Table of Contents
D. R. Cowles
The idea to travel to North Africa and photograph remaining Jewish sites was not arbitrary. We live in tumultuous times. The Second World War destroyed the Jewish communties of Europe. On the heels of German defeat, and following the founding of the state of Israel in 1948, a massive exodus reduced to a remnant the ancient Jewish communities of Arab lands. Some of this movement took the form of forced expulsions and some was voluntary, but the result was the same: it was the abrupt end of vibrant communities that had existed continuously in these countries for generations, some of them for over a thousand years.
Europe had been well documented, so I went to North Africa where much less work had been done. I expected to finish this work in a year but it ended up taking me five.
When I arrived home from my first trip with 400 negatives, I had no idea of how I would organize them. I had not thought ahead to making a book, but only to covering as much ground as I could as fast as possible, since time was of the essence. I took the work I had done to the Canadian Centre for Architecture, and it was there that the idea of presenting the work in the form of portfolios emerged. The portfolios were designed with the collections of research institutions in mind.
The series is now complete, the documentation at an end. There are four individual portfolios—two on Morocco and one each on Egypt and Tunisia. They are offered for sale either indvidually or as a complete set.
All prints included in the Portfolios are vintage prints, made within six months of the trips during which the original negatives were made.
There are four portfolios representing three countries in North Africa: two portfolios are on Morocco, where the majority of Jewish historic sites remain, one on Egypt, and one on Tunisia.
Three of the portfolios have text pages. Each of the four portfolios is made in an edition of 28 and is numbered 1 - 28. Four artist's proofs have been made and numbered I - IV.
Each portfolio is presented in a handmade case designed and fabricated by Odette Drapeau Milot at La Tranchefile, Montréal, Québec.
The photographs were made between 1993 and 1997 using an 8x10 inch view camera.
The prints in all portfolios are 8x10 inch contact prints made on gelatine-chloride printing out-paper and gold-toned and washed for preservation.
They have been dry-mounted onto 16x20 4 ply museum board. Each matted print has a stamped number on the verso upper right corner which corresponds to the textual descriptions of that particular photograph.
Images of Jewish Morocco I '93 | Jewish Sites of Cairo and Alexandria '94
Images of Jewish Morocco II '95 | Tunisia '97
|Table of Contents | Brush-Toned Still Lifes | Jewish North Africa | Morocco | Vestiges of Rome | Re-Visioning Antiquites|
Portfolios Index | Images of Jewish Morocco I '93 |
Jewish Sites of Cairo and Alexandria '94
Images of Jewish Morocco II '95 | Tunisia '97 | About the Jewish North African Portfolios
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