Form and Content
The final goal of this project is to create an international exhibit featuring one hundred selected images of Jewish Cuba as well as a large coffee table book. The photographs will capture the heart and soul of the community with intimate portraits of families both at home and at their temples: images of a Shabbat service in a synagogue, a wedding under the Chuppah, a Bar Mitzvah ceremony, a Brit Mila (circumcision ceremony) or children and the elderly singing and dancing. The artist will also feature festive gatherings during Sukkot in the fall –when people build huts and sit together giving thanks for the harvest– and Purim –when the children perform a special play. There are many holidays to choose from, each with their own specific tradition.
In addition to photographing life and religious ceremonies at the three active synagogues in Havana, Cohen will be exploring centers of Jewish culture outside the capital, documenting the smaller synagogues and culture centers spread across the island. The images will be supported by text in Spanish and English, describing the subject matter in more detail and providing the history of Jewish Cuba.
The first edition of the coffee table book will be a signed limited edition of 500 copies, 11 x 12 inches, printed on a heavy semi-matte paper stock. An introduction outlining the history and current situation of Judaism in Cuba will open the book, followed by about two hundred photographs with stories of the families and actual events that are pictured. The book will count a minimum of 200 pages and feature rich color photographs, printed in full color.
The museum prints for the traveling exhibit will be 20 x 24 inches in size, printed on high-end archival stock (Hahnemuhle, Epson) using the Giclee process, which is the highest quality process for large archival prints with inkjet printers.