Revisiting my early years: Observations ‘95

This project examines the processes of assimilation of Jews in society by focusing on the identificatory and emancipatory processed involved. I am interested in questionning the impact of assimilation on Jewish identity. This work is a social commentary through immediate observation.

Although this project exclusively deals with Belgian Jews and their integration in the mainstream society, there is a universal quality to this process that can be translated for other communities throughout the world.

While conducting this project, I visited with several families, listening and speaking with them. I was looking for familiar attitudes and I was attracted by their faces, their gestures, their present and their past.

I mainly did portraits. I wanted to stop the mouvement, to question the subjects facing the lens, only the subject being photographed was the focus without any other point of reference.

Some subjects agreed to pose for me; it did not disturb them to be identified as Jews. Others could not stand the idea of being in front of a camera that would challenge their self-image. Other told me that I had to be careful not to compile a list of Jews that could be used by anti-semites in the future.

In the subjects that I chose to photograph, I looked for signs of Judaism. For some it meant the religion and its observance, for others it was more secular through an identification with a collective history and the transmission of certain values and traditions. This work attempt to show the complexity of the process of acculturation. This work also represents a rediscovery of a community in which I was raised which is defined by a system of codes and conventions that I try to analyse.

Albert Aniel ‘95 copyright

Jacques and Gustave

Jacques and Gustave

Happy Grand Father

Happy Grand Father

Jacques and Gino

Jacques and Gino

Family Picture

Family Picture

Accomplices

Accomplices

Sunday family gathering

Sunday family gathering

Encounter

Encounter

Bernard in his store

Bernard in his store

Friends

Friends

Mr Hasson

Mr Hasson

Rabbi

Rabbi

Reading a sidour

Reading a sidour

At School

At School

Rami players at Jewish gathering

Rami players at Jewish gathering

Looking at me

Looking at me

Family representation

Family representation

Mother and Daughter

Mother and Daughter

Moise

Moise

Patrick’s family

Patrick’s family

Street View

Street View

Patrick’s family

Patrick’s family

Patrick’s family

Patrick’s family

Jacques

Jacques

Meeting with friends

Meeting with friends

Man with a hat

Man with a hat

Man with a tie

Man with a tie

Kantor in Ostend

Kantor in Ostend

Malca

Malca

Rabbi in front of his portrait

Rabbi in front of his portrait

Jacqueline smoking a cigaret

Jacqueline smoking a cigaret

Albert and his son

Albert and his son

Family looking at me

Family looking at me

Jacqueline bookshelf

Jacqueline bookshelf

Mother and Daughter

Mother and Daughter

Portrait in a shop

Portrait in a shop

At School

At School

Rabbi looking at me

Rabbi looking at me

Love is in the air

Love is in the air

Coffee Break

Coffee Break

Father and Son from Egypt

Father and Son from Egypt

Family

Family

Evelyn

Evelyn

Coffee Break on Sunday

Coffee Break on Sunday

Carinne

Carinne

Elias playground

Elias playground

Shop in Brussels

Shop in Brussels

Mother in his son bedroom

Mother in his son bedroom

Young couple

Young couple

Elias bedroom

Elias bedroom

Graziella looking at me

Graziella looking at me

In a jewelry shop

In a jewelry shop

Paul

Paul

Children at home

Children at home

In the family

In the family