As a practising Jew, this Project has affirmed my belief that Jewish culture has a common core among a variety of different cultures and traditions.
- Carol Gordon
In our latest major exhibition, Emmanuel Santos and Carol Gordon show us the history, tradition and present-day existence of the Jews of Greece. Through photography and documentary, Santos and Gordon reveal a people dating back to approximately 300-250 BCE, who witnessed, experienced and influenced world history. The exhibition celebrates this ancient community, who despite facing almost total decimation in the Holocaust, have continued to survive.
In 1986 Carol Gordon began research into the history of Greek Jews, after discovering that their ancient and long history was hardly known. In 2013 Gordon invited Melbourne photographer Emmanuel Santos to join her in Greece, to help uncover and document this remarkable community. For Santos, who has forged a career investigating Jewish culture and ritual, this was a thrilling undertaking.
Santos says: 'It was a very interesting project due to the fact that it owes its history dating back to Hellenistic Greece. This was an alluring prospect for me as I never came across any remnants of a Jewish community this ancient.'
Gordon has always felt a strong connection to Greece and the Greek people. She says: 'I became passionate about bringing this story out of the dark, in honour of 87% of the Jewish population of Greece who were murdered in The Holocaust.'
Objects from the Ian Potter Museum of Art Collection also illuminate this history, and video interviews within the exhibition will present the testimonies of survival and rebuilding of the Greek Jewish communities after the Holocaust.
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