Thursday, 19 June 2008

Spanish Jews in Istanbul

When I taught in Istanbul, one of my students had the surname Toledo. Her surname gave a clue to her family's background - Sephardic Jewish. The Sephardic Jews were from the Iberian peninsula (Spain and Portugal) and were expelled by Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492. The most prominent communities were in Toledo, Cordoba and Granada. They were accepted as refugees by the Ottoman Empire, settling mostly in Istanbul and Salonica (present day Thessaloniki).

Because of my ignorance, I never asked my student if she spoke the traditional language, Ladino, which is derived from Old castilian with extensive borrowings from Turkish, and to a lesser extent from Greek, Arabic, Hebrew and French.

Read more about the Sephardi Jews here.

I'm off travelling (currently in Barcelona), and as I won't be taking any new shots of Sydney for a few weeks, and I've not taken a computer, I'm not sure I'll be able to post photos. So, I'm publishing some of my art works in the form of Artist Trading Cards. These small canvases are made on card of 69 x 89 mm dimensions (3.5 x 5.5 inches). They are made to trade with other artists, as the name implies. It is extremely bad form to sell them. Any medium can be used, but my preferred method of creation is by using rubber stamps and inks.

1 comment:

  1. I am hoping to see some great shots of Barcelona when you return!