrated Pesach. He said that during the Inquisition in the 15th century many Spaniards settled in the Philippines including many members of the Marranos community who practised “underground Judaism” and added “we learned so much of the mystical side of Judaism and the humanity of Abraham’s teachings without knowing who Abraham is. We learned how to be a human being without knowing the rules of Torah.” He said that wherever he traveled…in Israel, with Sephardim, with Ashkenazys and across the entire spectrum of Judaism “the song remains the same”.


Emmanuel Santos and museum vice-president Roma Shell

The exhibition contains over 100 images divided into four chapters..night, dawn, light and dusk…the difference of the tonalities he experienced. Night is the darkness of the Holocaust, dawn was the beginning of the tikkun olam…the healing, light…voices suppressed and buried during the Holocaust now being heard.

He said his task was not finished and was heading to Poland next month followed by Belarus…

The exhibition will run until July 15.
















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