Following an exhibit in 2014 on the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and one in 2017 on the Christians of the Arab world, the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris now continues its trilogy devoted to monotheistic religions in the Arab world with an exceptional exhibition dedicated to the history of Eastern Jewish communities.
'Juifs d'Orient' (Jews of the East) offers a chronological and thematic approach to the great times of Jewish intellectual and cultural life in the East and will reveal the prolific exchanges that have shaped the societies of the Arab-Muslim world for centuries.
From the Mediterranean coastline to the Euphrates via the Arabian Peninsula, the exhibition explores the many facets of cohabitation between Jews and Muslims, from the first links forged between the Jewish tribes of Arabia and the Prophet Mohammed to the emergence from the main figures of Jewish thought during the medieval caliphates in Baghdad, Fez, Cairo and Cordoba. But also the rise of Jewish urban centers in the Maghreb and in the Ottoman Empire until the beginnings of the final exile of the Jews of the world Arab.
The story of this coexistence, at times fruitful while other times tumultuous, will testify to the role of one in the enrichment of the culture and religion of the other, whether it is a question of the spoken language, customs, 'craftsmanship or even scientific and intellectual production.
In light of this unprecedented historical perspective, the exhibition will focus on promoting and preserving the memory of a heritage of tremendous richness. In order to guarantee a peace process in the Arab world, Jewish communities and their often problematic, even tragic histories need to be taken into account.
Thanks to loans of from international collections from around the world, including France, England, Morocco, Israel, United States, Spain, the IMA will present unpublished works in a wide variety of art forms: archeology, manuscripts, paintings, photographs, liturgical and everyday objects and finally audiovisual and musical installations.
There will be public talks coordinated with the run of the exhibition, a scientific publication and conferences to help deepen these fascinating themes. Finally, a programme of concerts, shows and film screenings will highlight the indescribable and yet undeniable heritage of Eastern Jews.
To find out more and purchase a ticket to the exhibition visit the website of the IMA.