Aaron Vincent Elkaim’s photographs of Jewish Morocco
Curator: Evelyn Tauben
Aaron Vincent Elkaim, Mimouna in Casablanca, 2010
We’re very excited to announce that the second installation in the window gallery at Makom is now on view featuring the striking photographs of Aaron Vincent Elkaim. The images track Elkaim’s travels in Morocco, the birthplace of his father, to Jewish sites in various stages of use and abandon. The portfolio reveals the complex layers of the relationships between the Jews of Morocco and their Muslim neighbours, who in many cases continue to be the guardians of Jewish cemeteries, synagogues and the shrines to Tzaddikim long after the vast majority of Jews have left.
A Co-Existence was made possible with support from Makom and the Betzalel Culture Fund.
A Co-Existence is on view 24/7 in the window gallery at 402 College Street.
The window installation is accompanied by an additional eleven photographs hanging inside Makom’s space. The exhibition inside Makom can be seen during Friday night services and special events.
There will be dedicated evening visitor hours on July 6 from 5 to 8 pm. (Please not the evening gallery hours for July 28 have been cancelled)
On August 9 at 7 PM we’re hosting A Taste of Jewish Morocco with presentations from the photographer, Noam Sienna, and Simon Keslassy. For more information and to RSVP, please click here.
For more information on the exhibition and on purchasing art on display, please contact curator Evelyn Tauben, firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER
Aaron Vincent Elkaim (b.1981) is a Canadian documentary photographer and founding member of the Boreal Collective. Currently based in Toronto, Aaron approaches his work with a focus on colonial narratives where traditional culture and environmental degradation collide.
Since 2011, Aaron has committed himself to exploring narratives where people still connected to the natural world are being impacted by industrial development. While highlighting important human and environmental rights issues, he addresses the need to protect the natural world by revealing our profound connection it.
Aaron’s work has been recognized by a number of institutions including Burn Photography, 2014 Oskar Barnak Award, The Society of Publications Designers, the Daylight Photo Award, American Photography, the Magenta Foundation, Photolucidia, PDN, the Lucie Awards, and Visura among others. His clients include The New Yorker, The New York Times, TIME Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, HUCK, Macleans, The Canadian Press and The Globe and Mail. He is the recipient of the 2016 Alexia Foundation $20,000 Professional Grant towards his ongoing documentation of the impact of development and the construction of dams on the indigenous populations that lives along the Amazon river in Brazil.
MORE INFORMATION ON THE PHOTOGRAPHS IN THE WINDOW
Marrakech, Morocco, 2010
The prominent columns of the central bimah can still be seen in this synagogue turned carpet shop owned by Said Labar from Fez. The store is located in the Mellah (Jewish quarter) of Marrakech.
TOMB OF RABBI PINTO
Essaouira, Morocco, 2010
A group of pilgrims from New York and Israel gather at the tomb of Rabbi Haim Pinto. They are lead in prayer by the Rabbi’s grandson Rabbi Yousseph Pinto from Israel who organized the tour of Jewish sites.
KING MOHAMMED V
Fez, Morocco, 2010
A portrait of Mohammed V – king of Morocco from 1957 to 1961 – hangs in a blacksmith’s workshop next to the Jewish cemetery. Many Moroccan Jews revere the King until today for his role in protecting them during WWII from the French Vichy government and the Nazis. When he was demanded to turn over a list of the Jews living in Morocco, he famously replied: “There are no Jews in Morocco. There are only Moroccan subjects.”
Irill Noro, Morocco, 2010
The 28-year old Zubeida opens the door to the synagogue in the small southern village of Irill Noro. She has been its caretaker since the synagogue’s restoration in 2002, spearheaded by several leaders of the Moroccan Jewish community in Casablanca.
LEBOVIC GIRLS’ SCHOOL
Casablanca, Morocco, 2010
Students at a Sunday class at the Lebovic Girls’ School, which once had over 1,000 students attending. The enrollment in 2010 was 30 students.